Support for students who are care-experienced or estranged

Students sit outside in the sun at Marshgate campus
Students sit outside in the sun at Marshgate campus
UCL Accommodation is committed to supporting students who are care-experienced or estranged, and we encourage students to apply for accommodation in our Halls.

UCL recognises that when securing accommodation, students who are care-experienced and estranged can face difficulties that their peers are less likely to experience. The following support is offered to care-experienced and estranged students:
  • The opportunity for 365 days of accommodation
  • Accommodation in all’years of study
  • Guaranteed accommodation in our halls

To be allocated UCL Accommodation, you must apply through the UCL Accommodation Portal. In the application form, we have a section on ’additional requirements’ where you have the option to select whether you are care-experienced or estranged. There is no requirement to provide evidence of your status.

After the application has been submitted, students can contact the Accommodation Office to provide information, if needed.

Care-experienced students

A care experienced student has been in the care of, or been given accommodation by, their local authority (LA) for a period of at least 13 weeks before the age of 16 and hasn’t reconciled with their parents between leaving care and starting their course.

By this, we mean:
  • foster care
  • residential care home
  • living under the supervision of the local authority/state

Estranged students

An estranged student is aged 25 or under and has been classified as an independent student. Estranged means that you no longer have contact with your parents or legal guardians due to a permanent breakdown in your relationship. This might mean that your biological, step or adoptive parents, or wider family members are no longer responsible for supporting you. This does not include choosing to live away from your family during your studies or studying abroad.

If a student states that they are estranged, the Accommodation Office will confirm their status with Student Funding. We do this to ensure the status is recorded correctly, so the student receives support during their time at UCL. Student Funding will have access to the student’s status with Student Finance England (SFE) as an independent student. Only UK students will have access to SFE and can declare themselves as independent in this way.

UCL Rent Guarantor Scheme

If you choose not to live in UCL Accommodation, you can use the UCL Rent Guarantor Scheme.

The Scheme assists eligible full-time UCL students to rent private accommodation that might not otherwise be available, by UCL acting as a guarantor where the student is unable to secure any other UK-based rent guarantor.

The Scheme is open to UK students in exceptional circumstances, such as care-experience or estrangement.

UCL Accommodation’s support for care-experienced and estranged students complements the existing support available at UCL from Student Support and Wellbeing. UCL has been recognised by the charity Stand Alone for pledging its effort to develop the support for estranged students.
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