The University Application Process Explained: What to Expect

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The final year of school is overflowing with milestones and one of them is applying to university. According to UCAS, 592,290 students applied for university in the last academic year, and 18 year olds from lower income backgrounds are almost twice more likely to apply to university now than they were ten years ago. 409,000 students were placed in their firm or insurance choice university on Results Day.

If Higher Education is something you are determined to reach, or if you are unsure about the whole application process, there are a few things you should know.


1. Is Higher Education for you?

University is an important part of life, but only if it is something you wish to do. In Sixth Forms or colleges that are highly academic, it might seem like university is the only option and expected of all students. This is not the case. University is by no means a rite of passage, nor is it tailored to everyone’s skills, so thorough research into opportunities post-18 is needed if you are on the fence.

If you apply to university but also choose to take a gap year, UCAS and your chosen universities will need to be informed of this before the academic year begins. Many take this time to travel or to gain experience but, similarly to applying to university as a whole, it really depends on the person and the opportunities they have. University requires thought, and a quick look at alternative options will not hurt.

No one expects you to have your entire life planned at 17, but what this process requires is an insight into the subjects you are good at and what it is that you enjoy. After all, you will be studying these subjects for at least the next three years.

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