Thinking About College or University?

Deciding to go to university is a big step for anyone. It can be confusing and a bit overwhelming. The process can be difficult and you might not know where to turn for help. Working through your application with your conector is a great idea, but perhaps you want to hear about the application process from some people who have left care themselves first. Well, below is a video by a care experienced Youtuber going through the application step-by-step with her friend. She shares her experiences of filling out the application, some common issues someone with care experience might come across and more. It's a bit long - but well worth the time if you have it!




When applying for College or University, you will be asked whether you are care experienced via a tickbox. The Fostering Network have been working alongside UCAS to raise awareness of ticking the box and to break down some of the myths around what happens when you do tick the box.

Taken from the Tick the Box Campaign in 2022, here is an Instagram video explaining the following:

·        What happens to the information that I provide?

·        Why does UCAS asked me if I am care experienced

·        Why should I tick the box?

This video briefly talks about getting in touch via the phone, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, ask a connector or a trusted adult to do it with you!


When you attend that college of university, the support available will be different and can range from additional financial support in the form of a bursary, to practical support to help students settle in, find accommodation or manage finances. You can take all of the support options, pick and choose the ones that are right for you or say no to any of the support at any time. What’s important is that the College or University can offer that support to you. If they don’t know that you’re care experienced and you’re finding things difficult, they won’t be able to help you or point you in the direction of the help you may need.

Below is a short story from someone who did tick the box. You can also find additional information on the UCAS website here.

“I did consider not ticking the box. I wanted a university to take me based on my experience and what I would 'bring to the table’ so to speak, not just accept me to make a good statistic. But my UCAS adviser and my foster parents advised me to be honest and that I’d be given help (help that I would need to succeed) and if I didn’t tick the box, I might not receive that. As far as I was concerned, I wanted my degree so badly that if I had to give up a little of my pride by ticking a box, then I would do that for something I had been dreaming about for a long time.  

Education is an enabler. It’s something I don’t hear enough, and I want to hear more. Although experience and confidence are key, so is education and it's easy to lose that today when you can learn anything at the click of a keyboard. But I truly believe education can make such a difference in, not only your own life, but also other people’s. 

I’d tell any care experienced student considering university, to go for it! Work hard, focus on something you really want to change – that is the thing that will make you work hardest because you’ll be passionate about it. You’ll know if it's right.”

We really do encourage you to tick the box. It won’t affect your application process and it will make your route into further education easier. We understand that not everyone wants to tick the box but if you change your mind, you can let the student service department at any College or University know. What’s important is that you feel supported throughout your time in further education!

Are you a Supporter of students of Wee Campus?

Summer of 2023, we surveyed universities and colleges across Scotland to collate relevant information/support available for prospective and current students with care experience.  The information that was of most interest to prospective and current students was regarding accommodation, funding, and care experience evidencing information.  We had 15 institutions respond, the results from which can be viewed HERE. If you would like to take part in our survey or update the information for your university or college, please contact us at