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If you are classed as independent by your regional funding body, you are entitled to the higher rate of Cambridge Bursary which is £5,600 a year. The extra funding is intended to help cover the cost of accommodation over summer.

You could be categorised as an independent if you are:

  • over 25 years
  • under 25 years but have supported yourself financially for 3 years or more
  • under 25 years and have a dependant
  • under 25 years, were in the care of a local authority for 13 weeks or more before you were 16 years old and did not return to the parental home between turning 16 and starting your course
  • permanently and irreconcilably estranged from their parents
  • married or in a civil partnership
  • the child of parents who cannot be contacted practically or safely, or whose location is not known

If you meet any of the above criteria but were not classed as independent by the funding body, contact your regional funding body and ask to be reassessed.

Care leaver students

In addition to the higher rate Bursary of £5,600 a year, students who meet SLC's definition of a care leaver* are:

  • awarded the Education Premium of £1,000 a year
  • prioritised for a Reuben award of £1,750 a year

You do not need to apply separately for these. You’ll be automatically assessed when you apply for a student loan from your regional student finance body.

This means in total as a care leaver you may receive a non-repayable bursary of £8,350 a year.

£525 of your enhanced award will be paid before the start of the first term to help you with the costs of coming to Cambridge. We will contact you to arrange this.

Scottish care leavers

Contact your College or the Cambridge Bursary as soon as possible so that we can set up and pay your enhanced bursary. Student Awards Agency Scotland does not notify us that you’re a care leaver. You will not need to make a separate application, just contact us directly.

More information for Scottish students

* SLC's care leaver definition is a young person who meets all of the below:

  • they've have been in the care of, or have been given accommodation by, their local authority
  • their time in care lasted at least 13 weeks
  • their time in care ended after they turned 16
  • in most cases, they've not returned to the care of their parent(s) prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course