Since university students increasingly face the need to reconcile studying and caring for an older person this study explores the lives, challenges and coping strategies of caregiving students in Germany as well as the ways institutions of higher education can (or already do) support them. The situation of such students was investigated with eight in-depth interviews with caregiving students, which were fully transcribed and analysed with a thematic coding strategy. Results show that caregiving students in tertiary education are a group that experiences unique challenges that differ from those faced by caregivers in later life, working life or caregiving children. They tend to live ‘hidden lives’ as caregivers and face exclusion from a ‘normal’ student life. Findings indicate the importance of raising awareness for the topic among university staff as well as flexibility with regards to regulations in the university context.