Scientific evidence shows that young people who have been in alternative care are more vulnerable than youth in the general population. This disadvantage is even more pronounced in the case of those who have been in residential care. A main factor associated with this greater vulnerability is low academic attainment, which is reflected in the scarcity of these youth accessing higher education. This qualitative research gathers the voices of twelve youth who have lived in residential care and are studying or have studied at university to explore those elements that have helped them overcome the obstacles to accessing higher education and have better opportunities in all areas of life. Following a communicative approach, the participants were also involved in the analysis. Besides identifying some of the great difficulties faced, the findings reveal that the participants were aware of the opportunities presented by a university degree and encouraged by relevant educators. Furthermore, most of the residential centres of the participants gave priority to their studies and provided extra support in a protective environment. The results provide valuable insights to child welfare decision makers and residential caregivers for improving services.