Care Leavers

This page is dedicated to young people who have been in the care of, or have been given accommodation by, their Local Authority for a period of at least 13 weeks after the age of 14.

Making the leap from care to independent life at university or college can be both scary and exciting. If you want to be a student, there is a lot of support available to make it happen.

Propel is a very helpful website that provides lots of good advice if you are considering going to University. Specialist Advisers can answer your questions on how to apply and on funding and accommodation. More information  on how to get in touch with Propel can be found here.

UCAS, the university admissions service also provides specialist advice and a tool kit to help Care Leavers.

Paying for your study at Cardiff University

For most students, 'student finance' (or student loan) is the usual way to get funding for university. 

Student loans may sound overwhelming, but you only start paying them off once you earn over a certain amount. 

The rules about student funding are complicated and will depend where you live.  

To be assessed as a care leaver by Student Finance and receive maximum funding as an independent student, you will need to provide written evidence to support your application. A letter from your Local Authority confirming your care leaving status should be sent to Student Finance. This will only need to be done once, with your first application.

  • Care leavers are also able to get additional funding which will not need to be paid back
  • Cardiff University may provide you with an additional Care Leavers Bursary of up to £3000 
  • You may also be able to get financial help form your Local Authority.  If you start university before your 25th Birthday

Make sure you get good advice about the funding you could receive before you start University

Student Advice

Student Advice is a free, confidential and independent service available for students of Cardiff University. We are independent of the University and our role is to give you impartial advice and guidance and help you understand the options available to you.

If your circumstances are impacting your wellbeing and/or ability to study and perform at your usual level, we can

  • advise you on how to report Extenuating Circumstances to the University;
  • advise you on how to submit and Academic Appeal if you have missed the Extenuating Circumstances deadline, or you circumstances have been refused;
  • advise you on how to take an Interruption of Study and what you need to think about when deciding what to do;
  • signpost you to other support services.

University Support

Cardiff University is committed to supporting students from a care background to ensure that they  receive the help they need in order to have a successful university experience.

The University have a Dedicated contact, who acts as a mentor for anyone who has been in care. They can help with;

  • student funding issues, including making an application and liaising with your funding body if there are any problems;
  • managing your money while at university;
  • academic-related issues, including liaising with your academic department or assist you in applying for extenuating circumstances;
  • housing issues such as finding accommodation, problems with landlords, etc;
  • accessing other University services such as Disability and Dyslexia ServiceCounselling and Wellbeing or Study Skills.
  • +44 (0)29 2087 4787

More information can be found here or by calling +44(0) 22518888

Cardiff University Guarantor Scheme

If you will struggle to secure accommodation in the private sector because you haven’t got someone to act as your guarantor, as a care leaver you might be eligible for the Cardiff University Guarantor Scheme.

Tailored work experience

Cardiff University are a partner of the Go Wales: Achieve through Work Experience programme that is part-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Welsh Government.

The programme is for young students on higher education courses in Wales who are facing barriers in securing work experience. If you are under 25, on a full-time course at Cardiff University and have caring responsibilities, you could be eligible for the scheme.

The Go Wales Team at Cardiff University can help source work shadowing opportunities, work tasters and up to six weeks paid work placements. For further details, please contact the Go Wales Team.

Go Wales

Contact Student Advice
+44 (0)2920 781410


Cardiff University Students’ Union, registered in Wales. Nothing here in contained constitutes an order for goods or services unless accompanied by an official order

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Ffôn | 029 2078 1400 E-bost | Gwefan | Cyfeiriad | Plas y Parc Caerdydd CF10 3QN Rhif Elusen | 1137163 Rhif Cofrestredig y Cwmni | 07328777