Skip to main content

Estranged students (no parental support)

Are you studying without the support of your family?

We understand that studying without family support can be a difficult and stressful experience. Young people who have a permanent lack of contact with their parents may have additional considerations when applying and studying in higher education. These should not, however, be seen as barriers to entering or progressing at university.

At the University of Warwick we are committed to supporting all students. We have a range of different ways to support you, should you need it whilst studying with us.

We know not all students will want to use our services and you are under no obligation to do so but we believe it is still useful to know exactly what is available and to keep you updated, in case you decide you need additional help or support at a later date.

How do we define estranged students?

The Office for Students states that students who are ‘estranged’ have no communicative relationship with either of their living biological parents and often their wider family networks as well. Local authorities have no statutory responsibility to look after the welfare of these young people, or provide accommodation in the holiday periods (as they do for care leavers who have been in care for at least thirteen weeks spanning their sixteenth birthday).

Student Finance England and NHS Student Bursaries must assess estranged students for financial support on their own household income and not that of their biological parent(s). To be eligible, students normally have to provide evidence from an independent trusted person (e.g. teacher or social worker) that:

  1. they have had no written or verbal contact from their parents for 12 months before the start of their course (exceptions to this timescale can be made in extreme circumstances)
  2. they expect this situation to be irreconcilable.
Support we offer

Everyone is different. That’s why we’ll work with you to create a personalised package of support. This package can be reviewed at any time to suit you.

The University offers a network of support available to Warwick students. You are welcome to contact us with any queries or concerns.

Examples of issues colleagues may be able to help you with are:

Finance  Accommodation Academic Issues

Providing you with student funding help and advice

If you are a Home undergraduate student you may be eligible for a non-repayable bursary of up to £3,000pa through the Warwick Undergraduate Bursaries programme. The bursaries are intended to help with course related costs and full details of the eligibility criteria can be found on the Student Funding website.

You may also be eligible to apply to the Access to Learning Fund when you are in attendance on your course. The Access to Learning Fund is a hardship fund intended to help students in financial difficulty with day-to-day expenses and course related costs, such as accommodation, transport, books and utilities. Further information about the Access to Learning Fund can be found on the Student Funding website.

Please also see the Student Funding website for details of other scholarship and bursary opportunities that you may be eligible to apply for.

If you have any queries about the financial support you may be entitled to during your course, Helen Cherrington in the Student Funding Office will be happy to help. She can be contacted by emailing H dot Cherrington at warwick dot ac dot uk or telephoning 024 7657 5327.

If you need help with this process of proving estrangement to Student Finance England, you might like to contact the Students’ Union for advice.

Further information can be found at:
Stand Alone

Providing you with accommodation advice

If you have specific accommodation needs due to your situation, please contact the University for advice. (Vacation accommodation is generally available to book – please ask for advice).

Information can be found at:
Warwick Accommodation
Wellbeing Support Services
Students’ Union

Supporting you with academic issues, including liaising with your academic department and tutors if you wish

You will be allocated a personal tutor/supervisor, whilst at Warwick and we suggest that this person is aware of anything which impacts your ability to study.

Information can be found at:
Your academic department (Personal Tutor/Supervisor/Department Senior Tutor/Dean of Students' Office)
Students’ Union

Offering advice about other University services - Wellbeing Support can signpost you to relevant services.
Being someone to talk to if you need to - Wellbeing Support is always happy to be a first port of call.
Offering you Study Skills support - Student Careers & Skills and the Library can help.
Meeting you at University events, such as Open Days

Information can be found at:
Wellbeing Support Services
Students’ Union

External Support:
Stand Alone
UCAS