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 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.
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 a prospective student please visit the following pages for information on the pre-entry support we offer to Care Experienced Students:
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.Find out about the people on hand to support, help you and ways you can get involved.
"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."
- Current student
You can hear our students talking about the support on offer by watching this YouTube video.
The University of York’s Access and Outreach Team offers specific support, advice and guidance to care experienced students at the pre-entry stage.
We have a dedicated Access and Outreach Manager, Vanessa Conman, who is here to support you in thinking about your future and pathways to university, along with other members of the Access and Outreach Team.
Vanessa’s contact details:
Email address: email@example.com
Phone number: 01904 326648
As a care experienced young person you have access to the following:
On Track Programme
On Track is our dedicated outreach programme aimed at young people aged 10-25 who have had experience of being in care. This is currently for young people who live in York and North Yorkshire. On Track is run in partnership with FutureHY and other local education partners.
If you live outside of York and North Yorkshire, we have a programme of online activities to support you in thinking about your future. Please get in touch with us for more information.
We are also planning on delivering a programme called ‘Supporting the Supporters’ in 2022, which is aimed at foster carers.
We welcome and encourage talented students from all backgrounds to apply to York. Not everyone has had an equal opportunity to demonstrate their ability at school or college. Barriers can include the type of school you attended, where you live and other social and economic factors. Contextual offers promote fairness – they allow us to look at more than just exam results to assess potential and recognise achievements in context.
We are pleased to tell you that as a care experienced student, we can offer you a contextual offer. This means that you can get an offer that is up to 2 grades lower than the typical offer published in our prospectus. It also means that you will be guaranteed an invitation to interview by any departments that undertake interviews.
Additionally, if you successfully complete one of our Access and Outreach programmes, you could be guaranteed an interview or offer to study at York and may also be eligible for an alternative Widening Participation offer up to three grades below the typical offer. To find out more about our widening participation programmes, contact Vanessa.
We can also offer advice and signposting if you do not receive an offer, or do not meet your offer.
Sign up for our newsletter
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. If you'd like to sign up to receive the newsletter, click here
Support with transition to University
Starting university is a daunting time for most students. Our dedicated contact for care experienced students will be in touch with you regularly during the few weeks before you start at York and continuing throughour your time with us. The dedicated contact can support you with the logistics of organising your move to York, and ensuring you have everything you need in your accommodation. This includes offering you with a free kitchen and bedding pack, suitcase for bringing your belongings, and we can contribute financially to your moving costs.
Student Buddying Scheme
Through the student buddying scheme, you can be put in touch with a second or third year student. This student buddy/ mentor will help you settle into university life and get the most out of your first year here.
The Step Ahead induction programme is designed to support new undergraduate students with their transition to university life and give them the best possible start at York. As a care experienced student, your attendance is welcomed.
There is plenty of support available to ensure you get the most out of your time at University.
We offer a Care Leavers' Bursary to students who meet ALL of the following criteria:
The bursary can be used towards a range of opportunities or activities. Examples include: driving lessons, funding an internship, travel costs, study materials, childcare and Students’ Union society activities.
York Opportunity Scholarship
The York Opportunity Scholarship has been established to provide support to talented students who have the academic potential to study at York and who have faced significant barriers to their educational goals.
We have a number of financial awards financial awards for students wishing to pursue organised and independent international travel projects during their studies at York. When you come to York you'll be given information and invited to events where you can find out about funding and the international experiences that are on offer.
Further sources of information on funding, bursaries and grants can be found here:
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, maths and delivering a presentation.
Careers Advice and Employment Support
As a care experienced student, you will be guaranteed an interview for the role of Student Ambassador, as long as you complete the application form to the best of your abilities. The Student Ambassador role is a flexible, paid, part-time position where you will be an ambassador for the university and a role model for prospective students. In addition to this role being a great opportunity to earn some money, it will also help you develop skills in communication, team work, social and cultural awareness, and problem solving.
You can access personalised information and advice from an experienced team of staff, both on campus in the Careers and Placements building and remotely via phone, email and Zoom. Appointments can be booked via Handshake.
We would encourage and support you to take up a wide range of opportunities available to you at York which build your readiness to find, compete for and secure the career options you want. The York Futures Scholarship programme will enable you to take full advantage of the many exciting personal and professional development opportunities available to you, such as work experience, placements, study abroad and placement years. Through the programme, you can apply for financial and practical support to suit your ambitions at the different stages of your time at York. For instance, we would encourage you to consider a year in industry or year abroad study and/or work option , for which you could be eligible for an award of £6,000.
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.
In addition to the support you will receive from the dedicated contact for care experienced students, there are plenty of people you can approach for advice or a chat when you are at York, including your college team, your academic supervisor, YUSU, Open Door team, Disability services and colleagues in the Student Hub.
Please note, we can also offer support to care experienced students studying at York who are from outside the UK. Please get in touch with our dedicated contact for more information.
Free year round accommodation for the duration of your course
We will offer free accommodation (currently capped at £130 per week), to students who meet ALL of the following criteria:
For students in their first year, the free accommodation applies to living on campus. Continuing students can choose whether to apply this 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
If you have accepted either a firm or insurance place at York and apply for University accommodation by 31 May, 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 advance payment when you accept your room. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Support with transition to university - 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. Fran Hornsby is this key contact. If you have indicated on your UCAS form that you are a care experienced student, Fran will automatically be in touch with you. However, you can also contact her 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).
Fran’s contact details:
Email address: email@example.com
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.