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The University Challenge for Young Adult Carers

It’s that time of year when we send congratulations to all Young Adult Carers who are starting university.

Starting university can be exciting and daunting for any young person, but as a Young Adult Carer, you may be faced with many other complex emotions and elements to consider too.

Balancing caring responsibilities with academic pursuits can be challenging, so make sure you are aware of the resources and assistance available to you.

Here are a few hints to help support you:

Identify yourself as a Young Adult Carer to university - Understanding the definition provided by the Carers Trust is the first step in recognising your responsibilities. The Carers Trust defines a Young Adult Carer as someone aged between the age of 18 and 25 who cares, unpaid, for a family member or friend with an illness or disability, mental health condition or an addiction.

Explore Financial Support Options - Many universities have specific financial support programs for students with caring responsibilities. It's essential to research and find out what financial aid is available to you and what the eligibility criteria are.

Check for Carer's Passport Scheme - Some universities offer a Carer's Passport scheme, which streamlines the process of sharing your caring responsibilities with university staff. This can be a helpful tool in ensuring that your needs are understood and accommodated consistently.

Locate Student Welfare Services - Knowing where to find Student Welfare Services on campus is crucial. Additionally, if you have a personal academic tutor, schedule a meeting with them to discuss your situation and seek academic support as needed.

Report Changes in Circumstances - If you receive Carers Allowance and start full-time education at university, it's important to inform the relevant authorities about this change in your circumstances to ensure you continue to receive the support you're entitled to. You can report a change in your circumstances here.

Reach Out for Support - Always remember that you are not alone. Please contact us if you would like more information by calling us or email

Peer Support – Remember, you can access our monthly YAC Peer Support Group which is run monthly online, so you can join from wherever you are studying. Check the dates on the Newsletter and on our website.

Starting university is a significant life transition, and being a Young Adult Carer adds an extra layer of complexity. Being proactive and seeking support can help make this transition smoother and more manageable.

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