Accessibility statement

Support for Students with Care Experience and Care Leavers

The term 'care experience' 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 students with care experience:

Care Leaver Covenant

The term 'care leaver' means that you have care experience and that you 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:

One of our recent graduates, Esther, produced a short digital story about her experience coming to study at York as a care leaver. You can find out more about our support for students with care experience in our 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 students with care experience 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:

Learn more about pre-entry support


Are you a professional who supports students with care experience? 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 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. 

Social events 

There are social events that take place throughout the year to make sure that you can meet with other independent students including a Christmas Party and Christmas Day Lunch.

Graduation celebration

To make sure you get to celebrate your achievements we arrange an additional graduation celebration event and leaving gift.

College Music Scheme

Free access to music facilities and opportunities in your college.


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.

Flexible accommodation contracts

For new undergraduate students, if you accept York as your firm choice and apply for University accommodation by 31 July 2024, 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 student with care experience, the better we'll be able to help. Even if you're making a late application, let us know as soon as possible. Our 40 and 44-week lets cover both the Christmas and Easter holiday. If you want to live in York over the summer 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.

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 placement 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 students with care experience 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 have care experience, Daniel will automatically be in touch with you. However, you can also get in touch at any time 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 students with care experience 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 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 student with care experience.
  • 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:

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