Best care leavers’ scholarships and bursaries

This month saw the announcement that Buttle UK are phasing out their Quality Mark which was initiated to raise awareness of the challenges faced by care leavers and looked after children in progressing successfully to higher and further education. 

Since its implementation more than half the universities across the country and an increasing number of further education colleges have been awarded the Quality Mark demonstrating their commitment to raising the aspirations of students from care and to supporting them in achieving in their studies.

The additional support and funding offered to care leavers is now wide ranging and recognises the additional challenges faced by care leavers in achieving their aspirations to study for a degree.

Here is a selection of the best care leaver opportunities available. Some are scholarships and will carry other eligibility criteria; some are bursaries which will be automatic if you have been in care. To find more, select “Personal circumstances” as the reason for the award in our scholarships database.


HSBC Educational Scholarship – Sheffield University

Five scholarships available offering free tuition and £1,000 cash per year for up to four years for students entering the university who have spent a significant amount of time in care.

Care Leavers Scholarship – University of Gloucester

15 scholarships available of up to £13,500 a year for new entrants who have been in care for more than 13 weeks prior to starting at the university.

Care Leavers Award – University of Sussex

£3,000 per year with an additional £500 in your first year if you have been in care for a minimum of 3 months from the age of 14 and you are under 25 on entry to your course.

Care Leavers Bursary – Newcastle University

£2,000 a year for students who have experienced local authority care for a period of at least 3 months, within the last 10 years.

BU Care Leavers Bursary – Bournemouth University

£16,000 over 3 years for students with a household income of £25,000 or less who have been in care for three months or more in the last five years.

Care Leavers Opportunity Bursary – University of Liverpool

To be eligible for this award of £3,000 per year you will have spent 6 months in care over the last 10 years prior to making your application and be under the age of 28.



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