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Universities and the UCAS Process Information for Parents

Cirencester College February 27 2014

Tonight’s Agenda • Going to university: A good idea? • How does the application process work? • Who does what? – Students & Parents – College • Any problems? – What if you don’t know what you want to do? – Is money going to be a problem?

Going to University: a good idea? • Does it cost too much now? • Are there jobs at the end? • What are the alternatives? – PT study – while working – a FD? (HNC/D) – HE in FE – Cirencester & other local colleges – OU – Apprenticeships – Employment – Gap Year / YINI etc

University: Now and Future There has been considerable expansion in the proportion of graduates since 1980s • many jobs are now open only to graduates • the expectation is that this will continue in the immediate future Much of the expansion has been in vocationally-linked courses, e.g. FDs UCAS applications currently average over 500,000 per year.

The UCAS Process January 2014 Start thinking and researching your options.

Follow UCAS Tracking Form

Mid September 2014 Deadline for medical, veterinary and Oxbridge applications

September 2014 Personal Statement to Tutor at start of term

January – June 2014 Discussing options with personal tutor in tutor group and 1to1 appointments

Summer 2014 Draft Personal Statement, investigate courses, visit universities, make your choices

October 2014 Submit UCAS application

27th February HE Parents’ Evening

27th March UCAS Convention

Starting the Process: Doing the Research •

Use the UCAS website,, for information about courses and grades required

Lots of information in the Careers section of our Library

UWE UCAS Convention March 27th

University and Employers convention Cirencester College March 4th

University websites

Open Days, College Trips

Cirencester College University and Employer Convention 2014

Lots of choice… •

Over 50,000 different courses

2,3 & 4 year degrees

Sandwiches with ‘thin’ and ‘thick’ fillings

Different methods of assessment

Different approaches to teaching

Some courses vocationally linked

Use the Times and Guardian Education Guides, and ask for quality information – research rating, drop-out rates, employment rates etc.

A Range of Subjects •


Museum Studies

Biblical Studies

Packaging Design

Brewing and Distilling


Dutch Studies

Police Studies

Equine Science


Footwear Technology

Ship Science

Golf Course Management

Sound Recording

Jazz Studies

Valuation & Auctioneering


Wine Studies

What if they’re stuck? •

Use diagnostic tools on the UCAS website such as Stamford Test

• • •

Talk to a Personal Tutor Morrisby Profile Book a careers appointment

• Year in Industry or a structured Gap Year can help • Think about a Foundation Degree? • Go with the best guess… you can always turn a place down later!

Narrowing the Choices

• Students apply to up to 5 universities • Once there is an initial shortlist, Open Days and campus visits really help – you’re not just choosing a course, but also a home for 2-4 years – Rural or Urban? – Living accommodation – cost, quality etc. – Other facilities – sports, music etc

Crunch time!

• We’d like a Personal Statement at the beginning of Year Two • We advise the application should be in by the end of October • UCAS external deadline: January 15th • For Oxbridge, vets and medical applications, by late September – external deadline 15th October • Many universities interview any time between January and March

Making the Application – the Student’s job, with your support •

Online: UCAS Apply

5 choices

Personal details – qualifications, disabilities etc.

Personal Statement – The student’s ‘sales pitch’: include ‘buzzwords’ from university prospectuses and websites – Explain: why this course choice?

Our Job… •

To give advice through personal tutors, subject staff, student services and LC staff

Help with Personal Statement drafting: CCO and Personal Tutors

Once the student has finished the application they submit it to us electronically…

We add a reference and send the completed application to UCAS

• We collect the UCAS fee and send it off

• We operate two distinct levels of checking to ensure the best possible applications go out • We may delay sending the application while we try to help the student improve it

The Process •

Offers from Universities

The UCAS Tariff (and General Studies)

Monitor through TRACK

Replies through UCAS

Firm and Insurance Offers


Results Day - Adjustment


Money concerns? • By and large, students pay, not parents… • The Government does expect some contribution will be made by higher earning parents – but they can’t dictate what you will do • Up to half of all students will receive some form of non-repayable grant, and up to a third will receive the full grant • All students are eligible for a loan to cover tuition fees and living costs • Many students can also receive bursary or scholarship grants

What will it all cost? Tuition Fees

Living Costs

No upfront fee

• Roughly £19,000 over 3 years

Universities charge variable fees, up to £9,000 per year

Students take out loans for fees and repay from later earnings over £21,000 per year

• Student loans up to ££5,555 pa outside London, £7,751in London (figures for 2014/15) if you are living away from home

• Grants up to £3,387 per year for students from families earning £42,600 or less (full Universities charging over amount only if household £6,000 per year must take steps income is below £25,000) to ensure access for all • Most students have a part-time job to help with living expenses

Not as scary as it looks… • Students do not begin to repay their loans until they are earning more than £21,000 a year. – Rate of interest much lower than on commercial bank loans

• They pay 9% of earnings over £21,000 • The Student Loan does not affect their credit rating (for mortgages etc.) – Outstanding loans written off after 25 years

• Part-time students are now also eligible for loans • Find all the details on and helpful summaries on our CCO Parent Zone

ALSO… • If your son or daughter receives support of any kind for disability/health issues/learning difficulties, ‘tick the box’ on the UCAS form to access additional support at university

Don’t forget

Many institutions are offering bursaries and scholarships

Details of these are available on the UCAS website, in university prospectuses & websites and in the Careers Library

Universities’ offerings of financial aid vary widely – it pays to do research!

Many scholarships are also attached to unconditional offers.


Encourage students to do their research

If they aren’t sure whether they want to apply, encourage them to do it – they can always decline later

Encourage them to make use of the facilities we offer

Encourage preparation – reading around the subject, possible work experience, etc.

Offer help in drafting personal statements

Encourage them to apply early

• University level tuition (quality assured) • Cost-effective (fees, living costs) • Combine with work (all HNDs run as evening classes) • Taught practical, vocational skills designed for employment • Small class size • Specialist guidance and support • Progression routes to honours degree • 10% HE students nationwide study in colleges

Foundation Degrees


•Criminology and Criminal Justice (with UWE)

•Animal Management

•Environmental Conservation and Heritage Management (with RAC) •Archaeology and Historical Conservation (with RAC) •British Wildlife and Conservation (with RAC)

•Business •Computing and Systems Development •Health and Social Care •Sport (Coaching and Sports Development)

Further information: • •All courses designated full time •Students entitled to a student loan in the same way as courses taught at universities •Also maintenance loans/possible grants (means-tested) •Speak to tutor or contact student journey team ( ) •FD applications through UCAS (refer to HEI partner websites) •HND applications directly to college (see college website for details)

Apprenticeships involve an employer, student and trainer Work-based training • 12 month contract • Minimum of 16 hours per week at work • Day per week at college Training • Vocational Qualification assessed in the workplace • Technical & Key Skills taught in the classroom

Employer • Local to Cirencester • Min 12 month contract • Prepared to invest Apprentice

Trainer • Provide training • Work with employer • Support apprentice

• Enthusiastic • Disciplined • Know what you want

Working Together

Apprenticeship Information Session Wednesday 5 March 4.30 – 6.30pm Register online:

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He parents evening 2014 (2)