Estranged Students

Estranged Students

Estranged students are young people studying without the support and approval of a family network. Young people in this position have removed themselves from a dysfunctional situation and often have no contact at all with their family. These situations can be caused by:

  • Emotional abuse
  • Mismatched expectations about family roles and relationships
  • A clash of personality or values including social and cultural expectations

RCS have signed the Stand Alone Pledge and are now working towards better supporting our estranged students.  If you find yourself estranged from your family during your course, UCAS offers information on where to go to for information and advice as does the StandAlone charity.  Please also think about talking to the International and Student Experience Team in the AAS office if you would like some support.  Sarah or Pauline are happy to talk to you and can be contacted via Teams if you’d like to speak face-to-face or at

If you’re struggling financially, the HE Discretionary Fund gives priority to estranged students who are in financial need.  Please see the Funding and Finance page of the portal for instructions on how to apply.

23rd – 27th November 2020 is Stand Alone’s National Estranged Student Solidarity Week and RCS appreciates just how difficult it can be to be estranged.  You’re not alone and we are here to support you.

There are some useful resources/campaigns as follows:

Signup to receive a Christmas Card!
Holiday periods can be a very lonely time for students with no families to go home to, especially this year. To help spread a little love and solidarity, StandAlone are running a handwritten festive/Christmas cards scheme for all estranged and care experienced students (and recent graduates)! There is a short google form to sign up which is:


A national Pen Pal Exchange:
There is a Pen Pal Exchange for people to connect with other care experienced people and estranged students/estranged-adult-offspring. Estranged and care experienced students can access the signup via a Survey Monkey link:


• Provides advice and support for all people experienced estrangement.
• A huge range of resources, support groups, workshops and a programme to connect people for ongoing support
• Specific advice for estranged students
• Funding advice for estranged students including funding bodies such as SAAS and Student Finance


• Step by step support for estranged students applying through UCAS



• Step by step guidance from student funding for estranged students from Scotland


• Provides funding support for estranged people aged 16-20 pursuing education


• Provides homeless young people with accommodation, health support and life skills
• Free help line via phone or email. More information here


• Mental health information and support
• Offers a helpline, online community, guides and tip sheets.