Keep Calm and Conquer UCAS

For most of you, offers to your chosen universities will be coming in thick and fast. If you’re lucky enough to have received all five offers, or have enough to choose a firm and insurance choice, now is the time to start making your decisions and replying. If you receive all your offers by 31st March you’ll have until 4th May to reply to your offers. 

If you are still umming and ahhing about where you’d like to attend, the university will have invited you to a visit day  where you can learn more about the university, your course, the environment, and really get a feel for whether you’d like to spend the next three years (or longer!) of your life there. Hopefully you’ve already visited the university, and seeing it again will remind you about why you liked it. 

However, if, on visiting, you change your mind and decide that you don’t like any of your chosen universities, UCAS Extra might be the way forward for you. 

If you’ve applied to an art and design course, music, dance or drama, or subjects related to medicine you may be asked to attend an interview or audition. It’s a good idea to start preparing in advance for these, so you’ve the most chance of getting in. On meeting you, you’ll hopefully receive an offer from the university and you can reply to their offer in the same way. 

Now is the time to also sort out your student finance. You actually don’t need to wait to hear from universities before you start applying, and the quicker you get the forms in the better. In England you need to apply by the 27th May 2016 to receive your money by the start of the term, whilst in Wales it is 13th May 2016, in Northern Ireland it is the 15th April 2016 and in Scotland it is the 30th June 2016. 

Once you’ve sorted out your student finance you should have a rough idea of how much money you are going to receive during your time at university. You might also have money saved from part-time work or as gifts from parents and friends. If you are choosing to live away from home, you can then start to have a look at how much specific accommodation at your university costs, and along with your preferences, make a start to filling in your accommodation form.

With your finances in check you’ll be able to see whether you can afford en-suite accommodation (if you want it), and you will also want to factor in other costs, for example if you choose to live in halls away from the university centre you might look into how much bus tickets cost, and if you are choosing to live in self-catered accommodation you might want to start thinking about how much you are prepared to pay for food each week. Once you’ve got a basic understanding of how much university life is going to cost you, you can also think about whether you’ll have to work part-time during university.  

Most universities offer accommodation on a first-come, first-served basis, so the quicker you get your application in, the more chance you’ll have of gaining your preferred place. 

Once all your admin is over, you can think about the end of exams and what you might get up to in the summer, whether it’s finally learning how to drive, getting your finances ready with a summer job or travelling the world with your friends.

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