Being care experienced
We know that young people with experience of care are significantly less likely to continue into higher education than their peers. Being in care can impact your school progress and the opportunity to attend university at the usual time.
At the OU, we’re here to help put higher education back within your grasp with our open-access courses and flexible study arrangements. OU study means you do not have to move away and can study from the comfort of your own home.
What is the Care Experienced Scholarship?
The Open University’s Care Experienced Scholarship, in conjunction with The John Lewis Partnership, is launching for the first time in the 2023/2024 academic year, offering four undergraduate scholarships.
A scholarship covers OU undergraduate credit-bearing qualifications, paying for the full tuition cost of your qualification, up to 120 credits each seasonal academic year and 360 credits in total.
To be eligible, you’ll need to meet all the following criteria:
- be 25 years of age or under on 1 September 2023
- be starting OU study for the first time in the 2023/24 academic year
- be ordinarily resident in the UK and eligible for a UK fee
- hold no existing higher education qualification(s)
- be able to demonstrate proof of your experience of being in care
- have a gross personal income of not more than £25,000 per year or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit
- be studying a module as part of an undergraduate qualification in the academic year 2023/24 (1 September 2023 to 31 August 2024)
- be studying a minimum of 30 credits a year.
The full eligibility criteria are available in the terms and conditions.
What supporting evidence do I need?
You will need to provide evidence of your care experience. This could be a letter from your Local Authority confirming your care leaver status, or a letter from a GP, social worker, care experienced support service or other professional person from the local authority in which you were looked after. You’ll also need to provide evidence of your personal income or qualifying benefit.
How to apply
We’re now accepting applications for the 2023/24 academic year. To apply, you’ll need to download the full scholarship terms and conditions and the scholarship application form.
When you’ve completed your application form, you can email it and your supporting evidence to our Student Fees team – their contact details are on the first page of the application form.
Applications close at midnight on 26 July 2023. If you’re successful, we’ll email you by 11 August 2023 to confirm. We’ll also be in contact soon afterwards to ensure you’re ready to study and to help you choose your course, so don’t worry if you’re unsure what you’d like to study.
Need more information?
Our advisers can answer any questions about the Care Experienced Scholarship and help you complete your application if needed. Don’t hesitate to call us on 0300 303 5303.