Why would a university want to know if I am care experienced?

Growing up in care means you are entitled to a range of practical support, if you want it. This might be support during your application (e.g. events to help you with your transition to university), financial assistance, year-round accommodation, or help with managing your health and wellbeing.

When you give this information, you're letting the university know that you may need additional support during your studies. They may get in touch to tell you more about the benefits and options open to you – you can then decide if you’d like to access these forms of support.

Knowing about your circumstances may also help admissions staff consider your achievements in context. This is called ‘contextualised admissions’, and the aim is 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).

It will not reflect negatively on your application, and some universities and colleges may make you a ‘contextual offer,’ which is typically lower than the standard entry requirements. In Scotland, you're guaranteed a place at university if you are care experienced and meet the minimum entry requirements.

Please note, the availability and level of support will vary between institutions, and not all students will be eligible for support at every university or college. As such, we strongly recommend you contact the university or college as early as possible to discuss any support needs you may have – however small or major they may seem – and to find out what support is available. They will support you to make a smooth transition to university and succeed in your ongoing studies, in a way that works for you.

Here's a list of the points of contact for care experienced students at universities around the UK.

read more frequently asked questions