Financial Support for Care Leavers

This information is for students who are entering or entered university from a care background.

We have funding available for our students who enter university from a care background e.g. having been in local authority care or looked after by relatives who have a court order to care for you.*

University Bursary

The care leavers bursary will vary depending on your level of study and the year you started, or are due to start, your course. To be assessed you must meet the eligibility criteria of Student Finance England (or equivalent funding body).

This award is instead of the Sheffield Bursary Scheme. 

Please click on the relevant tab below to find further information on the bursary you may be eligible for. 

2018 entry

Undergraduate students who start their course in September 2018 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study.

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information is available from our 2018 bursary page.

2017 entry

Undergraduate students who started their course in September 2017 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information is available from our 2017 bursary page.

2016 entry

Undergraduate students who started in September 2016 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information is available from our 2016 bursary page.

2015 entry

Undergraduate students who started in September 2015 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £4,500 for full-time students and £2,250 for part-time students and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).

This money is yours to keep; you do not have to repay it, and it won't affect your student finance.

You can choose to use you bursary to reduce your tuition fee cost, as a payment towards your University accommodation or as a direct payment into your bank account to help with study costs.

Further information can be found on our 2015 bursary page.

2012 to 2014 entry

Full-time undergraduate students who started their course between September 2012 and September 2014 are eligible to apply for a University bursary award of £1,600. 

The University Bursary is yours to keep; you do not have to repay this money and is paid for each level of study (please note that this award cannot be backdated for previous years).


To apply for a bursary all you need to do is get in touch with care@sheffield.ac.uk

Please note that you will be required to provide evidence to support your care status, such as;

  • a letter from social services (if they have been involved)
  • proof of legal guardianship (if this exists)
  • a court order showing proof of legal guardianship
  • a letter from a professional who is aware of the nature of your situation and living arrangements, such as your GP or head teacher.

If you require any further guidance, please do not hesitate to contact the Financial Support Team, email: financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk or telephone: 0114 222 1319

The following students are not considered care leavers and are not eligible for care leaver support from the University:

  • Students who have been adopted.
  • Students who are under a private foster agreement.
  • Students who are no longer under a care order as per the Leaving Care Act

If you are estranged from your family or guardian, please see our Estranged Students web-pages.

Additional Financial Support

If you are in financial hardship you can apply for additional financial assistance through the University of Sheffield Financial Support Fund. Financial support is available from the University for students with exceptional financial difficulties or higher than average costs.

Apply for additional financial support

* Definitions:

Care Leaver: A person aged 25 or under, who has been looked after by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date.
Background in care: A person who has been in the care of a local authority for at least 13 weeks, whether away from home or in the home.
Looked after and/or In the care of a Local Authority: Includes in foster care, in local authority accommodation, at home under a care order or under kinship care.

For more information: www.buttleuk.org