The university timeline for your new sixth form students - my top tips for teachers and career advisers so students are 'university ready'
This is advice ready for September - and your new and returning sixth form!
The sixth form is back. New students in Year 12 and returners in year 13. Having a plan in place of what students should be doing and setting your expectations of them during sixth form can make a difference to everybody’s experience of getting through the application process. Here are some suggestions of how to support your students to make a successful university application and informed university choices:
- Early engagement is key. Inform students of your timeline and expectations.
- Take advantage of what institutions have to offer – such as presentations on why higher education, choosing a course, student life, student shadowing opportunities, school group visits to universities etc
- UCAS exhibitions start from February – identify the most convenient event to attend
- Organise presentations from universities on the UCAS application and personal statements
- Stress the importance of students starting their university research
- Engage parents and guardians in the university process
- Set limits for the number of term time open days
- Find out about summer school opportunities for students and teacher and careers adviser conferences taking place
- Familiarise students with the UCAS tariff and discuss entry requirements
- UCAS Apply 2019 opens in May
- Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! – inform students of all deadlines, especially the internal deadline for your school or college
- Check scholarship application deadlines
- Organise university presentations on interview techniques, student finance and mock interview sessions
- Mention nominated access - students will need to complete this if they want universities to discuss their application with parents
- Encourage students to avoid the most common application mistakes - I find these to include .. applying as an individual rather than as part of school, using the wrong fee codes, mistakes with qualifications, grammar and punctuation mistakes, believing the UCAS deadline is midnight, thinking that the submit button sends the form to UCAS (it doesn't, the school will get it first)
- Keep students informed - for example - tell them when the form is sent to UCAS
- 15th January – UCAS applications deadline for most applications but UCAS will still pass on applications to universities after that
- Reassure students about the time it takes to hear back from institutions - especially those who applied close to the deadline
- Student Finance England applications open - students need to apply for student finance too
- Majority of applicants make decisions based on their offers
- You should ensure students understand offers made first!
- Advise students on unconditional offers - the number that have been made has dramatically increased
- Explain the insurance acceptance – this is a back-up choice not second choice, students should be prepared to go there (they do not have to make one)
- Students should be around for Confirmation, Clearing and Adjustment - not just for results day
- Encourage students to visit the institution before accepting a place through clearing – universities often offer incentives for visiting
Finally, five top tips for teachers and careers colleagues from our Admissions Tutors:
2. Keep predicted grades reasonable - inflated predictions can undermine value of the reference
3. Keep supporting students from non-Higher Education backgrounds
4. Have experienced staff around during Confirmation and Clearing
5. Print out exam results for students to complete the Education section of Apply