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If you are deemed to be 'independent', you will not need to provide your parent(s) income details to be assessed for the means tested bursary. You will instead be required to supply income details of your spouse, civil partner or partner if you have one.

You can be classed as independent if you can demonstrate you meet one or more of the following:

  • You have supported yourself from your own earnings for an aggregate of 36 months before the start of the first academic year of the course. Earnings cannot include Student Finance England (or equivalent), student loans and grants or any other form of mandatory award. The 36 months do not need to be one continuous period and can also include any periods in which you were;
    • participating in arrangements for training for the unemployed under any scheme operated, sponsored or funded by a state authority
    • in receipt of benefits payable by a state authority in respect of a person who is unemployed but available for work
    • available for employment and had complied with any requirement imposed by a state authority as a condition of receiving benefits or training
    • in receipt of a State Studentship or similar award
    • in receipt of any pension, allowance or other benefit paid by reason of a disability to which you are subject, or by reason of maternity, injury or sickness, paid by any person
  • You have been married, in a civil partnership, divorced or widowed.
  • You have no parents living.
  • You have been irreconcilably estranged (have no contact) from both parents for over 12 months.
  • You have satisfied NHS Student Bursaries that your parents cannot be found or that it is not reasonably practicable to get in touch with them.
  • You were in the care of a local authority or voluntary organisation, or were under a custodianship order on the 18th birthday or immediately before their course if they are not 18 when it begins
  • You are a member of a religious order who lives in a house of his or her order.
  • Your parents are residing outside the EU in circumstances where the assessment of a parental contribution would put them in jeopardy or that it would not be reasonably practicable for them to send any such contribution to the UK, for example, they reside in a country where there is political unrest.
  • You are responsible or have joint custody for the care of a dependent child or children (under 18 years of age) on the first day of the academic year for which an application is being made.
  • You are a medical or dental student supported by Student Finance England in any year of your course and deemed by them to be an independent student under DfE Student Support Regulations. The NHSBSA will accept this assessment and you will be classed as independent for NHS Bursary means testing.
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