Parents' Guide to University


The transition to university can often be quite daunting and overwhelming at first. Offering as much support where possible is important in creating a sense of stability at this time of change. Although not all students live away from home at university, students still experience a change in lifestyle that comes with university study.

The Research Process

  • Step 1: Use the UCAS search tool to find the right subject and shortlist courses.
  • Step 2: Head to an open event! Universities will advertise their events on
  • Step 3: Get informed! - It's important that your child understands the entry requirements needed for the course they want to apply for and the UCAS deadlines they need to meet.

Visit to find out more.

Finance Facts top tip!

  • Nothing is paid back until your child is earning £25,000 or above.
  • Student loans will not affect your child's credit rating.
  • Any outstanding loan will be wiped out after 30 years of graduating.
  • In the 'Personal details' section of the application, there's the options for your child to add your name for 'nominated access'.
  • This allows you to contact UCAS - or the universities they have applied to - on their behalf to discuss the status of their application.

How much does it cost to send a UCAS application? The application fee is £18 if they're applying to just one course, or £24 for multiple courses, and for late applications sent after 30 June.

A good personal Statement:

  • is relevant and focused - don't waste the 4,000 characters
  • uses clear, plain English
  • avoids cliches
  • is original - UCAS' software scans all personal statements for plagiarism
  • is redrafted multiple times until it's right

Key Dates

  • 15th January 2019: Deadline for majority of undergraduate courses
  • 25th February 2019: UCAS Extra opens. Students who don't receive any offers from their five choices can use this service to submit further applications
  • 2nd May 2019: Deadline for universities to make their decisions on applications.
  • May 2019: Student Finance application deadlines
  • 30th June 2019: This is the final deadline for students to apply to university via UCAS

If students don't make this deadline, they will have to apply through Clearing.

Support at College

Whether your child is seeking specific support with UCAS. personal statements, student finance, or would just like to more information about university, there is always help available from our two dedicated HE team members.

  • Helena Moles - Higher Education Liaison Coordinator based in Student Support Monday to Friday. Email:
  • Jacqueline Partridge - Higher Education Champion based in the Learning Curve every Thursday and Friday. Email:

Course Tutors and The Learning Curve also offer support with Higher Education, the writing of the UCAS applications and student finance.

Results Day

Results day can be stressful, so make sure your child knows how it works and what to expect.

  • UCAS receives exam results, matches them to applicants, and makes them available to universities and colleges.
  • universities then check the offer details and confirm if the conditions have been met.
  • If the university has confirmed their place, this will be shown clearly in Track.

There is restricted access to Track in the lead up to SQA results day and A level results day, while UCAS processes results - details of when it's available will be clearly displayed on

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