Unite Foundation Scholarship Scheme

2024/25 Application Form

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What is the Unite Foundation Scholarship?

The scholarship gives care leaver/experienced and estranged students a free ensuite student bedroom in a purpose built accommodation 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 2024/25 there are 95 Unite Foundation Scholarships available. 


In the 2023/24 cycle we received 360 eligible applications and awarded 106 scholarships. Therefore,  29% of eligible applications were successful.  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.


Do not rely on the Unite Foundation Scholarship for your 2024/25 accommodation provision as sadly we cannot award all eligible applications.   



January – June 2024               

New students confirm their first choice university via UCAS. Scholarship applications can be completed, evidenced, and submitted. Each university will need time to review your application and support you if you have any queries. You must submit a complete and properly evidenced application before midnight, 14th June.  


Friday 21st June 2024 Midday 

Deadline for applications to have been approved by universities.


Thursday 4th July 2024, 3pm onwards

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 info@unitefoundation.org.uk 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. 


Share your SAAS letter confirming your Care Experience Bursary or alternatively provide an LA letter. Please ensure your LA letter explicitly states ‘looked after’, ‘care experienced’ or ‘care leaver’ – if you are unsure, please send this application guidance to your LA for assistance or again discuss with your University contact. 

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, SFNI, 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. Please note, you are not eligible to apply if you have been assessed as an independent student due to self-funding as a result of bereavement, marriage etc.


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 document on headed paper stating that you have been assessed as an independent student on the basis of irreconcilable parental estrangement.


If you are unable to provide a supporting document for estrangement as it has not yet been decided, please enclose the application and supporting documents that you have submitted to Student Finance to apply for independent status as an estranged young person.


You must provide evidence of successful application outcome before 30th August 2024 if successfully awarded scholarship.

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 2024 and
  •       Undertaking first attempt at, and only, course of undergraduate study and
  •       NOT undertaking Foundation or Masters level study in year beginning September 2024
  •       Studying at, or holding a firm choice offer from, a Unite Foundation partner university and                                                                                           
  •       UK home fee status student, i.e. not an international student and
  •       In receipt of, or applying for, tuition fee and maintenance loans via Student Finance reflecting        care leaver/care experienced/estranged student status for the full duration of your course (or        NHS funding).


 S    Students undertaking a Foundation year in 2024/25 are NOT eligible to apply for this current application cycle but should consider application in 2025/26. 

S      Students that have had previous study at undergraduate level are not eligible.   If you are unsure of your eligibility, please email info@unitefoundation.org.uk  


W  Which universities are part of the 2024/25 network? 

W  We have a different network of universities depending on where you are in your university journey. 

A    Existing students in Year 1, or later, of undergraduate studies (not a foundation year student) must be attending 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 Salford 

+          University of Sheffield

+          University of Strathclyde

+          University of the West of England  

+          University of Westminster     

B      2024/25 UCAS first year applicants, or those already studying a foundation year during 23/24  must have made a firm choice or already be attending any of the 25 universities listed above OR any of the additional universities below:  

+      Canterbury Christ Church University

+      Imperial College London

+      Northumbria University Newcastle 

+      University of Winchester


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. 

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If you have any questions about completing your application form, please feel free to email us at info@unitefoundation.org.uk
You cannot apply for a scholarship to support you during a foundation year.

Home Address

Current Address

Emergency contact

Qualification/Certificate Subject Year Attained Grade(if attained)

(i.e. GCSE/A Level/


BTecs etc.)

Please rank the factors that influenced your choice of university. 

(1st being the most important, 5th being the least important. Only use each rank once.)

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
Part 3: Accommodation
This section has no impact on the outcome of your application. If you are awarded a scholarship it will help us meet your housing needs smoothly to avoid unnecessary cost to you. (Remember that the scholarship is only a chance not a guarantee so you should always explore all your options for housing.)

Part 4: Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form

This section will not influence the outcome of your application. The Unite Foundation uses Equal Opportunities Monitoring to ensure that the awarding of scholarships is in line with our Equality and Diversity commitments. This form is not mandatory.
What is your ethnicity?

Ethnic origin is not about nationality, place of birth or citizenship. It is about the group to which you perceive you belong. Please tick the appropriate box.

Part 5: Data Handling

The Unite Foundation scholarship scheme requires the Foundation, your university and accommodation provider to share your personal data. This is to enable administration of the scheme including contact details, tenancies, and year on year academic progression and enrolment.  In addition, we track all applicant outcomes for evaluation and research purposes.  Your information is never used for marketing. Read our privacy policy for full detail on how your data is processed.


In the event of an incident, accident, or behaviour management issue that is considered a risk to your safety or wellbeing, the Foundation, your university and accommodation provider will share information according to your consent.

Part 6: Benefits and Responsibilities
+ If awarded a scholarship, and on becoming a Unite Foundation Scholar, you will be entitled to up to three years of free accommodation in a designated student accommodation property.

+ The standard of free accommodation is a single occupancy, en-suite, bedroom in a purpose built student flat with a communal fitted kitchen; the flat will be shared with a mixture of other students most likely at the same university. Some buildings have different flat options (eg studio) that you can choose but may need to contribute toward.

+ Rooms in flats for scholarship students include all household bills, have wi-fi throughout and are served by maintenance and on-site support teams. Many buildings have other facilities like a laundry, fortnightly cleaning and bike storage. Flats are furnished and the buildings have areas suitable for both study and leisure.

+ For each year that you take up the free accommodation offer, your room will be available for the full calendar year; 365 or 366 days on leap years. Occasionally you might need to move flats temporarily to allow for maintenance and redecorating etc.

+ You will not require a rent guarantor, a deposit or any rent payments.

+ Once you become a scholarship students you can choose annually if you would like to take up the free accommodation offer. Your award entitles you to up to three years free accommodation. These do not need to be consecutive but you do need to remain eligible each year. Years of study that are excluded from support are:
              o foundation year
              o years involving study credits toward a Masters whether that be post graduate or integrated with a Bachelors
              o resit years o repeat years arising as a result of changing courses
              o years in which you are aged 26 or older on 1 September

+ If you get a job in a different city during the holidays or as a placement you can apply for free housing in an alternative student property – subject to availability – in your employer location

Miscellaneous support

Where appropriate the Foundation will make available opportunities or benefits provided by our donors and supporters. This may include items and activities geared toward making the most of your university experience.

All care experienced and estranged students (regardless of whether they are awarded the UF scholarship or not) are invited to join the This Is Us student-led community on Mighty Networks. Join the community at https://thisisusatuni.mn.co/

Responsibilities - Administration

+ Each year that you take the benefit of free accommodation you must sign the normal rental agreement for your room and abide by the standard terms and conditions of the tenancy. Breaking the tenancy agreement will most likely result in loss of your scholarship.

+ You will have read the privacy policy on applying to join the scholarship and must ensure that the Foundation team and your university always have up to date mobile and email contact details for you.

+ The Unite Foundation uses DocuSign.  This is a service for digital signature of documents that many of you will already be familiar with.  We will be using DocuSign to record that you have read our privacy policy which explains how and when we share your information with other people. Your signature will also confirm you have read, understood and accept the terms of the scholarship award in the event of you being selected.  You, the Unite Foundation and your university will receive a copy of this document for future reference.  If the privacy policy or terms of scholarship are updated you will be notified.   


+ You must respond to deadlines that you’ll be given for annual room bookings.

+ Any refunds or credit occurring on your tenancy account will remain the property of the Unite Foundation. The Unite Foundation is authorised to transfer any credit back to our account without the student’s permission.

Responsibilities - University experience

+ You should stay in regular touch with your university named contact; – they are a brilliant source of information and support for all your academic, social and financial questions whilst at university. The Foundation University Partners can also manage queries about your scholarship.

+ You should respond to termly communications from the Foundation. These will be a mix of meeting the Foundation team, small surveys, a competition or two and chances to take part in Foundation activities like media or events. You can also get in touch with us for any questions related to the scholarship.

Responsibilities - Scholarship scheme evaluation

+ As a registered charity we are continuously seeking to improve the way that we work so as to have a better impact on care leaver and estranged young students. In addition to tracking student outcomes nationally, each year we will conduct a survey that collects numeric and qualitative data. You must fill this in and should be completely honest so that the feedback can lead to improvements. We hope to keep in touch with you for up to two years after you graduate. Your feedback and progress can help improve the scheme and is invaluable to our development as a charity.

+ You could take part in Foundation student community activities developing ideas that improve Foundation communications, operations and fundraising or that improve the university experience for all care experienced or estranged students.
Part 7: Declaration

Read this.  When you click 'submit' you will have the chance to review your application and make any final changes. You can also print or save your completed application form. To save, go to 'print' on the next page save as a PDF file. VERY IMPORTANT  - after you've reviewed YOU NEED TO CLICK THE  'CONFIRM' BUTTON  to actually get your application submitted.