What is the Unite Foundation Scholarship?
The scholarship gives care leaver/experienced and estranged students a free ensuite student bedroom in a purpose built Unite Students building for a maximum of 3 years of your university life. No rent, no bills; 365 days a year for up to 3 years of eligible study.
What are my chances of receiving a scholarship?
In 2022/23 there are 80 Unite Foundation Scholarships available.
In the 2020/21 cycle we received 273 eligible applications and awarded 80 scholarships. Therefore, just under 30% of eligible applications were successful. (We did not have a scholarship cycle in 2021/22 due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.)
We are always oversubscribed and are not able to accurately predict the number of eligible applications we will receive.
An application therefore represents a chance, not a guarantee, of a scholarship.
January – May 2022:
Students confirm their first choice university via UCAS. Scholarship applications can be completed, evidenced, and submitted. Each university will have their own deadline in late May/early June to ensure they can review your application. Make sure you get your application in before this.
Wednesday 8th June 2022, Midday
Deadline for applications to have been approved by universities.
Wednesday 6th July 2022
Confirmation of awards and reserve list detail communicated directly to student applicants and university partners.
Who is eligible for a Unite Foundation scholarship?
Please read the descriptions below very carefully to see if you meet the principal scheme criteria of care leaver, care experienced (Scotland) OR estranged. If you are unsure of your eligibility or the evidence documentation needed, please get in touch with your current or firm choice university. They will be able to offer help with this application or give you advice on other avenues of support to pursue. Contact Unite Foundation on email@example.com if you’re not sure who to speak to.
Please note we do not provide scholarships for postgraduate courses or students undertaking or restarting their second undergraduate degree.
The Foundation adopts the same definitions that the different national governments use so that we can understand and communicate our impact in the same policy contexts.
Care Experienced (Scotland) (please click here for an example of suitable evidence)
The Scottish authorities define a care experienced student as being aged 16 years or over but under 26 and having, at any time in their lives, been looked after by a Local Authority.
Ask your Local Authority for a letter on headed paper confirming that you are care experienced or the letter from SAAS confirming your Care Experience Bursary
Statutory Care Leaver (NI, Wales, England) (please click here for an example of suitable evidence)
Care Leaver is a legal status that can begin at age 16 and lasts until 25 if in Higher Education. There are several different categories of Care Leaver but all legal definitions are eligible for the Unite Foundation Scholarship Scheme.
Ask your Local Authority for a letter on headed paper confirming that you are a statutory care leaver; ideally stating which category you fall into, i.e. Relevant, Former Relevant, Eligible or Qualifying. Ask them to include in this letter the support they will provide for you whilst you are at university.
Estranged from family (please click here for an example of suitable evidence)
If you are estranged from both of your biological parents, adoptive parents, or only living parent, you may be eligible to apply for the Unite Foundation Scholarship Scheme as an estranged student. Student Finance (SFE, SFI, SFW) or Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS), considers you an independent student on the basis of being estranged from your parents if you are permanently not in contact with your parents.
For guidance on how to prove estrangement to Student Finance England, visit the SFE page,
for Northern Ireland, visit the SFNI enquiries page, for Wales, visit the SFW page and for the SAAS in Scotland, visit the SAAS page
Ask your student finance/award office for a letter on headed paper stating that you have been assessed as an independent student on the basis of estrangement.
If you are unable to provide a supporting letter for estrangement please enclose a copy of your student finance arrangement AND copies of the supporting documents you supplied to them as evidence of your estrangement.
Additional eligibility criteria
In addition to care or estranged status applicants must also meet all of the following criteria:
+ Aged 25 or under on 1st September 2022 and
+ Undertaking first and only course of undergraduate study
+ NOT undertaking Foundation or Masters level study in year beginning September 2022
+ Studying at, or holding a firm choice offer from, a Unite Foundation partner university
+ UK home fee status student, i.e. not an international student
+ In receipt of, or applying for, student finance or NHS funding for day to day living costs, reflecting care leaver/care experienced/estranged student status
Which universities are part of the 2022/23 network?
In order to apply and be eligible for a Unite Foundation Scholarship from 2022/23 onwards you must be attending or applying as firm choice to one of the following universities:
+ Aston University
+ Bath Spa University
+ Bournemouth University
+ Brunel University London
+ De Montfort University
+ Edinburgh Napier University
+ Glasgow Caledonian University
+ King’s College London
+ Kingston University
+ Leeds Beckett University
+ Liverpool John Moores University
+ London Metropolitan University
+ Manchester Metropolitan University
+ Queen Mary University of London
+ Robert Gordon University
+ Sheffield Hallam University
+ University of Bristol
+ University College London
+ University of Edinburgh
+ University of Portsmouth
+ University of Reading
+ University of Salford
+ University of Sheffield
+ University of Strathclyde
+ University of the West of England
+ University of Westminster
How are the scholarship awards decided?
The Unite Foundation Scholarship Scheme is not able to provide awards for every eligible young person and applies scheme priorities to decide how awards are allocated each year. These priorities are to:
+ balance scholarships between estranged and care leaver students
+ reflect a range of academic ability and course choice
+ balance scholarships throughout the partner university network
This means that an eligible application offers a chance and not a guarantee of a scholarship award. No single scheme priority carries greater weight than another and applicants cannot influence the outcome of the award in any way. If your eligible application is unsuccessful initially, you will be put on the reserve list and can go through the adjustment and clearing process. You can also reapply the following year.