Undergraduate study - 2021 entry

Support for estranged students

If you are estranged from your family, we can provide you with support before you apply to university and throughout your degree.

You might be classed as an estranged student if you are:

  • aged 25 or under at the start of your studies
  • without the financial or emotional support of your family due to a breakdown in the relationship

Financial support

In order to apply for funding you usually need to be either:

  • estranged from your family for 12 months
  • able to demonstrate that you are unlikely to reconcile

Applications for estrangement are assessed on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us for advice if you are unsure whether you are eligible.

Providing evidence

If you are an undergraduate student who is estranged from your family, you will need to provide evidence to your student funding body (SAAS, Student Finance England). We can support you to gather this evidence and apply as an independent student. You will usually need to make this application every year.

If your application for estrangement is rejected by your funding body, you may still be eligible for financial support from the University. Please get in touch with us to discuss your options.


If you are an undergraduate student that has been assessed as estranged by your funding body, you will automatically be assessed for a scholarship from the University of Edinburgh.

Estranged students can be awarded the Access Edinburgh Scholarship (from 2020 entry). 

Access Edinburgh Scholarship


We guarantee 365-day accommodation to undergraduate students who are estranged from their families. Please get in touch if you would like to take advantage of this offer.

We are also a Unite Foundation partner. This means that, as a new student, you can apply for fully-funded accommodation for three years through the Unite Foundation Student Award.

Unite Foundation Student Award

Other support

We can also provide other support, such as:

  • advice on the application process
  • a meeting or a chat over the phone before you apply to university
  • guidance on funding you will be eligible for and how to apply
  • coordinating other support services on your behalf
  • setting you up with an undergraduate peer mentor in your first year
  • putting you in touch with networks of other estranged students
  • a friendly face at the University and someone to talk to if you need

Stand Alone

Stand Alone provides support to adults that are estranged from their family or a key family member. The University of Edinburgh has signed the Stand Alone Pledge, committing to supporting estranged students in our University community.

For more information on the Pledge and the work that Stand Alone do, see the links below.

Stand Alone Pledge

Stand Alone website

Contact us

Get in touch with the team to chat about any support you might need as an estranged student.

Zaki El-Salahi

Widening Participation Manager

  • Student Recruitment and Admissions

Contact details