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Estranged students

StandAlone Pledge - Suppporting estranged students

An estranged student is under the age of 25 at the time of enrolment, and has experienced an irrevocable breakdown in their relationship with both of their biological or adoptive parents and often their wider family, for a significant period of time (usually 12 months). This includes students who have been living in foyer or hostel accommodation, have been disowned and/or are estranged from their parent/guardian.

Financial support

Estranged students who enrol at Kingston University and have been assessed as 'home' for fee purposes are eligible to receive a non-repayable KU Cares bursary of £1500 per progressive year of study, as well as priority for the Kingston Bursary if all of the criteria are met.


Estranged Students are given priority for a place in halls and access to 365-day accommodation is available on request. We can also provide support if you wish to live in private accommodation and signpost you to appropriate services for comprehensive housing advice.

Specialist support

Our dedicated and experienced KU Cares team will be available to support you through your application, enrolment, your time at University and beyond. As well as a designated member of staff, the KU Cares team can advocate on your behalf throughout the University and within your external support network. We also signpost students to other opportunities to earn money and enhance your CV:

Graduation and Outduction

We support estranged students at graduation, by providing free gown hire, a free photography package and 2 free guest tickets. We also host a dinner to celebrate the successes of our students, and award a £1,000 graduation bursary upon successful completion of your degree and following an 'outduction' meeting with the KU Cares team.

Verification and eligibility

To be eligible for support as an estranged student, you will need to be:

  • 25 or under at the time of enrolment
  • A ‘home' student
  • Enrolled on an undergraduate course or a PGCE
  • Eligible for the full maintenance loan from Student Finance

If you believe you meet the eligibility requirements to join the KU Cares Scheme, you will need to provide us with evidence that you have been estranged from both parents for a significant amount of time. This evidence can be in the form of a letter from a professional person that can confirm that you have no contact with your family, e.g., a teacher, lawyer, doctor, counsellor/therapist, or support worker. We also accept evidence that you have been assessed as an estranged student for Student Finance purposes.

What do I do next?

  • Register your interest by applying for KU Cares. Please ensure you tick the box declaring that you are a young independent student (estranged).
  • Email with your evidence or any questions you have and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Kingston University praised for support it offers care leavers throughout their studies

Government Ministers Nadhim Zahawi, left, and Chris Skidmore, far right, speak to Kingston University student Pauline and access and support officer Beth Taswell about the support students receive through the KU Cares programme.

Two Government Ministers have praised Kingston University for its sector-leading work helping students who are care leavers or estranged from their families move on to higher education and get the opportunity to complete a degree.