The national application form for applying to university (UCAS) has confirmed that from 2018 there will be a tick box on the application form for student carers –

Carers Trust have been campaigning for this since 2014, to enable young adult carers to identify themselves during the application process to university.  The campaign became much more widespread in February 2016, when a student carer Carol Hayward, 21, started a campaign of her own. Within just 6 weeks the campaign had more than 2,500 signatures.

The tickbox will enable carers to disclose to all the universities they apply to that they are a carer – this will enable the university to make sure the carer is aware of what support is available for them pre-enrolment and during their time at universityIt will also increase awareness at the universities of how many young adult carers are applying. Carers Trust research shows that student carers are 4 times more likely to drop out of university than students who don’t have a caring role (many of whom only disclose that they are a carer at the point of drop-out). In the last few years, there has been an increased drive within universities across the country to develop stronger support for student carers, and to improve links with local carers centres. This success within UCAS is a very important step in the work towards ensuring carers have the same opportunity to be students, and reducing the drop-out rate.