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Support for Care Leavers

Nottingham College recognises the unique challenges faced by care leavers when entering higher education.

Embarking on a degree can be daunting for any student but in particular for care leavers, who may not have support structures at home to help. 

Here at Nottingham College, we are keen to welcome and support care leavers on all of our higher education programmes. With smaller than average class sizes, we have a close-knit student community and supportive staff who will soon get to know you personally. We are happy to offer support, advice and guidance from initial enquiry and application, all the way through your chosen course to graduation.

If you’re a care leaver from England or Wales starting HE study for the first time before your 25th birthday, you may be entitled to a one-off bursary from your local authority.

The amounts and timings of bursary payments are usually agreed between yourself and the authority. Please contact your authority directly for further information.

As well as our Special Support Bursary, the College offers an additional Care Leavers’ Bursary of £2,000 for each year of university study. There will be an application form in your Welcome Pack. Tick the box on the form to confirm that you are a Care Leaver and provide evidence in the form of a letter - on headed paper - from your Leaving Care Worker, Social Worker, Personal Adviser, local authority or another professional person (such as your Head Teacher).

To qualify for the Care Leavers’ Bursary you must be:

  • Studying a full-time undergraduate course;
  • A UK student under the age of 25 at the start of your course;
  • A Care Leaver – according to the Buttle UK definition: “…a person who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14 and who was in care on their 16th birthday.”

Once you’ve started your course, you’ll normally receive quite large sums of money in one go - so you should manage this carefully to last through the term. As this may be the first time you’ve had to handle large sums of money, our HE Student Finance and Welfare Officer is very experienced in student finance matters and can provide advice and guidance on budgeting.

We will consider all applications from care leavers on an individual basis. The offer of a place may be based on any special circumstances outlined in the application. Whilst we recommend keeping to UCAS advisory deadlines, we are happy to consider applications throughout the applications cycle. Late applicants (such as those received during the Clearing period) will receive equal consideration where course vacancies still exist.

You can find out more information on how to apply from the UCAS website.

If you have any issues or concerns prior to arrival or during your time at Nottingham College, we have a named contact for care leavers.

Our HE Student Finance and Welfare Officer, is on hand to help with all aspects of your student life.

The following UK-based organisations provide useful resources and can offer support and guidance for care leavers preparing to enter Higher Education:

The HE Student Finance and Welfare Office will treat all matters in confidence and will only refer to other departments or agencies with your permission. 

You can contact them on 0115 838 0612 or by email at he.​enquiries@​nottinghamcollege.​ac.​uk