If you are currently in public care and are thinking about coming to University, you could benefit from schemes to help you progress to higher education, and then receive extra support when you arrive.

We're committed to helping more care leavers come to University. We understand that as a student who has experienced time in care you may have different concerns to other students. We are here to help you throughout your course, whether it’s just for a chat or to share concerns you may have about your application, finance arrangements, accommodation or your course.

For more information, please contact Lisa Firth, Educational Engagement, during office hours on +44 (0)113 3437669 or email l.firth@adm.leeds.ac.uk.

Reach for Excellence

You could be eligible for our two year Reach for Excellence programme if your studying has been affected by your personal, economic or geographic circumstances but you have the potential to study at a top University

You should live within a commutable distance of the University and be able to attend regular events on campus.

Access to Leeds

Access to Leeds is our alternative admissions scheme which you may benefit from as a student who has experienced time in care. You must be living permanently in the UK, have the potential to study at the University of Leeds and meet two or more of the criteria, which include having spent time in public care.


Many care leavers will qualify for funding from the University through Leeds Financial Support. In addition, students who have experience of being in public care are prioritised when we select students to receive our competitive means-tested scholarships (but you must still apply for these by the deadline date).

The Access to Learning Fund may also offer additional financial support to  students who are leaving public care to help them to succeed in higher education.


If you are leaving the care of your local authority to come to University, our Accommodation office can offer you:

  • a guaranteed place in University-owned accommodation (if you applied before the deadline of 1 July. If you miss this deadline contact Accommodation immediately)
  • 365-day accommodation (but we cannot guarantee you will be in the same room for the whole period)
  • a waiver of the upfront security deposit for University-owned accommodation

You will need to provide evidence of your status as a care leaver (such as a letter from your Personal Adviser/Social Worker or Pathway Worker). If you are unsure of the evidence needed to confirm your circumstances, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you include information about your personal circumstances on your accommodation application form it will be dealt with as a priority.  If you are not specifically leaving public care to come to University but are estranged from your family, we may be able to help you by allowing you to pay your security deposit at a later date rather than upfront.

We understand that everyone has individual needs. Our Care Leaver contact is keen to make sure we help you wherever possible.

You can read more details of our commitment to enabling care leavers to study at Leeds on our Care Leaver Covenant.