There’s only one week (Friday 15 January) left until the first UCAS application deadline of the main cycle, but if you haven’t applied for university yet don’t panic, there’s still time.
Head of Admissions at the University of Bedfordshire, Susie King has some top tips to make sure you can meet that UCAS deadline.
1. Be prepared – Think about the location, is it too far or too close to home? A campus or city university? Consider whether it is a realistic goal, what grades you are expecting and what are the entry requirements. Are you overestimating or underestimating your capabilities? Think about whether the course is right for you. Are you looking for a more academic or vocational degree? What are graduates doing after they finish? Try not to think too much about league table positions, but whether you will enjoy what you are studying and how that will get you where you want to be.
2. Be personal – your personal statement is about…you! What are you studying? What is it about the subject that makes you want to study it in further education? Does it relate to your chosen course? Let the university know if you have a job, are involved in a club or charity, what your passions are. Start in the middle if the first line is putting you off. Remember: you know all about you!
3. Be involved – campus tours are a great way of getting a feel for the campus and where you will be spending most of your time. Tours are generally available during January and February even after the deadline, and some institutions may offer private tours. Check out your chosen institution’s website to see what your options are.
4. Be strong – try not to be influenced by friends or family. Are you going to feel left behind if you don’t go to university? Is the institution you are looking to apply to not your parent’s idea of a good place to study? Taking advice from parents and tutors is a great decision making tool, but remember; this is your degree and it should be your choice.
5. Be calm – there’s still time! If you are applying for a popular course with limited places available, for example Nursing, Teaching or Social Work you should aim to apply by the 15 January so that your application can receive equal consideration alongside everyone else who applied by the deadline.
For other courses you should apply as soon as you are able to do so and as close to the 15 January as possible. Your application will be considered as late but can still be looked at in the UCAS main cycle which is open until the 30 June. Check with your chosen institution to see when they recommend that you apply and if they take late applications.