Estranged students support

Stand Alone Pledge logo It can be a daunting time coming to university without having the support of a family network. If you are an estranged student who no longer has any contact with your parents or guardians and are considering coming to Keele University, or you're already a student here, we can provide you with a package of support that can help you pre-entry and throughout your time at University.

Your Student Experience and Support Officer will be your dedicated contact, and they can offer tailored, individual and sustained support prior to arrival and throughout your time as a Keele student.

Any contact you have with our support contact will be kept confidential and your choices respected at all times.

If you have any questions about studying at Keele and the support available you can contact our dedicated contact by using the contact details at the bottom of this page.

If you would like support and advice prior to your arrival please get in touch with the dedicated contact, who can answer any questions and concerns you may have and can also help to make any arrangements you need to ease your transition to unviersity. You may wish to make a telephone appointment with the dedicated contact in your first few weeks at Keele to have an informal discussion about how we can support you throughout your time at University.

There is lots of support that you can access prior to starting your course at Keele to support your transition and help you prepare for your university experience:

Keele peer support schemes

Find out more about our range of diverse peer support schemes.

Induction activities

As part of the Keele Welcome-generic and induction you will be provided with resources and guides to support your transition. You will also have the opportunity to virtually link up with other local and commuter students, as part of the online pre-arrival and welcome experience.

On-campus accommodation

Care leavers and estranged students are prioritised for on campus accommodation as long as applications for accommodation are submitted by the deadline.

We can offer accommodation contracts for 51 weeks if you wish to stay in the same room for the whole year. Keep in mind that it may not be possible to stay in the same room for the duration of your studies. 

Please be aware that due to the nature of the 51 week contracts you are likely to be sharing with postgraduate students or nursing and midwifery students.

More information about room types and accommodation costs can be found on the Accommodation Services webpages.

For the 2021/22 academic year, 37 and 44 week contracts are also available. You will still be able to access year round accommodation on campus, however you will be required to apply for vacation accommodation at the end of your contract and will most likely be required to move rooms.

If you have any further questions about applying for on campus accommodation please email for support.

Living off campus

If you would like to live off campus we can also provide advice and support on how to find accommodation in the local area through the Accommodation Services team and the ASK advice service in the Students’ Union.

For more information about support available for students living off campus please visit our webpage for Local and Commuter Students.

Applying to Student Finance for Independent Status

Student Finance England and NHS Student Bursaries must assess estranged students for financial support on their own household income and not that of their biological parent(s). To be assessed as independent, students normally have to provide evidence from an independent trusted person (e.g. teacher or social worker) that:

  • they have had no written or verbal contact from their parents for 12 months before the start of their course (exceptions to this timescale can be made in extreme circumstances)
  • they expect this situation to be irreconcilable.

Find more information on how to apply to Student Finance as an independent student

Care Leaver and Estranged Student Bursary

If you qualify for ‘home’ fee status, are an undergraduate student and are estranged from your family, you may be entitled to a cash bursary from the University (subject to eligibility criteria). 

For more information about this bursary please see our bursary and scholarships webpages.

What if I am not assessed as independent by Student Finance?

If you are having trouble applying to Student Finance for independant status you can get in touch with the dedicated contact who will be able to provide advice and support for your application.

We will also be able to advise on alternative financial support that you may be able to access including our hardship fund and emergency loans.

Personalised financial advice and support

If you are unsure of what financial support you are entitled to you can contact our specialist Money advisers in Student Services who can advise on bursaries and scholarships, how to apply for student finance and budgeting.

There is lots of support available for you at Keele when you need it. The dedicated contact can help to direct you to the right support across the University.

Support on your course

All students at Keele are allocated an academic mentor who is a single point of contact on your course who can provide support and advice on academic and non-academic issues.  With your permission, the dedicated contact for estranged students in Student Support can liaise with your academic mentor to ensure we provide the right support for you.

If you are experiencing any personal difficulties that may affect your studies you can submit exceptional circumstances to your school for these to be taken into consideration.

Study skills support

The Student Learning team provide online resources, workshops and drop in services to help you to develop your academic, personal and professional skills.

Counselling and mental health

University can be an exciting time but it can also bring with it stress and challenge. The Counselling and Mental Health service offers a team of experienced counsellors and mental health professionals who can support you during your time at University if you need it.

Disability Support & Inclusion

If you have a disability, including specific learning difficulties or mental health and wellbeing issues the team can advise on a wide range of support to meet your individual needs. It is a good idea to contact the Disability Support & Inclusion team before you start your course at Keele University to discuss any support you may need.

Coming to the end of your studies can be a daunting time for all students, but as a care leaver you may also have additional concerns. The dedicated care leaver contact is here to help you discuss any issues or concerns and help you with the transition from university and post graduation. We can also support you to achieve your career aspirations. 

Careers and employability 

Our Careers team can support and inform you throughout your time at Keele and beyond, whether you are very certain about your career plans or aren't sure what you'd like to do in the future. Either way our careers advisers are available to discuss how to make the most of your future.

The team can support with the following:

  • support with planning your career
  • advice on job-searching strategies
  • suggestions on how to create winning CVs and how to be successful at interview
  • information relating to careers, employers and work

We believe that students who are estranged from their families, who are studying without the support or approval of a family network, should not be held back from succeeding in Higher Education.  This is why Keele University has taken the Stand Alone Pledge.

For further information please see here

Contact us

Tel: 01782 734481