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Thinking about University - Where do I start?

This page is to provide information for students thinking about university and covers everything you need to know to give you the confidence to start your journey into higher education. We’ve included links to useful guides and resources that you can look through and start planning!

So you’re thinking about university…?

Navigating the HE landscape can be tricky. Here are some top tips for helping the process to go as smoothly as possible.

  • Discuss your ideas with parents, carers and progress tutors. Explore your thoughts and ideas and any concerns or indecision you may be experiencing. Remember the careers service can help too.
  • Start to do some research – you will make a better decision with more information!

Search - UCAS

Do league tables matter? How to make sure you're choosing the right university | The Student Room

How to choose the right degree |

Degree Apprenticeships UK Guide | The Scholarship Hub

Some students may benefit from a well-planned gap year and many universities will allow

meet lecturers, student ambassadors and explore the institution and its facilities.

How to make the most of a university open day ( - university and college open days - home page

  • Research available financial support, like bursaries, scholarships or help with kit or trip costs. Are there additional costs to the course? Start this conversation early. If applying for Disability Students Allowance, allow for reasonable adjustment. Build a relationship with the institution so that you know what is available. Look to the website for information and ask questions at Open Days. And see our finance section below.
  • The tutors and the careers team at York College can help with UCAS applications and personal statements. The Student Funding team can advise on student loans and finance.

Application deadlines | Undergraduate, Conservatoires | UCAS

UCAS Personal Statement Tool - Learn what to write about

University Interview - Find tips For Interviews & auditions (

Student Loan Repayment Calculator UK 2021 (

  • Start preparing for life at university and ‘survival skills’ before you start your course, especially if you will be moving away from home. This might include budgeting skills, learning how to cook nutritious and cheap meals, how to find a bargain, or how to wash your own clothes.

How to budget at university - Save the Student

Student Budgeting Planner - incl. spreadsheets to help you budget - MSE (

Student Finance:

Many students and their families worry about student loans and finance. Don’t panic – these info guides will tell you everything you need to know:

The Big Fat Guide to Student Finance 2021 - Save the Student

Student finance - GOV.UK (

Guide to Finance for Students - The Scholarship Hub

Student loans mythbusting: The truth about uni fees, loans & grants - MoneySavingExpert

Additional information, including a parents’ guide, disabled students allowance, carers and students with carer responsibilities, children or disabilities as well as links to additional funding, such as teacher and NHS training bursaries and much more:

Quick start finance guide | Student Finance England (

Remember, the student Funding team can help with your application for student finance if you need support.

Transition to University Life – what do you need to do?

Planning the transition to university life can feel like a long list of things to do but this helpful guide, produced by FutureHY, part of the Uni Connect network of partnerships, will enable you to plan the move and get yourself settled in the first few days:

It is important for you to look after yourself and your wellbeing, as well as practical stuff like money or accommodation. There are lots of resources to help get you through university. These links should help with some starter information:

Starting University - Student Minds

The Student Room - In partnership with a top-25 university UEA

Preparing for student accommodation | Undergraduate | UCAS

Preparing for university: 10 tips - The Uni Guide

How to get cheap student contents insurance - Save the Student

Extra help for young people with individual needs…

Many young people have individual needs when considering higher education and there is a lot of extra support available. The following groups often need additional help because of a variety of challenges in personal, educational or family circumstances and history:

  • First in family to go to university
  • Young people with disabilities or long -term health conditions.
  • Young Carers & young parents
  • Care-experienced young people & students estranged from their families
  • Students from a military service back-ground
  • Gypsy, Roma & Traveller communities
  • Mature students
  • Students from ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds, including refugees & asylum seekers.

If you feel this could apply to you, you can contact York College’s Uni Connect outreach advisor, Freddie Hopkins, to see how the college and Uni Connect can help. E-mail:

The links below may also be helpful:

Applying To University With Individual Needs | UCAS

And finally, some helpful information for your parents or carers….

You may want to discuss your thoughts about university with parents, carers or other family members. These links will give them additional information on a range of topics that will help them advise you:

Advice For Parents And Guardians | UCAS | Parent Guide To University

Go Higher West Yorkshire » Parent and carers guide

Go Higher West Yorkshire » Student Finance the ultimate guide for parents and carers

A complete guide to the cost of university for the parents - The Scholarship Hub

The parent, guardian and carer guide to university 2019 - The Uni Guide

Preparing for university: a parent's guide | Parent Info

If you have a specific question about our Virtual Open Days, simply get in touch.