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Estranged Students

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. 

What Does ‘Estranged Student’ Mean? 

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 place. 


For more information, please see our Care Experienced and Estranged Students' Guide

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 

If you're applying for student finance through Student Finance England or Wales, and are not supported by your parents due to a breakdown in your relationship (known as estranged), you can find information about support, financing your studies and accommodation options in the Stand Alone student guide. 

University Centre Leeds also offers a support package for Estranged Students including the following financial support: 

  • Estranged student 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. 
  • To find out more about applying for finance as an estranged student please visit:  

Other support 

  • 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

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