Accessibility statement

Support for care experienced students and care leavers

The term 'care experienced' refers to anyone who has been, or is currently, in care. This care may have been provided in many different settings, including living with foster carers; living in a residential children's home; being looked after at home under a supervision order; living with friends or relatives in kinship care.

If you are a prospective student we offer pre-entry support to Care Experienced Students:

Care Leaver Covenant

The term 'care leaver' means that you are care experienced and that you will have been in the care of your local authority for at least 13 weeks at any time since the age of 14 (the 13 weeks does not need to have been all one go). This care will have finished on, or after, your 16th birthday. 

If you are unsure whether you have care leaver status, you can check with your leaving care team, personal adviser or see the Coram Voice website for more support. If you haven’t been assessed as a care leaver by Student Finance but think you meet the criteria, please get in touch by emailing or phoning +44 (0)1904 324140. 

One of our recent graduates, Esther, produced a short digital story about her experience coming to study at York as a care leaver and you can also find out more about our support for care experienced students by watching this YouTube video.

"Having a dedicated contact for care leavers really made me feel warmly welcomed to the university. I believe that having this contact is a huge contributing factor as to why I love York. It means I have someone to talk to who is aware of the help I am entitled to and I don't have to explain my past for them to understand my point of view."

Support before you arrive

Support before you arrive

Our Access and Outreach Team offers specific support, advice, and guidance to care experienced students at the pre-entry stage.

Our dedicated Access and Outreach Manager, Vanessa Conman, is here to support you in thinking about your future and pathways to university.

Vanessa’s contact details:
Email address:
Phone number: +44 (0)1904 326648

More information about the pre-entry support we can offer you


Are you a professional who supports care experienced students? We send out a quarterly newsletter to keep partners at local authorities and other organisations up to date with our work in this area. 

Sign up to receive the Access and Outreach Newsletter

Support while you're studying

Financial support

We offer a Care Leavers' Bursary to students who meet all of the following criteria:

Free sports membership

You can make the most of our facilities at the York Sport Village and York Sport Centre, with a free off-peak membership or discounted full membership. Our dedicated contact will be in touch with you to offer this at the beginning of the academic year. 


Accommodation subsidy for the duration of your course

We will offer an accommodation subsidy (currently capped at £130 per week), to students who meet all of the following criteria:

  • You are studying an undergraduate degree course
  • You are a UK student, with a 'Home' fee status. If you're unsure whether you're classed as a UK or international student for fee purposes, check your fee status
  • You will be under 25 on the first day of your university course
  • You have care leaver status* and have been assessed as a care leaver by Student Finance

Depending on which accommodation you choose, this means that your accommodation could be entirely free, and gives you the flexibility to choose something which you feel will suit you best. 

For example, if you choose accommodation which costs £147 per week, once the subsidy has been applied of £130, the cost to you would be £17 per week. 

The accommodation subsidy can be applied to either on campus or off-campus accommodation.

The package is available for each year of full-time study for the duration of the course, reduced by 50% for full-year sandwich placements or study abroad years.

* A Care Leaver is someone who has been in the care of the Local Authority for a period of 13 weeks or more, and spanning their 16th birthday. 

Flexible accommodation contracts

For new undergraduate students, if you accept York as your firm or insurance choice and apply for University accommodation by 8 June 2023, we guarantee you an offer of a room owned, managed or approved by the University. You'll also be able to stay in University accommodation for 365 days of the year should you need to.

The sooner we know that you're a care experienced student, the better we'll be able to help. Even if you're making a late application, let us know your situation as soon as possible. Our 40 and 44-week lets cover both the Easter and Christmas holiday while our 50-week lets cover summer too. Even If you want to live in York over the summer, you can still include shorter let lengths in your preferences. You can apply to live on campus for the summer nearer the time if you choose to do this.

Many students will move into private sector accommodation for their second year. As you won't know what your plans are yet, we'd advise you to select a 40 or 44-week let length to keep your options open. If you choose one of these shorter let lengths, we still guarantee you a room over the summer so that you can stay longer if you would like to. We suggest you don't choose a 38-week let length as this would mean moving your belongings out of your room during Easter.

The university usually asks for a £200 payment after you accept your room offer. However, we can defer the payment until your first term's rent is due in October. Please let us know if you would like to defer payment in the supporting comments section when you apply for accommodation. 

We understand you may require additional information to help make your accommodation choices and are happy to discuss individual requirements. You can get in touch via email at or by phone on +44 (0)1904 322165. Please visit our accommodation web page for further information.

Support renting private sector accommodation

After your first year at York, you may decide to rent shared private sector accommodation that requires a UK-based rent guarantor. If you don’t have a UK-based guarantor, the University will act as your guarantor through the Rent Guarantee Scheme.

Storage of belongings

We can pay for storage of your belongings during the summer break or if you decide to do a sandwich placements or study abroad year.

Dedicated contact

Dedicated contact

Starting university is a daunting time for most students. At York, we have a dedicated contact for care experienced students, so that you have a single point of contact both before you get here and during your studies at York. Daniel Hall is the key contact. If you have indicated on your UCAS form that you are a care experienced student, Daniel will automatically be in touch with you. However, you can also get in touch at anytime if you have any questions or concerns relating to university life (even if you did not disclose your care experienced status on your UCAS application).

Daniel can:

  • meet with you when you start at York
  • offer support throughout your studies and direct you to other appropriate University services
  • keep you updated with news and opportunities through regular communications
  • put you in touch with other care experienced students at the University, if you would like this. There are a number of social activities that you can go along to - they are a fun and informal way to meet other care experienced students.
  • put you in touch with a current student who can meet you on arrivals day, help you settle in and take you for lunch. Where possible, this student will also be a care experienced student
  • offer you tailored budgeting advice that will help you manage your money effectively and meet your essential costs, while still being able to enjoy yourself!

Daniel's contact details:

Email address:

Phone number: +44 (0)1904 324140

We recognise that you may not want to tell anyone else at the university that you are a care experienced student. This information will be kept confidential and will only be shared if you give consent to share.