Why would a university or college want to know if I am a carer?

Balancing your studies with the responsibility of caring for another person can be challenging, so many universities and colleges provide specific support for student carers.

Support could include:

  • financial help – e.g. a bursary
  • academic assistance – e.g. help to manage your workload
  • or even support to manage your health and wellbeing.

When you give this information, you're letting the university know about your circumstances in case you need additional support during your studies. They may get in touch with more information about the support available – and to discuss whether you want to access it. Remember any support provided is designed to ensure you have a fair chance to succeed in your studies.

Knowing about your circumstances may also help admissions staff to take your achievements into account and gain a better understanding of these achievements and potential in context. It won't reflect negatively on your application or academic ability, but instead will enable them to form a more complete picture of you as an individual and identify applicants who have the potential to succeed – even if their personal circumstances have affected their attainment (e.g. exam grades).

We recommend you contact your university as early as possible to discuss your circumstances and any support needs you may have – however small or major they may seem. This will help you to make a smooth transition to university and succeed in your ongoing studies.

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