At University Centre Leeds we want everyone who wants to do a degree to be able to. We are committed to helping estranged students access higher education.

We understand that starting a degree can be particularly challenging for estranged students, without the support and approval of a family network – particularly with accommodation, holidays, and lack of financial support. That is why we offer specific support to estranged students who study with us.

Estranged students are young people studying without the support of a family network, usually due to a long-term breakdown in the relationship with their parents or guardians. You may be eligible for additional support if you are under 25 and:

  • You have had no communicative relationship with your parents/guardians for at least 6 months and this situation is not likely to change.
  • You have been homeless or ‘sofa surfing’
  • You have been in foster or local authority care but are not classed as a Care Leaver
  • You are assessed as independent by Student Finance because you are estranged from your parents
  • Both of your parents have passed away and you have no alternative family support in placecourse.

What support is available at University Centre Leeds?

To help you make informed decisions about your higher education and degree choices, we can offer:

  • Personalised tours
  • 1:1 Application support
  • Contextual admissions

To help support estranged students to start full time higher education at University Centre Leeds, we offer the following financial support:

  • Estranged students Bursary (up to £1000 awarded by University Centre Leeds)
  • Supporting the cost of interview travel and/or on-course materials (where applicable – up to 50% of costs)
  • Supporting the cost of graduation gown hire and photographs (up to 50% of costs).
  • University Centre Leeds can act as a guarantor for your student accommodation agreements

Other support offered to estranged students includes:

  • Nominated estranged student support from the University Centre Leeds HE Progression and Wellbeing Officer and /or a Named contact from within the Safeguarding Team
  • Buddying and/or mentoring schemes
  • HE Counselling and Mental Health Officer

To find out more about applying for finance as an estranged student please visit: If you would like to discuss your concerns further, please contact our Admissions Team at

External support and funding

  • Stand Alone is a UK organisation that has been established to support anyone who has become estranged from their family, or primary caregiver. As an institution, we are signed up to the Stand Alone pledge to show our commitment to supporting estranged students. We have strong links to Stand Alone and can refer you to them for specialist support or advocacy service. Stand Alone also run several events and workshops throughout the year that offer emotional support to anyone dealing with the impact and issues of estrangement
  • Buttle UK - provides grants to young people in the UK, often when there is no other source of help available to them
  • Brightside - has some useful information for students whose parents are unwilling to provide their income details, as well as estranged students finding it difficult to evidence independence