Estranged Students'

Estrangement describes students at university without the support of a primary family network. Starting university without the support of family can be extremely daunting. Some estranged students may be worried about how they are going to support themselves throughout their studies. Without support and contact from your parents your maintenance loan will be capped, excluding a ‘means-tested contribution’. However, it is possible to apply for additional financial support from Student Finance England as well as through the university.  


Who counts as estranged?  

According to student finance an estranged student won’t have had any written or verbal contact with either parent and this is unlikely to change. Usually, for a period of at least twelve months, but they will consider all cases. This is a limited definition and while you may not qualify for extra help from Student Finance England, you may want to seek emotional or wellbeing support from the university for issues surrounding estrangement.  


If you are not sure whether you count as estranged for the purposes of financial support, you can consult the stand-alone student guide here: Student Finance Guide - Stand Alone. Alternatively contact the GSU advice service: here


Student Finance  


In order to be assessed by student finance you will need to fill in this form and provide supporting evidence. This evidence will usually take the form of supporting evidence from an independent third party with ‘good standing in the community’, which usually means a professional, like a doctor or a teacher. This person should have known about your situation for a substantial period and can verify that you are no longer in contact with your biological, adoptive or living family. This person cannot be a family friend, or member. You can, however, get friends and family to provide additional supporting statements, but these will not be enough on its own.  


There are lots of examples of supporting evidence on the stand-alone website here.  


If student finance decides you are estranged from your parents, you will be assessed as an ‘independent’ student and will therefore be entitled to the maximum amount of maintenance loan.   




If you are assessed to be estranged by SFE, you will automatically be considered for the accommodation and Greenwich bursaries. 

In addition, if you make any applications to the hardship fund, estrangement will be considered in your application.  


Emotional Support  


Estrangement isn’t just a financial stress; it can also be a serious emotional stress as well. Students may need someone to talk to about the impact of estrangement on their mental health. You can access help through the university’s wellbeing service through their self-referral form here  


External Links  


Student Finance Guide - Stand Alone 

Estranged Students - advice from UCAS for those going it alone 

Estrangement | Student Finance England ( 

Students Estranged From Their Parents or Legal Guardians - SAAS 

Applying for postgraduate Master's finance as an independent or estranged student | Student Finance Wales 




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