Support for Estranged Students & Care Leavers

Education can be a challenging experience without the support of a family network – but Middlesex University has taken the Stand Alone Pledge, which means we are committed to providing support to students who are estranged from their families or in care. Read on to get an idea of the different things you can expect from universities who have taken the pledge.

Your wellbeing & support

Whilst you are studying at university a range of support services are available to you, including student welfare advice, counselling and mental health support, support with academic study, and the disability and dyslexia service. At Middlesex all these services are available in one place - UniHelp. Through UniHelp students can speak face-to-face, by email, phone or online to an adviser who has been trained to direct them to the support they are looking for.


Leaving home for the first time can be really exciting, but also scary! At Middlesex there are resident assistants (people who live in the building, who are there to help) in all of our university accommodation. Resident assistants are trained to provide assistance with any issues that may arise during your time at the university, and can direct you to any further internal or external support you might require.

Student Finance & Financial support:

When you head to university you’ll complete an application for student finance (you can read more about this here). The amount you’ll get is calculated based on your household income (for instance, the amount your biological or adoptive parents are earning). However, estranged students can get full financial support from Student Finance without needing to provide details of parent’s income. You’ll need to meet certain criteria, and provide evidence to show that you are independent.

Universities also offer other financial support. For instance Middlesex University has a Student Support Fund which provides financial help students.

Stand Alone provide a comprehensive guide to student finance applications for estranged students, including advice about how to provide evidence to Student Finance England.

Qualifying as an estranged student:

You will be assessed by Student Finance England as an estranged student if you are under the age of 25 and can provide evidence that you have had no contact with your parents for at least a year before you begin your course, and/or you can show that you will permanently have no contact with your parents. This evidence will usually take the form of a letter from a professional (such as a teacher or doctor) who knows about your situation.

Where else can I get support?

Stand Alone provide support for people who are estranged from their family or a key family member and have a specific student support portal.

Brightside offers advice about student finance if you are estranged from your parents.

We have taken the Stand Alone pledge to support estranged students to succeed in Higher Education. Find out more by reading the pledge letter