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.

We also run two open days for prospective undergraduate students each year, as well as 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 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.

Please note that, due to Covid-19, all of our on-campus activities are currently suspended. However, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to engage virtually with LSE. Further information can be found on our Widening Participation and Information for prospective students webpages

Applying for university

Undergraduate applicants

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. We also advise teachers/advisers to ensure this information is included in the UCAS reference form. UCAS have put together a useful video and a care leavers guide explaining how to disclose your care experience on the application form, as well as the benefits of doing so.

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 is also piloting a contextual offers scheme. Eligible students include care leavers who are applying for subjects taking part in the pilot. The contextual offer is one grade lower than the standard offer for the programme. Any mathematics requirement must still be met.

You can find out more about our undergraduate admission processes on our Admission 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.

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

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.
  • 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

After A-level results day, care-experienced applicants who accept an LSE undergraduate place will be invited to join the Headstart Network. This offers you a chance to meet other students virtually before Welcome Week and connect with named contacts across the School’s support services.

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. They publish a series of factsheets covering topics such as financial support post-18, getting support to go to university, and understanding pathway plans. 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.

Listening Works

Listening Works is a virtual listening service for care leavers aged 18–27. Care leavers can contact the service by phone, text message or webchat and one of their team of trained volunteers will respond.

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.