Free housing on offer for care leavers

students in accommodation pr

19 May 2017

  • Free accommodation for three years offered to Aston students estranged from family or leaving care
  • Deadline for applications: 31 May

Young people estranged from family or leaving care and planning to go to Aston University this September are being urged to apply for scholarships from the Unite Foundation, which has announced that its programme, offering free university accommodation, has gone national.

But the clock is ticking for potential applicants, as the closing date for this year’s applications is 31 May.

A total of 28 universities, including Aston University will be awarding the Unite Foundation scholarship, which provides free accommodation for three years to students fitting the criteria. Applicants must be under 25 years of age, a care-leaver or estranged from their family, and have a place at a participating university starting this September. However, with the closing date just two weeks away, young people who are eligible are urged to act now for a chance to win one of the 70 scholarships on offer for the 2017/18 academic year. 

Helen Arber, manager of the Unite Foundation said: “Too few young people estranged from their families or leaving care realise their full potential at university. We want to change that. A Unite Foundation Scholarship means a rent-free university home for three years of degree studies. It also brings other benefits, such as work placements and activities that support successful study and future careers.”

Offering the scholarship for the first time, a spokesman for Aston University said: “We are delighted to have become a Unite Foundation partner university. A Unite Foundation scholarship will undoubtedly help those students who lack family support and who, we know, face some very considerable challenges.  We are very much looking forward to working with the growing network of universities involved to level the playing field”.

The accommodation will be within a Unite Students building, and, as the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation in the UK, Unite Students is also the Foundation’s principle donor. Since 2012, the Foundation has supported 179 university students with scholarships, and with the inclusion of an additional 18 partner universities for the coming academic year, that number is set to grow substantially. 

Paige, a student completely estranged from her family who won the scholarship this time last year, said of her experience: “My main worries when applying for university was how I was going to support myself, if I was going to meet new friends and if I was going to be able to cope with the stress of uni work. Honestly, it’s the happiest I’ve ever been!

“The scholarship meant I could use the money that I would have used for rent to buy equipment to help me improve my skills. I actually met a girl through this scholarship who I’m living with next year; we’ve become really good friends and have supported each other through difficult times. I know I wouldn’t have met her without the scholarship.

“I’m going to carry on developing my skills and put my all into my education.  The Unite Foundation student scholarship has made me feel like I’m not alone and if they believe in me then I can believe in me too.”

“If you, or someone you know, would benefit from a Unite Foundation accommodation scholarship, please urge them to apply as soon as possible.  Download the application via the Unite Foundation website” said Helen Arber.


Notes to the editor

About The Unite Foundation

  • The Unite Foundation provides scholarships of free student accommodation to young people in the UK from care or estranged backgrounds. Established in 2012, the Foundation was created by Unite Students, the UK’s leading manager and developer of student accommodation. Unite remains the majority donor, and Unite Foundation scholars are provided with a home in Unite Students accommodation.
  • The Unite Foundation previously worked with ten universities across the UK to provide accommodation scholarships. For 2017, the number of partner universities has been expanded to 28, each of which will be nominating and receiving applications from eligible young people.

About Aston University

  • Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston University has been always been a force for change. For more than 50 years the University has been transforming lives through pioneering research, innovative teaching and graduate employability success. Aston is renowned for its opportunity enabler through broad access and inspiring academics, providing education that is applied and has real impact on all areas of society, business and industry. True to Aston’s Coat of Arms which bears the word ‘Forward’, in 2016 Aston recently held a year-long anniversary celebration to recognise its heritage and achievements, but with a focus to drive forward the next stage in the University’s exciting journey. 

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