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Students with caring responsibilities


If you are a student who is caring for a partner, family member or friend then this page offers some information and links that you may find useful.

You may also find useful information on our Mature Students webpage or our Students with children webpage.



Academic Matters


Attendance - many of the University's courses require a high level of attendance at lectures and seminars. If you feel that you are struggling with your attendance you should contact your course tutors in the first instance and discuss your situation with them to see if any special arrangements can be made.

Deadlines - the University of Essex operates a uniform Course Deadline policy on late submission of coursework. Work which is submitted after the set deadline will be given a mark of zero unless you can show satisfactory evidence of Extenuating Circumstances.  Follow the links on the 'Information for Students' page for further information on the University's Late Submission Guidelines and Extenuating Circumstances Guidelines.



Student Support


If you find that your caring responsibilities combined with the pressures of studying are affecting your emotional, mental or physical health, you may find it helpful to drop-in to Student Support for advice and guidance or support for your emotional health. 



Financial matters


Council Tax - full time students are exempt from paying council tax. If the only other adult in the property is disabled or severely mentally impaired then the whole property may be exempt. If there are other adults living in the house too then you may still qualify for a reduction.
If you have left your own property empty in order to live with and care for someone then you may not have to pay council tax on your empty property. 
Further information on Council Tax exemptions.

Carers' Allowance - part-time students may be eligible to receive Carer's Allowance if they meet the eligibility criteria. Students studying more than a certain number of hours per week are not eligible.
Further information on Carers' Allowance

Adult Dependant's Grant - full time, UK undergraduate students may be eligible to receive a non-repayable grant to help with their costs associated with caring for an adult dependant.
Further information on the Adult Dependant's Grant from

Tax Credits - tax credits are still available to eligible full and part-time students. Your student income (, grants, etc) is not treated as income as it is not earned.
Further information on Tax Credits and the HMRC tax credits calculator.

Income Support/Housing Benefit - part-time students, or students with a disability or who are lone parents may be eligible to receive Income Support and/or Housing Benefit if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Further information on Housing Benefit
Further information on Income Support

Student Support benefits pages


Benefits advice for you or the person you are caring for is also available from the Citizens Advice Bureau.





Parking on Colchester campus - students living in on-campus accommodation are not usually eligible to park on campus. If you live on Colchester campus and have caring responsibilities which you feel mean you need to have a car then you should drop-in to Student Support for an application form.  Applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.


Caring for Carers project



External Links


Carers UK is the voice of carers who provide unpaid care for an ill, frail or disabled family member, friend or partner.


The Princess Royal Trust for Carers was created on the initiative of Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal in 1991 to provide support for people caring at home for family members or friends with disabilities and chronic illnesses.


NHS Carers Direct provide information, advice and support for carers.


Essex Carers' Support provide advice and support for informal carers of any age regardless of the nature of the disability.


Local information for Northeast Essex from the NHS.


Action for Family Carers is an Essex-based charity offering support and information to unpaid carers.



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