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Young Independent Students

StandAlone Pledge - Suppporting estranged students

A Young Independent Student is under the age of 25 at the time of enrolment, and has experienced an irrevocable breakdown in their relationship with either of their biological 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

Young Independent 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.


Young Independent Students are given priority for a place in halls and 365-day accommodation is available on request. The booking fee for our Halls of Residence is waived for KU Cares students and we can also provide support if you wish to live in private accommodation.

Specialist Support

Our dedicated and experienced KU Cares team will be available to support you through your application, enrolment, 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 local authority. We also signpost students to other opportunities to earn money and enhance your CV. Care Leavers are also eligible for our graduation package which includes free graduation tickets, gown hire, photography and a dinner to celebrate your success.

Verification & Eligibility

In order to be eligible for this support you will need to apply for the Compact Scheme (see below) and provide us with the details of a professional person that can confirm that you have no contact with your family, e.g. a teacher, lawyer, doctor, social worker or key worker. We can also take evidence that you have been assessed as 'independent' for Student Finance purposes.

Compact Scheme

As a Young Independent Student you will automatically become a member of the Compact Scheme. The scheme is exclusive to Kingston University students and offers an enhanced package of support and advice, as well as a single point of contact from pre-application to graduation. Your application to the Compact Scheme will automatically alert us if you are eligible for support from KU Cares.

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). 

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Students on campus

Kingston University shortlisted for national award for supporting estranged students

Kingston University currently supports 51 estranged students, with that number expected to rise

The awards recognise Kingston University's outstanding commitment and innovative approach to supporting estranged students.

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