Study help for care leavers

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Applications for La Trobe University care leaver bursaries worth $500 are open until 10 October 2017. Visit the La Trobe University Care Leaver Bursary page (new window) for more information. 

Every year over 400 young Victorians leave state care. They might have been in foster care, residential care or living with family or extended family in kinship care.

If you've lived in care, you may have had to change schools several times, which may have made it hard for you to learn and have a stable education. You may not have received the support you needed to finish high school. You may not even have thought going on to TAFE or university was an option for you. 

What is Raising Expectations?

Raising Expectations is a project aimed at helping people aged 18 and over who are leaving care to go to TAFE and university.

The program is about getting more people who have been in care to go on to university, including through TAFE pathway courses. This can help you to take advantage of the future life opportunities that come with completing a higher education qualification. 

To help make this happen, the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare is partnering with Federation University Australia and La Trobe University. Assistance has also been provided by MacKillop Family Services and Anglicare Victoria. The project is funded by the Sidney Myer Fund.

As part of this project, Federation University Australia and La Trobe University offer services, supports and financial help to make university study a real possibility for care leavers. 

They also offer pathways and programs that can give you the skills you need to feel more confident and better prepared for study. 

Both La Trobe University and Federation University Australia have campuses across Victoria.

How Raising Expectations helps care leavers apply for university

If you apply for courses through VTAC using the Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS), you can identify that you have been in care. Federation University Australia and La Trobe University can then link you into their tailored services and supports.

In 2017:

  • 160 care leaver students applied through SEAS and the VTAC portal and nominated La Trobe University in their course preferences 
  • 103 care leaver students are enrolled at La Trobe University and Federation University Australia
  • care leavers are studying at other universities, although specific student numbers are not known.

How to find out more about university options for care leavers

For more about how care leavers can apply to study at university, and what it's like to be a university student:

Federation University Australia

La Trobe University