Care Experienced

A care leaver is generally someone who has been in the care of their local authority for a period of 13 weeks or more around their 16th birthday. You could have been in foster care or living in residential accommodation.

We provide support for all students that have been in care, even if you don’t fit this definition. We call this care-experienced.

  • If you fit this definition you should receive support, including financial help, from your local authority’s Leaving Care Team to come to university.
  • If you need help sorting this out or you do not know if you are entitled to support please contact askUS through or on +44 (0)161 295 0023 (option 1, option 3).
  • If you’re not sure whether you are care-experienced or if you want information and advice on your rights then there’s a useful quiz on the Coram Voice website that you can use.

We’re here to answer any of your questions. Get in contact with us so we can help you.
Phone: +44 (0)161 295 0023 (option 1, option 3)

Before attending university

Both the UCAS and the University of Salford online registration form ask whether you have been in care. This is because we recognise that some care-experienced students may face different and/or multiple hurdles in coming to university and succeeding to the best of your ability, and we want to offer you as much support as possible.

Letting us know that you have been in care will not affect the outcome of your application but will allow us to give you the best support possible if you need it.

Finding out more about our university

We understand that coming to university is a big decision and we’d recommend that you come and visit us for yourselves before you apply so that you can see exactly what we do.

  • We can organise bespoke visit days for you where you can meet the care-experienced specialists within askUS, have a tour of the campus and meet lecturers from your course of preference to ask any questions that you may have.
  • You are welcome to visit by yourself, or with anyone that you’d like with you.
  • If you’d like us to set up a visit day, then please email us on

Student finance funding

Students that fit into the legal definition of Care Leaver are also entitled to the full amount of maintenance loan from Student Finance, which for the 2023/24 academic year is £9,978. We’d recommend applying for Student Finance before the Easter of the year that you are planning on coming to Salford. This is to give the Student Loans Company plenty of time to approve your application. If you are care-experienced but not a care leaver, you still may be able to get the full amount via being ‘estranged’ from your parents. Talk to us.

If you have any questions about Student Finance, please contact us on +44 (0)161 295 0023 (option 2, option 3) or on

Starting university

Some students prefer a fresh start and don’t want to be ‘labelled’ as being care-experienced. We understand this, but only the care-experienced specialists within askUS will know unless you give us permission to tell someone else. We will occasionally email you to tell you about great support opportunities like bursaries. If you no longer want any contact from us, please email us to let us know and we will remove you from our contact lists.

Once you’ve completed your application to the University, you will receive a welcome email from the askUS team inviting you to come in and meet the team. There’s no pressure to accept this, but if you’d like to come and see us and learn about the support that we can offer then we’ll be happy to arrange it. You may find our FAQ section helpful as you’ll find answers to some of the most common questions that we receive.

During your studies

Financial support

Care Experienced Bursary

The main financial support that we offer care-experienced students is the Care Experienced Bursary. You can see our Terms and Conditions at the bottom of this webpage.

  • This bursary is worth £1,100 per academic year and is paid to you in two instalments, £550 in November and £550 in March.
  • You will receive this for each year of your study, but not for any repeat years that you undertake or under certain circumstances if you change courses.
  • If you have ticked that you are care-experienced on the UCAS and Online Registration form then we will contact you to apply for the bursary.
  • If you haven’t heard anything from us by October after you’ve registered then please contact us on
  • Please see the information at the bottom of this webpage for the full terms and conditions for this bursary.
Guaranteed work

We also guarantee work for any care leaver that would like to be employed through our Student Insight Ambassador scheme.

  • This is flexible work to fit around your studies and involves working at open days and visit days to show care experienced applicants around the University, working at outreach events and promoting the work that we do as care leaver specialists in askUS.
  • This is organised through our onsite temporary job agency, Unitemps who can also help you find employment in other areas of the university and in external companies.
Additional financial support
  • If you find yourself in financial hardship, you can apply for the Salford Support Fund.
  • There are also some charities that provide grants or bursaries that you may want to apply for. To find out more about these, please look at the ‘External Links’ section at the bottom of this accordion.
  • When you get to the end of your course, you may need help with paying for gown hire for Graduation. If you’d like us to support you with the cost of this, then please get in contact with us at

Accommodation support

Student Halls

Staying in student halls can be part of the fun of coming to university, but it may be worth chatting to your local authority before signing any contracts as they may be able to provide you with long-term accommodation prior to coming to university.

If you stay with our Partner Accommodation that’s run by Campus Living Villages (Peel Park Quarter or John Lester and Eddie Coleman) then we may be able to provide additional support.

  • CLV offer 52-week contracts for care-experienced students to make the gap between academic years easier for you by letting you stay in their accommodation over summer.
  • They can organise for you to book your room without paying the deposit and rental advance up front, and delaying it until the first instalment of your student loan comes in.
  • If required, we can organise for you to stay at the accommodation for all three years of your study through our ‘Protected Returner’ scheme.

If you’d like to find out more about any of the above, please get in contact with us.

Accommodation scholarship

We are also University partners with the Unite Foundation, who have a scholarship that can provide up to three years of free accommodation whilst you’re at university. You can find out how to apply via the This Is Us website. If you’re successful you’ll get your accommodation without having to pay rent or bills for up to three years

Accommodation guarantors

We’ve also become partners with Housing Hand, which can act as a guarantor for your accommodation.

  • If you’re in your first or second year at university then we may be able to cover the cost of using Housing Hand.
  • If you’ve not yet started at Salford then we have an exclusive price of £250 or 8 monthly payments of £35. Please contact the team for further information.
Additional accommodation support

If you ever need any advice or support on accommodation, then we have accommodation specialists within askUS who can help. We also work alongside Manchester Student Homes, who will check the legality of contracts and can provide a list of accredited student accommodation providers and landlords. Our accommodation specialists can be contacted on or by calling +44 (0)161 295 0023 (Option 4, Option 2).

Emotional support

The care leaver support specialists within askUS are here to be your first point of contact at the University and, while we usually only deal with non-academic enquiries, we can put you in contact with other areas of the uni. Email directly so we can provide you with support and set up a one-to-one appointment with you. 

  • It is completely normal to want or need to seek additional emotional support at university. We have a dedicated Wellbeing team who will be able to speak with you about anything that is worrying you and refer you into counselling if you’d like. They can be contacted on +44 (0)161 295 0023 (option 1, option 1), on email at or through the referral form.
  • We have a dedicated Disability Inclusion Service who can provide you with extra support if you live with a disability or learning difficulty. It’s best to contact them before you start university so they can get your support in place before you start. They can be called on +44 (0)161 295 0023 (option 1, option 2) or emailed on
  • We have also set up an instant messaging service to connect our care-experienced students and prospective students who are care-experienced. If you’re interested in joining, then please let us know by emailing
  • We also have a Microsoft Teams group for care experienced students where you can ask specialist advisers questions and talk to other care experienced students at University. This is a closed group for our advisers and other care experienced students. Contact us by email to let us know if you'd like to join.

Salford Bursary for Care Leavers and Care Experienced Students - Academic Year 2023/24

Last updated 3 January 2024

Bursary Terms and Conditions 2023-24

1. Award details

The £1,100 cash bursary is to support a student’s learning and living costs and is available to UK undergraduate full-time and part-time students verified as care leavers or care experienced and who were under the age of 26 when starting their course.  

A care leaver is a young person who has been in the care of, or has been given accommodation by, their local authority (LA) such as foster care or a children’s home for a period of at least 13 weeks Between their 14th and 16th birthday and including their 16th birthday.  

Care experienced is a wider term that means any person who has experienced care under the age of 18. This is not the same as being a ‘Child in Need’; to have experienced care there would generally need to be a court order for removal from the birth family. Anyone who does not fit into the 13-week rule above and does not received support from the local authority, but has at some point been removed from their birth parents would be considered care experienced. This could be for example if you have been adopted if you have a formal kinship care arrangement, or you experienced care before fourteen or after sixteen.  

We recognise that many care experienced people face the same challenges to care leavers but do not receive local authority support. We will include care experienced students for bursary allocation if they fit the other criteria for the bursary listed below.   

The fund is managed by the Campus and Student Life Team. All students who declare their status as a care leaver or care experienced either through UCAS or the Online Registration will need to be verified by the Campus and Student Life team before being awarded.

2. Value

Every eligible student will be awarded a £1,100 cash bursary each year of the minimum duration of their course. Part-time students will have access to the same amount as full-time students, but their awards will be pro-rated over the scheduled minimum duration of their courses.  

All verified care leavers or care experienced students who fit the eligibility criteria will be supported by the University. 

3. Eligibility

To receive the £1,100 bursary, (paid in two instalments of £550, one in trimester one and one in trimester two), students must meet all the following criteria:

  • Must be verified as a care leaver or eligible care experienced student by the Student Experience and Support team.
  • Must be studying a course either delivered by the University on the University’s main campus (including Media City) or at a UK partner college: Salford City College or Bury College.
  • Must be classed as a Home student (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man or Republic of Ireland) for fee purposes.
  • Must have consented to the sharing of data submitted to the Student Loans Company.
  • Must have been resident in the UK during the period of care (i.e. England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland also included is Republic of Ireland).
  • Must have met the required progression criteria for their course and successfully progress to the next level of study. 
  • Must not have been previously registered with the University for any course except where the student is progressing from a foundation course to the first year of an undergraduate course (level 4).

For the 2023/24 academic year:

  • Be registered on a full-time or part-time undergraduate course being delivered by the University at its main campus either at the University, a UK partner college AND must be paying the maximum undergraduate fee of £9,250 per year. This includes those students on a Higher National Certificate (HNC) course; or 
  • Be enrolled on a course of study that includes a Study abroad year, a one-year industry placement year, or a course that involves an integrated masters; or 
  • Be registered and studying a foundation course (level 3) delivered either by the University at its main campus or at a UK partner college: Salford City College or Bury College.

Bursaries will be awarded to those who meet the eligibility criteria at the University at the time of allocation.


Those not eligible for this bursary:

  • Students who have been looked after by family members or legal guardians (without the involvement of their LA), have a residency order, or have been given accommodation or supported housing by a charity.
  • Students who are not classed as home students for fees purposes, or whose fee status is unresolved.
  • Students who were not ordinarily resident in the UK (i.e. England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) or the Republic of Ireland.
  • Students from Wales receiving who are part of the Government Basic Income Pilot Scheme.
  • Students studying on a degree apprenticeship course. Apprentices who start their course after Friday 1 Sept 2023 will be eligible for a care Leaver bursary, but different criteria apply. For more information, please email
  • Students in receipt of the Estrangement Summer Bursary.
  • Students deferring entry – subject to awards still being available, students holding offers for a deferred entry will be considered for an award the year they start their course.
  • Students studying at postgraduate level. This does not include some MEng courses which are classified as undergraduate.  If you are unsure if your course is eligible, please email

4. Verification of care leaver / care-experienced (including kinship care) status 

  • Verification will be undertaken by the Campus and Student Life team, who will cross reference information provided through UCAS and Online Registration. Each student who has declared their status will be invited to attend a welcome session to verify their status and discuss their personalised learning support and eligibility for the Care Leavers’ Bursary.
  • Students who have self-declared as a care leaver or care experienced will be asked to provide evidence that they have been in care. For a care leaver this should be a matter of providing the letter that was submitted to the SLC from your local authority. If you are care experienced or do not have a relationship with your local authority, then you may need to either make contact with them again to write a letter stating that you are care experienced or provide another form of evidence such as adoption papers or court order papers. If you are finding it difficult to find evidence the Campus and Student Life team should be able to help you if you contact us early enough.
  • If the student is unable to provide the evidence asked for, the Campus and Student Life team will discuss this in further detail with the student directly.

5. Use of awards

 Awards are not transferrable.

6. Payment

  • Payments are expected to be made by the end of the November in the first trimester of study, and at the end of March in the second trimester of study.
  • All cash payments are paid through the Inspire scheme and details of how to download the cash will be provided when the award is made.
  • Payments must be downloaded within one month of payment. Failure to do so will mean loss of award.
  • If a student does not meet the eligibility criteria by Friday 10 November 2023, they will not receive the first instalment of this bursary for this academic year. If a student does not meet the eligibility criteria by Tuesday 12 March 2024, they will not receive the second instalment of this bursary for this academic year.
  • Any students not claiming their bursary may claim at a later stage in their course however, payments cannot be backdated.

7. Withdrawal or freezing of the award

  • Changing a course and starting again at level 3 (foundation year) or 4 (first year undergraduate). Students who, having started a course, subsequently change courses starting again at either level 3 or 4, will not be eligible for the award against the new course. The original award will remain, but there will be no second payment against the new course. Once the student progresses onto the next level up they will be eligible for the appropriate award to be made for that year of study.
  • Temporary breaks in study. Students who arrange with the University to interrupt or leave their course on a temporary basis will have their award frozen until they resume studies.
  • Suspension of study. If students are suspended by the University, their award will be frozen until the suspension has been lifted.
  • Repeat/extended study. Repeat periods of study and temporary breaks in study that lead to repeat periods of study will not qualify for any additional award. The award entitlement is for the scheduled minimum duration of the course and is not extended for any student.
  • Leaving or being removed from the course. Students who leave or are removed from their courses will not be expected to repay the amount of their awards which have already been spent. However, the accounts of these students will be closed and any remaining award will not be available to them and entitlement to all future payments will stop on the date they leave or are removed.
  • In accordance with the Student Privacy Policy, the Campus and Student Life Team, the Money Matters team and schools will need to liaise to verify student status and eligibility to receive payment.