Financial Support for Estranged Students

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Financial Support for Estranged Students

What financial support is available for estranged students in higher education?

We understand that managing finances and navigating the student experience independently as an estranged student can be complicated. Remember, LEAPS are here to help. You can call or email our named contact for estranged students, Jo Stubbs, if you have any questions or concerns She will be happy to help you.


All Scottish or eligible students should apply to SAAS to cover tuition fees, and for the relevant Student Bursary and Loans. 

New and continuing eligible estranged students undertaking an eligible undergraduate course can apply to SAAS for:


  • A funding package of tuition fees. As long as you apply on time and provide the relevant info, SAAS will cover the cost of your tuition fees for each year of study.
  • An Independent Student Bursary (£1000). You do not have to pay this money back, and should be eligible to receive it every year of your studies.
  • An optional loan of up to £6750, depending on your income. It is more than likely that as a self-supporting student, you will qualify for the maximum amount. This loan must be repaid, but only after you have graduated and are earning enough money to pay it back.

Find out more about the financial SAAS support available for estranged students in their Support for students who are estranged from their parents document.


Scholarships, bursaries and other financial support

​You may also be eligible for extra funding in the form of bursaries or scholarships – these are financial awards that do not have to be paid back and are available from universities and colleges. Provision varies considerably between different organisations, so it’s worth spending some time searching on university and/or college websites to see what financial support might be available to you. It could make a big difference! You can also contact Student Services at individual institutions to talk through your situation, get more information and find out what support is available. You can access a list of some of the contacts for estranged students at universities across the UK here, but please let us know if you need any more guidance on this.

Aside from universities and colleges, you may also be eligible for additional financial support from charities and educational trusts. The Buttle Trust, for example, frequently support estranged young people through education and training – providing funding for equipment, computers, travel costs, gym memberships and more. You could be eligible for financial support of up to £2000. In order to receive this, your application will need to be done in collaboration with a support worker/social worker etc. If you are unsure about who would be best placed to assist you with this process, please get in touch with us at LEAPS and we will be happy to advise.


Student accommodation

Some students choose to stay where they are and commute to and from college or university, and some students choose to move away to be close to university/college – whatever feels right for you! If you are thinking of moving into student accommodation, one of the main things to consider is how you will fund this. Again it’s a good idea to check out if the university or college you are applying to offers any support, as often they will have a policy in place for helping estranged students with accommodation. For example, some universities partner with the Unite Foundation to offer the Unite Foundation Scholarship, which gives free year-round accommodation to care experienced and estranged students. Find out more about the Unite Foundation Scholarship here. (Please note, the scholarship application DEADLINE of 1 June 2022). 


Other support

The charity Stand Alone offers support for estranged individuals. They can give guidance and advice on managing estrangement generally, as well as on specific issues faced by estranged students. In addition, they are working with universities and colleges across Scotland and the rest of the UK to ensure as many institutions as possible commit to the Stand Alone Pledge, in order to improve and sustain institutional support for estranged students.


Blog image tile reproduced with kind permission from Estranged Students: Illustrating the Issues. Glasgow: University of Strathclyde by Taylor, Y., Costa, C., & Singh, S. (2019).