For all LiNCHigher's work we are guided by The SCiP Alliance’s definition of a Service child: 

A person whose parent, or carer, serves in the regular armed forces, or as a reservist, or has done at any point during the first 25 years of that person’s life.

Below you will find the support you may need to make the first steps towards Higher Education. You’ll learn about support options available to you as a Service child, as well as specific resources to help you take your next steps.

In the film below young people talk about how they feel about their hopes and plans and how they fit in with the communities around them. It aims to challenge stereotypes, raise aspirations and highlights the importance of community engagement. 

Macro alias: YouTubeVideo

If your parent(s) or carer(s) is serving as a Regular or Reservist in the UK Armed Forces, or has done so in the past, your experience of applying to higher education may be different to students from a non-service background. For example, you may have moved schools more often than most students, or you may have felt unable to participate in extra-curricular activities.

Universities and colleges understand that you may experience disruption to your education, or may have been restricted in your course choices. They’re also aware that you may have face additional challenges if a parent or carer has been deployed. They are keen to know about your circumstances, because it allows them to consider your academic achievements in context. If you feel you have missed any skills or knowledge, they may be able to help through workshops or summer schools. You could also investigate the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) directory for available courses to help you prepare for higher Education.

But, universities and colleges aren’t only interested in your results. As a Service child you will have developed highly valued, unique skills and strengths as a result of their circumstances, such as being an independent learner, or being able to adapt to different situations quickly. The Service Children’s Progression (SCiP) Alliance has worked with UCAS to develop guidance for Service children applying to university – including advice on how to complete your personal statement to showcase these strengths.

Once you’re at university, you may be able to access additional support. This can include financial help, mentoring, and study support to help you fill any gaps in your learning. Before you apply, it’s a good idea to contact student support services at the university or college to check what help is available, and to discuss your needs. 

Read more about the support available for children from Armed Forces families on the Service Children’s Progression Alliance (SCiP Alliance) website.

Other Resources

Here you can find a number of downloadable resources that provide information on support, funding and personal statements.

LiNCHigher Guide to Higher Education for Children from an armed forces family. 

Providing young people and their families with information on all aspects of educational pathways, applications, student life and financing

Funding and Support for RAF Children in Schools

This booklet highlights some of the organisations that are actively offering funding and support to service families. It also contains tips to help with funding applications.

Armed Forces Family Life

A PowerPoint presentation that gives insight into some of the unique challenges faced by service families.

RAF Families Federation FAQs

A series of answers to commonly asked questions regarding service children.

UCAS Information for Teachers, Advisers and Referees

A concise outline of the challenges faced by service children and how you can help as a teacher, adviser or referee.

UCAS Information for HE Admissions Teams

A concise outline of the challenges faced by service children and how you can help as a member of a HE admissions team.