Is higher education for me?

Making the leap from care to independent life at university or college can be both scary and exciting.  If you want to be a student there is loads of support available for care leavers to make it happen.

Top reasons why you should go

  • 1You’ll be able to live independently and make your own decisions
  • 2You’ll always feel proud of your achievement and get confidence from it
  • 3You’ll find clubs and societies for every interest imaginable
  • 4You’ll have access to more jobs when you qualify*
  • 5You’ll fit in. Higher education welcomes all kinds of people from all types of backgrounds
  • 6You can study a subject you're good at and care about
  • 7You’ll have the potential to earn more money**
  • 8You'll have the chance to choose a city or town you'd love to live in
  • 9You’ll meet new people and make lasting friendships
  • 10You'll have access to lots of support to help you get there - and stay there - so why not take advantage of it?

*40% of jobs need a higher education qualification
**Graduates earn 55% more during their working lives than those who start work at 18

Things you can do now:

  • 1Search Propel for subjects, sports or hobbies you enjoy - there’s lots to explore.
  • 2Think about the subjects you love or are good at and use Propel to find out where you can study them. If you love writing poems, or playing computer games, you might be surprised to know that there are higher education courses for both.
  • 3Go on a university or college tour or attend one their taster sessions. It’s a great way of seeing what studying higher education is really like. Some run events designed especially for care leavers, but you're free to go along to any of their open days. Get in touch with the named contact to find out more. 
  • 4Ask your social worker or personal advisor to help you write a pathway plan, or to update it if you have one already. 
  • 5Read the inspirational stories  from other care leavers below.
  • 6Speak to your designated teacher or schools careers advisor about going to college or uni. They'll give you guidance on the subjects you need to take to make sure you can study the course you want to do. They will also help you think about jobs you might like to do in the future. 
  • 7Look for relevant work experience to get a taste of working life. Work experience looks great on your personal statement and will give you something extra to talk about in your interview. Universities and colleges are interested in much more than the grades you have. They'll be really impressed if you have worked in an area related to your choice of subject.

0800 023 2033

In care, a care leaver or supporting someone who is? Looking for help and advice?

Talk to us in confidence - online or over the phone.