Support for care leavers

Students sitting at a table

Have you been in local authority care on or after your 16th birthday?

At Anglia Ruskin, we're committed to supporting care leavers throughout your higher education experience. This page tells you more about the support available to you before you apply, and throughout your time with us.

You can self-disclose on your UCAS form to let us know you’re leaving local authority care, or if you prefer, you or your social services team can contact us directly.

Some of the support we offer includes:

  • events and activities
  • workshops on how to write a winning personal statement and guidance on how to complete your UCAS application form
  • pre-entry advice, support and guidance
  • help in contacting the admissions team
  • priority allocation of accommodation during the duration of your course
  • money advice
  • access to other specialist student support.

If you'd like to apply to study with us, or have any concerns or issues before you arrive or during your studies, please contact us on or 01245 68 6700. We will give you information and advice about a range of support and can refer you to other specialist services if relevant and with your consent.

Additional information and contacts for specific services can be found in the sections below.

Outreach & Recruitment events and activities

The activities and events our Outreach & Recruitment team offer are open to all, and students from a care background are welcome. Some events need to be booked by a teacher or carer, and some you can book yourself.

We arrange open days, subject and university taster sessions, campus tours and visits, conferences, talks about how to choose a course, finance, personal statements and more. We also visit schools and colleges to talk to students about applying to university and the support on offer. Find out more on our Outreach & Recruitment web pages.

Paul Dunton is our point of contact for care leavers. His team provides information and advice to everyone and anyone thinking about higher education.

If you'd like help filling in your UCAS application, or information and advice about anything related to higher education study and outreach activity, please email

Pre-entry advice, support and guidance

If you want to discuss any aspect of your degree or career choice, or you have any questions about where your degree could lead, our careers advisers are happy to offer support before you apply to Anglia Ruskin. Please email or call 01245 686700 to make an appointment.

Whether you're a prospective student or currently studying at Anglia Ruskin, the Employability Service can provide advice on a wide range of topics, helping you make an informed decision about your education and future career opportunities.

If you're thinking of coming to university, we can advise on:

  • choosing a higher education course
  • exploring career options and choosing a career that suits you.

If you're a current student, we can help you:

  • find work while you study and once you graduate through our employment bureau, ARU Temps
  • give advice on CVs, writing effective applications and interview preparation
  • develop your employability skills to meet the needs of employers.

We offer face-to-face and telephone appointments, drop in sessions and an email advice service. To find out more visit call 01245 686700 or email


Our admissions officers work in faculty teams. They act as a link between you and your faculty during the application process, providing information on qualifications and entry requirements. They check application forms, make and confirm offers, and send you your joining information.

If you have a query relating to admissions, please email


If you've been in local authority care on or after your 16th birthday you'll be offered priority allocation of accommodation.

This means that if you apply for accommodation and have firmly accepted Anglia Ruskin University as your first choice, you'll be eligible for university managed accommodation throughout your studies. Accommodation will be available during the summer vacation, however, you may be required to move to another building.

Our Residential Service can also assist you to secure accommodation in the private rented sector.

For more information please email:

Cambridge Campus -
Chelmsford Campus -

For support towards accommodation costs please see the 'From Anglia Ruskin' section below.

Money advice

Since September 2009, care leavers starting university, or returning in their second year, receive a £2,000 Higher Education Bursary to help with the costs of university life. This will usually be paid in instalments over the duration of your course. All local authorities must pay a bursary to care leavers who go on to higher education.

Some local authorities choose to provide further support in excess of this £2,000. This can be in the form of help with housing costs, a weekly allowance, or support towards tuition fees. You are advised to contact your local authority to discuss what support is available and in what form, as this varies between authorities.

The £2,000 higher education bursary is available to any care leaver who started a course of higher education on or after September 2008 and before their 25th birthday.

Rees: The Care Leavers’ Foundation is a charity which awards grants of up to £400 to care leavers, with the aim of helping cover the cost of things like household items, education costs and training and employment.

From Student Finance England

Full-time students under 25 are either classed as independent or dependent on their parents' or legal guardian's household income. Students who are married or have dependent children at the start of their course are automatically classed as independent.

Under 25s are usually classed as dependent but, if evidence is supplied that shows that a student has spent time in care or is estranged from their parents, a student can be assessed as independent which can result in additional funding. Further information is available from the Student Finance England website.

From Anglia Ruskin

Some students may be eligible for the Care Leavers Bursary via the Learning Support Fund. Please visit our ARU Support Funds page to make an application.

Students who have not yet started and need help with the cost of moving into accommodation please contact Debbie on or 01245 684288 for further information and an application form.

Students also receive support via our Learning Support Fund for study related and enrichment costs such as placement travel for paramedic science students and field trips, as well as volunteering and many other needs.

For more information, please read our Help with finances and Student Money Advice Service pages.

Access to other specialist student support

Student Services can help with a very wide range of things including study skills, money advice, counselling and wellbeing and study support (for disabilities).

Find out more at