Students outside the library

Care-experienced students

LSE supports care-experienced students to realise their potential.

LSE recognises that care-experienced students may face challenges accessing and studying in higher education. This guidance outlines the pre-entry and on-course support we offer. If you have further questions about the information on this page, or want to speak to someone about your circumstances, you can email us at ard.lsecares@lse.ac.uk.

What does LSE mean by 'care-experienced'?

The definition of care-experienced varies around the UK and between higher education providers. At LSE, our definition of care-experienced is anyone who has been in care or is currently in care.  If you’re not sure whether you'd be considered care-experienced, just email us at ard.lsecares@lse.ac.uk and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation. 

Support before you apply to university

If you're currently at school, college or sixth form, and interested in applying to LSE at undergraduate level, our Widening Participation team run a range of events and activities that are free to attend and will give you an insight into LSE’s degree programmes and student life. Care-experienced students are prioritised for places wherever possible, and our supportive team will help ensure you get the most out of taking part.

LSE's Student Marketing, Recruitment and Study Abroad team also run two open days for prospective undergraduate students each year, an offer holders' day and opportunities for applicants to shadow an LSE student. We encourage you to let us know you are care-experienced when you apply, as you'll be given priority in the event we're oversubscribed. For activities hosted on our campus, we have a Travel Fund that can contribute towards the cost of standard rail or coach travel to and from the LSE campus.

Further information can be found on our Widening Participation and Information for prospective students webpages

Applying for university

Undergraduate applicants

If you are currently studying at a state school or college in the UK and live more than 50 miles away from the LSE campus, you may be eligible to apply for the LSE Travel Fund. The LSE Travel Fund contributes towards the cost of standard rail or coach travel to and from the LSE campus for eligible prospective undergraduate students attending our Undergraduate Offer Holders’ days or Undergraduate Open Days.

If you're care-experienced, we encourage you to answer 'yes' to the question about whether you've been in care on the UCAS application form. This allows our Undergraduate Admissions team to take this into account. UCAS have put together two guides for students, Why Tick the Box and UCAS undergraduate: Care Experienced Students. We also advise teachers/advisers to ensure this information is included in the UCAS reference form.

LSE operates a contextual admissions process. When our admissions selectors review applications, they consider an applicant’s personal and educational circumstances, as well as both achievement and potential. This applies both when making offers and when confirming them after results day. LSE also has a contextual offers scheme. Eligible students include care leavers who are applying for any of LSE’s undergraduate programmes.

You can find out more about our undergraduate admission processes on our Admissions information webpage.

Postgraduate applicants

We don't run a contextual admissions process at postgraduate level, but our assessors take a holistic view of all applications. Therefore, when completing the application form, we encourage you to include any information about how your personal circumstances have impacted on your education to date.

Financial support

Undergraduate applicants

In addition to the support available from Student Finance England and your local authority, LSE provides several bursaries and scholarships for which care-experienced students are eligible to apply. These include the following:

•       LSE Undergraduate Bursary Scheme: If you apply for a means-tested loan via Student Finance England, they'll share your information with LSE. Bursaries are automatically awarded to any UK undergraduate student with a household income of up to £42,875. Find out more on our LSE Bursaries webpage.

•       LSE Scholarships: We offer a range of different scholarships for students from different backgrounds, and we encourage all offer holders to apply. To be considered, you need to complete and submit an Undergraduate Scholarship Application Form by the deadline. You can let our scholarship assessors know about your care experience by ticking the box in Section 1.11. You should then provide further details in Section 9.2, ‘Your Future Plans’, as part of your personal statement.

Uggla Family Scholarship 

LSE offers UK LSE Undergraduate Scholarships, for which the Uggla family has specifically encouraged students who are care leavers to apply. The total scholarship was £23,451 for fees and living costs for 2022 entry, with rates to be confirmed for 2023 entry. Alongside receiving financial support, the Uggla Family Scholarship Programme will provide comprehensive support, coaching and mentoring throughout the duration of your studies. You can find out more by visiting our Uggla Family Scholarship webpage.

Please note that the deadline for the receipt of LSE Undergraduate Scholarship Applications for offer holders with Home fee status is: 1 June 2023.

More information about all of LSE’s undergraduate funding options can be found on the LSE fees and funding webpage.

LSE Students' Union Hardship Fund

In addition to the above, the LSE Students’ Union has a hardship fund which provides students with short-term funding to cover basic living expenses in the event of unexpected circumstances.

Postgraduate applicants

In addition to the UK Government postgraduate loans, as a care-experienced student, you're also eligible to apply for  a number of LSE awards and scholarships.

Accommodation

If you're planning to stay in LSE halls of residence during your studies, our Residential Services team can offer the following support:

  • Year-round accommodation in an LSE hall of residence. Depending on the hall you're staying in, we may need to ask you to move rooms during the vacation periods, but you will have a room throughout. We recommend that care experienced students book accommodation in a hall with a contract of 39 weeks or longer. This is because halls with 31 week contracts operate as hotels during the Christmas and Easter Vacation periods. If you wish to stay over the vacation periods in a hall which offers 31 week contracts, we are happy to facilitate this, however, you must be aware that commercial guests will reside in the hall during these times. 
  • If you're an undergraduate student, you can book accommodation each year for the duration of your degree, subject to you following our booking process.
  • An Accommodation Bursary comprised of a reduction of up to £2,500 in your accommodation fees, if you’re an eligible undergraduate student.
  • Support from our in-house warden teams throughout the year. This includes advice, guidance and support with navigating life at LSE, plus connections to activities and services available to our students.

After you have accepted your offer to study at LSE, you can book your room via the LSE Student Accommodation System. Care-experienced students should use the ‘personal circumstances’ part of the booking form to let LSE know that you're a care leaver, as well as if you need accommodation for 52 weeks or have any other requirements. For more information on the booking process and our halls of residence, please check our Accommodation webpages.

Support for current students

The Widening Participation team provide support for targeted Offer Holders, including those that have disclosed that they have been in care on their UCAS application. The Widening Participation team will contact eligible Offer Holders directly.

There's also lots of support for all students during your time at LSE. Visit our Support during your studies webpage for more information.

External support

There are lots of external organisations that provide support advice and guidance for students from care-experienced backgrounds. We have highlighted a few of these below.

Become

Become is a charity that provides support for young people in care and care leavers. Become’s website, Propel, also provides information on the support available to you at colleges and universities across the UK.

Care Leavers’ Association

The Care Leavers’ Association is a charity aimed at improving the lives of care leavers of all ages. They run campaigns and projects, advocate for change at all levels of government, and provide training for a range of organisations. The Young People’s Project offers advice and support on Leaving Care rights and entitlements, as well as signposting to services that can offer assistance.

Friendship Works

Friendship Works works with care leavers aged 18-25 across London to match them with trained volunteer mentors who support them to access new opportunities, build self confidence and develop resilience.

National Network for the Education of Care Leavers

The NNECL website provides information on events and further resources.

Who Cares? Scotland

Who Cares? Scotland works on behalf of care-experienced young people to influence change in Scotland, ensuring their voice is heard on the issues that matter to them.

 

If you have any further questions or require support not outlined on this webpage, you can always email us at ard.lsecares@lse.ac.uk. We'll do our best to support you.