Hey guys I need some advice. I'm 23 and was thinking of trying to go to Uni, problem is I don't have any UCAS Points. I have a Diploma Level 2 and an NVQ Level 2 but as far as I can tell I need a level 3 in both of those for them to be worth anything.
I've heard some Uni's let you in even if you don't have UCAS points but my grades are pretty bad too, and to retake my GSCE's would cost more money than I have. I realised I'd have to start with a foundation year but I can't even get onto that. Someone suggested an access course but I'm not really sure what that is.
Is there anyway I can make UCAS points relatively fast or is there some kind of course I could take that's on the cheaper side? Would Uni's maybe be more lenient with me because I'm an older student?
Access to Higher Education is an option. It's free at our local college but you need to have a C in Maths and English GCSE's. You can get in to good uni's with it as long as you get a good proportion of Distinctions It's not an easy option though, there's a lot of work involved. The course lasts a year.
You will need maths and English GCSEs which you should be able to take at a local college for free. Many of them run evening courses. You may be too late to enrol for this year, but it may be worth giving your local college a call to see. If it can't be done, you can study at home and find a school or college that will let you sit the exams as an external candidate.
After this, your quickest route to university will be an Access course. There is usually a fee for this, but you can get a loan which gets wiped if you subsequently graduate from university. If you don't graduate, repayments kick in once your earnings go over £21,000 pa.
Do you know what you want to study at uni?
This is what I was told when applying at my local college this year for my access course, hopefully it is correct.
If you're 19-23 and do not currently hold a Level 3 Qualification, the course will be free of charge.
If you're 24+ you will be able to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan to pay for the course.
If you're 19+ and already hold a Level 3 Qualification, you will be able to apply for the Advanced Learner Loan to pay for the course.
I think it's not so much trying to find a University willing to accept you on your current qualifications, but whether or not you are adequately prepared for a degree-level course. After all, you wouldn't want to end up being accepted for a course and then really struggling with it because your previous study was inadequate. An Access course would be a good preparation.
And just to add to what tiou95 said, if you go on to graduate from uni, the Advanced Learning Loan debt is wiped out. So if you stay the course, your Access course will effectively be free (although you don't get any help with living costs during the Access course, just the tuition fees).
As has been said above, most unis will still insist on GCSE English and Maths at Grade C or above, as a basic guarantee of literacy and numeracy. Some colleges will let you study these alongside the Access course. It would be hard graft to do all three in one year, but might be worth looking into.