Support for Care Leavers

At the University of York we are committed to providing the support our students need so that everyone achieves their full potential and has an exceptional and transformational experience.

The information on the tabs below details the support we offer to care leavers studying at York, how to access this and who to contact at the University if you're a care leaver. 

If you are a prospective student please visit the following pages for information on the pre-entry support we offer to Care Leavers:

One of our current students, Esther, has produced a short digital story about her experience coming to study at York as a Care Leaver. 


Accessing support

If you answered 'yes' to the question on your UCAS form that asked if you have ever been in care, UCAS will have let us know and following this you should have received an email from us. If you are a care leaver and for whatever reason did not answer ‘yes’ when asked on the UCAS form you can still access support, you just need to get in touch with our care leavers’ contact.

We also offer support to students who are currently living, or have previously lived, in a Foyer, again you just need to get in touch with our care leavers’ contact.

Support when you're studying at York

There is plenty of dedicated support available at the University to help support you during your time here. This includes:

  • Support when you first arrive – starting university can be a daunting time. The care leavers’ contact will be in touch with you regularly during your first term at York in order to help you settle in.
  • Financial support – we offer a Care Leaver and Foyer Bursary to students who meet ALL of the following criteria:
    • You are a Home UK student
    • You will be under 25 on the first day of your university course
    • For any three month period ending after your 16th birthday and before the first day of the first academic year of your course you have been in the custody of, in legal care of, or have been given accommodation by a Local Authority BUT you have not been under the legal care of your parents

We will look at the information provided in your Student Finance England application and if you meet ALL of the above criteria Nicola Browne, the Student Support Co-ordinator, will be in touch in the first week of term to arrange a time to meet with you. At this meeting Nicola will discuss with you how you would like your bursary to be paid (towards your accommodation costs; towards your tuition fees or in cash) as well as having a general chat with you about University life. We will aim to pay the first instalment of your bursary by the end of November.

If you are already studying at York you can find information on the format of the Care Leaver and Foyer Bursary you are entitled to on the York Bursaries for Current Students webpage. 

If you find yourself in unexpected financial difficulty while you are studying we can tell you about hardship and emergency funding. If you decide to apply for this, as a care leaver, you will be prioritised for an award. 

  • Flexible accommodation contracts - we offer flexible accommodation contracts for care leavers so that you can stay in university accommodation during the holidays if you would like to.
  • 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, through the Rent Guarantee Scheme, the University will consider acting as your guarantor in order to enable you to rent in the private sector.
  • Study skills support – the academic support office can help you develop a number of key study skills to improve your academic experience, including skills in academic reading and writing, IT and maths and delivering a presentation.
  • Access to all our support services – you will be able to access a range of specialist support while you’re studying at York, including: counselling, disability support, financial advice and support relating to careers and employment.

Please note, we can also offer some support to care leavers studying at York who are from outside the UK. Please get in touch with our care leavers’ contact for more information. 

Care leavers' contact

Nicola Browne, the Student Support Co-ordinator at the University of York, is the key contact for care leavers. If you have indicated on your UCAS form that you are a care leaver Nicola will automatically be in touch with you. However, you can also contact Nicola at any time (even if you did not disclose your care leaver status on your UCAS application) if you have any questions or concerns relating to university life. Nicola’s contact details are:

Email address:

Phone number: 01904 324334