Application anxiety? Follow our 7 tips to avoid that last-minute panic

 

The 15 January deadline is fast approaching. Whether you have sent in your application already or are yet to hit the button, it’s only natural to feel a little anxious at this stage.

I haven’t submitted my form yet, am I too late?

Even if you don’t submit your form until 11pm on 14 January it will be processed in the same way – although it is not ideal to leave it quite so late. If the personal statement is causing you stress here are some tips from the University of Greenwich to make yours stand out.

If I do miss the deadline, do I have to wait another year?

It is always best to sort out your application before the deadline but if you do miss it you still have options. You can send off your UCAS form anyway but it’s wise to call your universities to find out if they will accept late applications. You may also be able find a course through UCAS Clearing but why wait until July if you can start the process now?

I’ve sent my form but I missed out something important

If you realise you have forgotten to include important information, such as your resit results or a change of address, don’t panic. Just make sure you rectify your mistake by telling UCAS and your universities as soon as possible.

 

How do I sort my finances?

University is expensive, everyone knows that. Fees alone for a three-year degree are currently £27,000. If you’re thinking about your money at this stage, that’s great – you’re organised. Most people are eligible to apply for a student loan to cover the cost of the tuition fees and maintenance costs. You don’t have to have a confirmed place to start the process so you can apply now if you wish. Find out more here.

Most universities offer scholarship programmes. The University of Greenwich has schemes, which can provide up to £2,000 a year for study.

Balancing your studies with a part-time job can be a challenge. Recent graduate Elliott Connell boosted his income by working at the Students' Union bar which he feels also gave him valuable work experience.

I may have made a terrible mistake with my course choice

You’ve submitted your UCAS application but now you’re worried you may have made the wrong choice. Don’t despair. If you want to change the course, year or point of entry, then get in touch with the university directly. If they agree, they’ll let UCAS know and it will be updated in Track. You can change your university choices within 14 days of your welcome email but you can only swap each choice once.

Even if you get to university and then find you are not happy with your chosen course, you may still be able to switch. Bear in mind, changing courses once term has started could have financial implications.

‘I decided to switch to a different degree after my first year and the transition was really smooth. The support from my teachers has been excellent.’ Kimberley Herron, BSc Psychology student at University of Greenwich.

 

What about accommodation? Is it too early to start looking?

It doesn’t hurt to start looking at your favourite unis now to see what they have, but it’s hard to make any concrete plans until you have your offers. Once you have picked your firm and your insurance, you can look at both and choose your preferred accommodation.

In your first year, you’ll likely be in halls of residence. The University of Greenwich, for example, guarantees accommodation for the majority of its first-time students if you meet the right criteria.

‘I’m one of 12 Resident Assistants on site… which means there’s always someone just a phone call away. I’ve had an amazing experience living in halls and want you to love it as much as I do.’ Robart Borisov Resident Assistant, Avery Hill Campus, University of Greenwich

Make sure you do your research before you sign a contract. The cost varies, not just between campuses, but within halls of residence. Rooms can cost around £60 a week, larger rooms will be more and self-contained studio flats can cost as much as £150 a week.

I’ve not heard back from any unis yet

This one you really shouldn’t worry about. Although we do know it’s hard when your future hangs in the balance, all unis have different times when they get in touch with applicants. Some will acknowledge receipt straight away and others will work in batches. Some will wait until the 15 January deadline has passed and then contact everyone who has applied.

Keep an eye on UCAS Track – As you start to get answers from the unis you’ve applied to all your offers will appear there.

Find more information about studying at Greenwich here.

Read our guide to filling out your UCAS application.