The first term at Imperial can involve several one- off costs that may need to be paid before the first instalment of loans and bursaries has been received.

For care leavers and estranged students who have less family support and less access to financial support it is more difficult to meet upfront costs before you arrive at Imperial.

These upfront costs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Household basics, like kitchen equipment and bedding
  • Laptop or computer
  • Course books and equipment
  • Car rental for moving or train ticket for moving day
  • First grocery shop
  • Socialising and meeting new friends
  • Contents insurance
  • Clubs and societies subscription payments

Care leavers and estranged students who are in a receipt of an Imperial Bursary will be offered the chance to receive their Bursary two months earlier than the usual first payment date of 7 November.

Frequently asked questions

How do I apply?

We will email you to confirm your bursary amount after you have received your A-level results and ask you how you wish to receive your Imperial Bursary.

We will also request evidence of your estranged status and your bank details in order for us to pay you before you register at Imperial.

The only financial assessment we accept is from your relevant government funding body, i.e. Student Finance England.

You must ensure they assess you as a care leaver or an estranged student, and you must consent to share your information so that the Student Financial Support team at Imperial can see it.

If you are a Scottish student please contact the Student Financial Support team to let us know if you are receiving the Care Experience Bursary, so we can ask SAAS for your information.

When will my Imperial Bursary be paid?

You will be able to receive your first payment on 6 September 2021. You will receive a further 9 equal monthly payments thereafter ending 6 June 2022.

Your government funding body may assess you with a £0 income which means we will award you an Imperial Bursary of £5,000.

Usually first year students receive their first payment on 7 November.

As a care leaver or estranged student, you will receive two instalments of £500 before November, with the remaining £4,000 being paid across the remaining 8 months in equal instalments of £500.

Who is a care leaver?

Someone who has been looked after for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, and has been looked after at some time while 16 or 17.

Who is an estranged student?

Under 25 years old on 1 September 2021 and identified as estranged from their parents by their government funding body.

Please contact the Student Loans Company by email at for all queries related to all independent students including estranged students.

The inbox should be used when students advise they are unable to provide independent evidence of estrangement as it has occurred recently/no independent professional source is aware of their circumstances.

Assessors will contact the students directly and may conduct a telephone review of their circumstances.