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I’ve been in local authority care – what extra higher education funding can I get?

By David Malcolm

Friday 15 March 2013 Higher education

If you’re a student resident in the UK and you’ve been in local authority care you may be able to get extra funding to help you study for a higher education course in the UK or Republic of Ireland, depending on where you live and who provides your funding. Here’s an overview of what’s available.

What extra funding can I get in England?

If you’re resident in England and eligible to get student funding from Student Finance England, you may be entitled to a:

  • one-off bursary of £2,000 from your local authority (this figure is for 2012/2013)
  • grant from your university or college.

This is money you don’t need to pay back. For more information, speak to the student support office at your university or college, or your personal adviser at your local authority.

What extra funding can I get in Scotland?

If you’re resident in Scotland and eligible to get student funding from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), you may be entitled to grant of up to £105 a week to help you with accommodation costs in the long summer holiday if you were previously looked after in care (this figure is for 2012/2013). The amount you get doesn’t depend on your income. It’s paid straight to your landlord, and you don’t need to pay it back. You can also get this grant if you get a bursary from the Scottish Government Health Directorate to study for a qualification in medicine, dentistry or one of the allied health professions.

For more information, see Care Leavers Grant.

What other help can I get?

Wherever you’re studying in the UK, your university or college may offer scholarships and other kinds of support to help you as well. See Can I get higher education funding from my university or college?

This information was updated in March 2013. NUS provides this information in good faith and has taken care to make sure it’s accurate. However, student finance issues can be complicated, and rules change frequently. You should contact the advice centre in your students' union, college or university for support if you’re uncertain or need more help.