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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 family 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. 

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: 

  • 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) 
  • they expect this situation to be irreconcilable. 
Support available at the University of Warwick: 

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 Warwick Hardship Fund (WHF) when you are in attendance on your course. The Warwick Hardship Fund is 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 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 


If you have specific accommodation needs due to your situation, information can be found at: 
Warwick Accommodation 
Wellbeing and Student Support 
Students’ Union 

Academic Issues  

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) 

Study Skills support is also available via Student Careers & Skills and the Library .  


Wellbeing Support Services are always happy support you if you find that your circumstances are impacting upon your Wellbeing. You can attend an initial consultation with one our team to discuss your concerns and the support available. 

External Support

Stand Alone