Independent (Estranged) students

Estranged students are young people between the ages of 18-24 studying without the support of their parents (biological, step or adoptive parents), due to a breakdown in those relationships. This is likely to be permanent. Some students might live independently, with friends, or with another family member (kinship care) when applying for university, or they may be homeless. Other terms linked to estrangement are self-reliant, foyer, sofa-surfing and independent.

What can we offer you?

If you are a confirmed estranged student (18-24yrs / Home Status) studying an undergraduate degree at Herts you'll have access to the following:

Support and Wellbeing

The Student Success team are dedicated to supporting you throughout your time at the University of Hertfordshire. We'll help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to progress successfully through your course and into your career of choice or further study. The support we offer includes:

  • giving you a named contact who you can email or phone for guidance and support
  • providing financial support for essential study equipment, books or software
  • a pre-entry taster and orientation day
  • priority access to wellbeing and mental health workshops and resources
  • sending you a regular newsletter with news about university life, events and opportunities.


We know that finding paid employment is important to students who are studying independently. Our expert team in the Careers and Employment Service will support you to apply for employment during your studies. They can give you specialist advice and support to get you career ready.

We will also support you to apply for paid student roles such as Student Ambassador and BAME Advocate roles.

Financial Support

We know that some students worry that going to university will be expensive. We offer estranged students a bursary worth £1500 per year for their three years of undergraduate study. Estranged status is confirmed through Student Finance England (or relevant awarding body) via the University's Student Finance team. Visit the Stand Alone charity's website to find out how estranged student status is assessed by Student Finance England.

Our Student Finance team can give expert advice on managing your finances. They will also work with you to complete the Student Finance England forms confirming your estranged (independent) status.

First year undergraduate students (Level 4), may be eligible for the University of Hertfordshire bursary.

The University has a financial support fund for students experiencing financial difficulty. The Student Success team can also provide short-term financial support, such as food vouchers.


We can offer access to year round student accommodation including outside of term times if required.

We will give practical support for moving into halls accommodation and an ‘arrivals package’ if required.

We can provide financial support for you to access a rent guarantor scheme to support your transition out of halls accommodation.


You will have priority access to the Student Success programme of activities which typically includes:

  • academic mentoring or coaching
  • financial advice and support
  • peer mentoring
  • exam support ad preparation
  • wellbeing and self-care resources.

We can help you find paid work opportunities such as becoming a Student Ambassador or BAME Advocate here at Herts. We can also help you find volunteering roles through the Students' Union.

The Students' Union have over 100 societies you can join!  We'll encourage you to get involved, try something new and make friends. Find out more about the Students' Union Societies

We will support you to apply for a Go Herts Award. This award celebrates the University of Hertfordshire's student's engagement with opportunities, outside of the assessed part of their degree, which contribute to their employability. This could involve volunteering, part time work or community engagement projects. Find out more about the Go Herts Award.

Our commitment to support estranged students

Stand Alone is a charity that supports students studying without the support or approval of a family network. We are proud to have taken the Stand Alone pledge which makes public our commitment to supporting estranged (independent) students to access and be successful in Higher Education.

Any questions?

If you'd like more information or you'd like to have a chat about how we can support you as an estranged (independent) student, please email and a member of the team will get back to you as quickly as possible.

We work Monday-Thursday 09:00 - 17:00 and Fridays 09:00 - 16:00.