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BU Care Leavers Bursary

We understand that the financial side of university life can seem scary, and we don’t want you to worry about money while you’re studying. Our BU Care Leavers Bursary is here to give you additional support if you’ve been in full-time care for three months or longer at any time over the last five years.

You’ll never have to pay this money back and can use it for whatever you need or want while you’re at university, whether that’s a helping hand towards paying your rent, covering your phone bill or simply to support you through your university experience.

You don’t need to do anything to receive this bursary - we’ll award it to you automatically as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. You’ll continue to receive it every year you’re studying at BU (unless you’re on a placement year) as long as you still meet these criteria.

How much is the bursary worth?

You will receive up to £9,000 over three years of study to support your learning and living costs, should you continue to meet the eligibility criteria. The amount received will be pro-rata for part-time study. If you are studying a Top-up degree lasting one year, you will receive £3,000.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for a BU Care Leavers Bursary, you must:

  • have been in care for a period of 3 months or more in the last 5 years
  • be a UK national, or have ‘settled status’ (no restrictions on how long you can stay) or be an EU national; and
  • live in England or the EU, and have ordinarily been a resident in England or the EU for three years prior to the course start date*
  • be a new student, actively participating on and Undergraduate BU or Wiltshire College Salisbury** course (excluding HNC/HND) on a full or part-time basis
  • have a household income of £25,000 or less***.

*Students who are ordinarily resident in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are excluded from receiving the BU Maintenance Bursary due to alternative funding arrangements being available to them. Ordinarily resident has been defined as 'habitual and normal residence in one place.’ It means that you live in a country year after year by choice through a set period, apart from temporary or occasional absences, such as holidays or business trips. Living here totally or mainly for the purpose of receiving full-time education does not count as being ordinarily resident. The course start date is defined as 1 September for September entrants and 1 January for January/February entrants.

**Applies to: BA (Hons) Photography and BA (Hons) Film Production and Cinematography. If you're studying at one of our other Partner Colleges, you will need to contact them for information about financial support.

***You will need to meet the eligibility criteria each year in order to qualify for the full bursary.

How to apply for a BU Care Leavers Bursary

The BU Care Leavers Bursary is awarded to all eligible students.

There is no need to apply* as you should automatically receive the bursary if you meet the eligibility criteria, providing you have completed an income assessment as part of your student finance application, and given consent to share this information.

*You’ll need to apply for the bursary if you are studying any part-time course. Applications will open soon for part-time students only.

How are bursaries paid?

Your bursary will be loaded onto a pre-paid card. The money will be made available to you in nine instalments from October to June. You can only spend money that’s in your account, so you can’t go overdrawn, and you can receive up to 2% cashback on purchases at certain retailers. You will be advised of the full terms and conditions when you collect your card following enrolment at BU.

Is there any other support for care leavers?

Students who are proven care leavers or have a Compact agreement are automatically guaranteed BU accommodation regardless of when they require it. 

Purbeck House, which is operated by our accommodation partner Unite Students, offer all Care Leavers who live in this property the opportunity to apply for the Unite Foundation Care Leaver Bursary. Details on the scheme can be found at the Unite Foundation website, including levels of funding available, eligibilty and how to apply for the bursary. If you are eligible and interested in applying for this funding then you would need to ensure you lived in Purbeck House. If you would like to discuss your eligibility for the scheme and how to put in your application then you can contact our Student Support & Engagement Team.

Important information

Bursaries are reviewed on a regular basis and the university reserves the right to withdraw, amend or introduce new bursaries at any time. However, BU will not alter to a student’s detriment the rules applying to a bursary package that has been awarded. Bursaries are offered subject to funding and availability.