Ok, here are ten steps to apply to University. These can be used as a guide considering this is probably the most geekiest, detailed way to decide which universities to apply to!
1. Look at your AS level results and decide what a realistic band for your results will be, e.g. AAA- BBC, BBB – CCC, CDD-DDD etc. Be flexible by grades either way. Remember that you'll probably want to incorporate one or two "insurance" universities (i.e. universities that give slightly lower offers) just in case your exams don't quite go to plan.
2. Now to think about a couple of decisions:
- Do you want a campus, semi campus, or non campus university?
- Do you want catering or self-catering? Many universities offer both, but not all of them.
- Is there a particular place in the country you want to live?
- Is finding a good religious society important?
- Is sport important?
- Is nightlife important?
These are just a few of the details you might want to consider as they wil help you decide later on.
3. Gather as many prospectuses as possible. You can order most prospectuses from individual university websites, or from collaborative sites such as AimHigher. You can also pick up prospectuses from HE Conventions, and your school/college may have some you can look over.
4. This may sound stupid but don’t judge a Uni by its cover, some e.g. Lancaster (2006) can appear to be quite dull but are generally good Universities.
5. After scanning through all of your prospective universities put them into groups:
- Above your band of offers
- Around your band of offers
- Below your band of offers
6. First look at the above band of offers, if any have exceptional courses then put them to one side, otherwise for now put all the others in a ‘no’ pile.
7. Now it’s time to look at one’s which have around the right offer. Remember have the right course in the front of your mind, then other aspects from point 2. Put in piles of:
- ones you like the look of
- ones that could be ok
- ones that you don’t like
8. Do the same for the low offers – one of these should be useful as your insurance offers.
9. Hopefully you have a short list of 10 – 15 Universities. Now you want to choose how many to visit. This depends on how much money you have. It is a very very good idea to go to the six you are most likely to wait to apply to.
10. Choose ones which are in your ‘like the look of’ pile from the (above), right and lower offers then look at other factors to decide from point 2. From the ones you visit try to choose 0-1 above offers, 3-4 right offers, 1-2 lower offers, although of course each case is individual.