UCAS Advice for Students and Parents

The application window for applying for universities is now open and will close on 31st January 2024 at 6pm.

Our students will receive a range of support and guidance in-school to aid this process, including updates on open events and virtual exhibitions via the Google Classrooms, 1:1 meetings with the Head of 6th Form and help from advisors to draft their personal statements. 

We are also aware that parents need some guidance on what they should be doing to aid the process. Below are some ideas and links to the UCAS website to get you started. As always, if you have any questions about the process, do contact us in the 6th Form Office or via your child’s advisor. 

Key Websites

  • Parent Presentation – on the 10th October 2023 we presented to parents an introduction to UCAS Applications and alternative Post 18 pathways.  The material can be found through this link. 
  • The UCAS website – this is the main website and includes the ‘Search’ function which students will find vital in exploring the different universities and courses available up and down the country!
  • Advice for Parents – this is the key section of the website for you and will give you an overview of how you can support your child through their application 
  • Parent Guide  – this is a fabulous and comprehensive guide for parents to understand the process and should answer many of your questions. 

A Timeline to Application

The purpose of this is to give you an outline of what your child should be doing to ensure they are on track to apply for 2024!

  • July/August 2023 – Begin drafting a personal statement; complete an online application following the advice given in the Google Classroom.
  • September 2023 –Submit a draft personal statement to their advisor for checking; at least 3-4 re-drafts are expected before the final submission to the Head of 6th Form.
  • October 2023 –Conduct detailed research into universities and courses available (consider both those within commutable proximity but also further afield); complete online events and attend virtual exhibitions.
  • November/December 2023 –Book an appointment with the Head of 6th Form to discuss application and check online application for errors.
  • December/January 2024Submit application to UCAS, this has a cost attached and is paid for online when submitting. At this point the application is sent to the Head of 6th Form who conducts a final check before sending it to UCAS for processing. 

*If they haven’t yet made a start, there is still plenty of time but we would encourage them to get started and follow the plan above. Advisors and the Head of 6th Form are available for coaching conversations at this point if needed. 

Good to Know

  • A student can apply for up to 5 universities or courses; if they choose two or more courses at a university this will occupy two of those slots. 
  • We would always encourage students to look at the entry criteria when selecting a place to study; students should pick at least one that would give them something to aim for as well as one provider that might offer more of a safety net. They should try to fill all the slots. 
  • At the point of application, students do not need to provide financial information for the purposes of student loans but it is worth having a look at what will be required at www.gov.uk/student-finance
  • The deadline of 31st January is set by UCAS as being the point they will ensure applications will receive equal consideration. After this date, applications can still be made throughout the year but there can be no guarantee of places available. 
  • When researching universities, it is important to consider a range of factors – which may include: course details, accommodation, city life, student support etc www.whatuni.com is a useful research tool to aid this discussion 

One of the factors which we know concerns parents is the cost of university and the implications for funding this. Later in the year we will provide further information on applying for student loans and how to prepare your child for the budgeting process needed to manage their own finances. Do check back on this page for more information. 

We hope you have found this short summary useful in supporting your child in making their decisions. We will also be providing information on Apprenticeships and work opportunities as the year progresses, but in the interim we would draw your attention to the new Careers link on our website latengagement.org.uk where you will find a section dedicated to parents. 

Miss Shaw-Kew
Assistant Principal | Head of 6th Form