The University of Westminster has taken the Stand Alone Pledge, committing to supporting estranged students throughout University. 

You can read a little more about the Pledge, see the Vice Chancellor’s letter and take a look at the support offered by the university.

What is family estrangement?

Family estrangement generally means physical and emotional distancing between family members. Estrangement occurs when no emotional support or parental guidance is provided and the relationship breaks down. You may no longer have a relationship with your parents, have very limited communication with your family or have no communication at all. This is known as family estrangement.

If Student Finance England (SFE) has assessed you as being independent on the grounds of being estranged, you can receive the maximum maintenance loan rate from SFE and you should not be assessed on your parents’ household income.

The University defines an estranged student as a young person, under the age of 25 who has been classified as an independent student on the grounds of estrangement by Student Finance England. The University is committed to supporting estranged students and recognises that the transition to university and becoming a student can be challenging, especially as an estranged student. Consequently, if you are identified by SFE as being estranged, you may be eligible for the University Estranged Students Bursary of £1,000 each academic year.

What to do next

If you think you may be eligible, please contact the University’s Student Funding team for an application form

If you would like to check your eligibility for this bursary or what documents you need or you think you are estranged but you are unclear about the SFE assessment process, please contact Student Advice.

Remember, you must already have been assessed by SFE as being independent on the grounds of being estranged from your parents and taken the full maintenance loan/grant available. You should have provided SFE with documentary evidence of your estrangement. If you have not done so, you will not be eligible to apply for this bursary. The Student Funding team will require evidence that you have been assessed as being estranged by SFE for the academic year 2016/17.

If you are under 25 and have no support from your parents for other reasons, for instance, you have been orphaned or you are in the UK as a refugee and your parents are abroad, you will not be eligible for the Estranged Students’ Bursary, but do please contact us to talk about what other support may be available.

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