Estranged students

Estranged students

No two estranged students’ circumstances are the same, which is why we are committed to supporting anyone who is estranged from their family and who is studying without the support or approval of a family network.

Is it for you?

  • someone who has no communication with and no support from either of their biological or adoptive parents
  • can include: victims of emotional or physical abuse by family members; those who have experienced familial rejection based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; students who have been disowned for pursuing education or a particular course of study; people who are homeless or are at risk of homelessness
  • the situation is likely to remain permanent


Pre-entry support

Outreach events to help you explore your options

Visit days for specific student groups 

These visit days are for students in Year 10 to Year 13 who are overcoming challenges while they are at school or college. We specifically welcome care experienced and estranged students, young carers, refugees and asylum seekers to take part.

You will have the opportunity to visit our University Park campus, talk to a member of staff and current students, and find out more about topics such as finance, student support and university-level study.

These visits are free and funding is available to help with travel costs. 

Upcoming events 

Visit days for specific student groups in the current academic year have now finished. Information about visit days in 2022-23 will appear here once the events are finalised.

For enquiries, please email

Support with your Student Finance England application

A key factor when making your decision about higher education is finance – for estranged students, we understand this can be a particular challenge. There are a wide range of financial support options available, including bursaries and scholarships, making it more possible for you than ever before to continue your education.

For Student Finance applications, further information can be found on's dedicated page for additional funding for estranged students.

Funding support for estranged students

Starting university in 2022 

  • The Core Bursary provides £1,000 per year to students with a household income below £35,000 as assessed by Student Finance who meet certain criteria. 
  • The Care Experienced and Estranged Bursary  provides £1,000 per year to students with a household income below £25,000 (as assessed by Student Finance) and who are currently or have been in public care for a minimum period of three months, since their 14th birthday.  Students under special guardianship or kinship care during this period may also qualify OR students who have been granted independent status by Student Finance England due to estrangement.  Some exclusions apply if you are in receipt of other funding.  

Please visit the bursaries webpage for more details of eligibility criteria. Information is always subject to change for future years of entry, so we would recommend checking regularly for further updates.

If you’ve supported yourself financially for at least 3 years or had no contact with your parents for over a year, you might be able to apply as an ‘independent student’. This means your finance is calculated solely on your own income rather than your parents’ income, allowing you access to full financial support from the Student Finance packages.

The charity, Stand Alone, has created a detailed guide to financial support for estranged students.

Please note: if you have been in local authority care, you will be considered a ‘care leaver’ rather than ‘estranged'. Support is still available for you, but the way you access it may be slightly different. Information can be found on our care leavers webpage.

Check your eligibility for a lowered grade offer

Some students are eligible for contextual offers at the university. Although being estranged is not one of the criteria for this, we would encourage you to  visit this page to check your eligibility. 

A contextual offer is usually one A level grade lower than the entry requirements on our course pages

If our standard offer includes a specific subject grade, this will generally remain. For example, if the standard offer is AAB with an A in maths, the contextual offer would be ABB with an A in maths. 

Choosing and applying for your course

The website has lots of useful information that can help you when applying to university.

Before making your application, do plenty of research to ensure you are making an informed choice for your future. Familiarise yourself with the application process and make sure you are ready to apply before applying. 

Programmes to explore your options

The University of Nottingham has a range of outreach programmes for Year 12 and Year 13 students.

These will help you to explore your options, make informed choices and offer support through the application process. Find out more by clicking the links below:

Accommodation options available at university

The University of Nottingham has a wide variety of university accommodation available, to suit different budgets. Factors such as room type and length of contract will affect the overall cost – this webpage shows the differences in fees.

Whether you live in catered or self-catered accommodation, there is always someone you can contact, if you are experiencing any difficulties. The contact information can be found here.

The Students’ Union Advice Centre can help you with a range of accommodation issues, throughout your studies.

 If you choose to live in private accommodation from your second year, the University of Nottingham has partnered with Your Guarantor who can act as your UK guarantor if you need one.  Details of the scheme can be found on our Your Guarantor webpage.

Induction support

Kick Start induction programme

Before term starts, the Widening Participation team provides a two-day induction event for mature, care experienced and estranged students. 

This is not to single you out, but to help you settle in. It is a chance to meet other students from similar backgrounds, as well as workshops to give you some key information on finance, academic support, careers guidance and your wellbeing, ahead of starting your studies.

Contact our team for more information about Kick Start.

Useful links

Here is a range of organisations* and resources that may help you to consider higher education:

*The University of Nottingham is not responsible for the content on external websites.


Contact us

If you need any specific support before coming to university, you can contact Blake L: