At Spalding Academy, we support students throughout their journey into Higher Education. We have university visits built in to their time at school and offer workshops for parents and students guiding them through the process.
Thinking of going to university? Before making any decisions, get clued-up on the reasons to go, what life is like and what it’s going to cost.
Why should I go?
Going to university will make you more attractive to employers and you will have lots of new experiences. You will get to study your favourite subjects in more depth, and if you study away from home you will find out what independent adult life is like. Potentially you may earn more in the long term.
What is student life like?
You are expected to study hard, but university is also fun. The social scene is buzzing around and you will make new friends and try new things. It may be hard being away from friends and family though, and you will need to learn how to budget and manage your own finances.
What should I study?
Doing any degree shows employers that you are smart and motivated – important skills for any job. The main thing is to study something you want to study in more depth. Talk to your teachers or careers adviser. They will advise you on which university subjects are best for your personality, skills and abilities.
You should also be independently researching universities and courses. Open days, conferences and Higher Education fairs and conventions take place between March and October. You should make the most of school holidays to visit universities, colleges, and their towns and cities.
UCAS is the organisation responsible for managing your application to university or college. It is there to help you make an informed decision.
Further information can be found at www.ucas.com
The Course Search function provides you with courses that match your criteria and where you can study them; it can also give you a good understanding of what a course is about.
Entry Profiles tell you what grades and any other requirements you will need to study such courses.
A selection of University Open Days
In most cases you are expected to book a place on the day you wish to attend via the university’s website. Some open days book up quickly, so plan in advance. It is possible to attend a university open day during school time but you must inform the sixth form office. Some universities offer self-guided tours and other events, so check their websites for the finer details.
Please find an attachment with guidance on making university choices and advice for Open Days. Also attached is a UniFact Guide for parents.
How do I apply?
You will need to apply through UCAS. This can be done via the UCAS website. You will be guided through the process during specific sessions at the end of Year 12 and can see Mrs. Barber at any time for support.
Applications can be sent to UCAS from mid-September, however the final deadlines are as follows:
It is important for veterinary, dentistry, medicine and Oxbridge candidates to be fully prepared to complete their personal statement and apply to university by the start of the Autumn Term of Year 13 as closing date for UCAS applications is 15th October with a school deadline of 30th September to allow time for checking.
Term 1 – Year 11 University Information Evening
Term 3 – Year 12 Post 18 Options Evening
Term 6 – Year 12 Post 18 Choices lessons / programme
• 15 October: Applications for Oxford, Cambridge or most courses in medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine/science should arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time). The reference needs to be completed before the application can be sent to UCAS
• 4 November: Deadline for applications as recommended by Bourne Academy.
• 15 January: Applications for the majority of undergraduate courses should arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time) on this day (check course details in the search tool for the correct deadline). The reference needs to be completed before the application can be sent to UCAS
• 25 February: Extra starts for eligible applicants. Extra can be accessed when you have used all five choices and have not received any offers or have declined all of your offers
• 30 June: If an application is sent to UCAS by 18:00 (UK time) on this day, they will send it to the chosen universities or colleges. Applications received after this date will automatically be entered into Clearing
• 5 July: Last date for applicants to add an Extra choice
• 6 July: Clearing opening for 2020
• 31 August: The deadline for any remaining conditions to be met – otherwise the university or college might not accept the applicant. Adjustment ends on this date
• 21 September: The final deadline for applications to 2019 courses. Applications must arrive at UCAS by 18:00 (UK time)
• 20 October: The deadline for adding Clearing choices, and for universities or colleges to accept applicants in Clearing
Can I afford it?
Whilst a university education does have a cost attached to it, in the long term graduates have the potential to earn more. Financial assistance is available from Student Finance England in the forms of student loans to cover the cost of course fees and living costs. It is important to understand that course fees are not paid in advance but over a 30-year period once you begin to earn above a certain threshold. Many universities actively offer grants, funding, bursaries and financial incentives to attract students so it pays to research these carefully. Many students have to work part-time to cover their costs.
Can I get a good job without a degree?
While some jobs require a degree, there are plenty that don’t. You will need a degree if you want to study something specific like medicine. You are likely to start on a lower wage without a degree.
There are many options for school leavers. Distance learning is a good way to get a degree and avoid debt as you can have a full-time job and study in the evenings. Some universities offer scholarships or can give you additional money towards your study. There is the option of studying abroad with many universities across the world teaching a huge spectrum of courses. Tuition fees are often a lot lower if you study abroad and you get to experience living in a new country. Other options post 18 include Higher Apprenticeships, taking a Gap Year and Volunteering. Explore some of these options on the main careers page if you think they might be more appropriate to you, and remember, if you need some advice speak to Mrs Barber who can help by arranging a careers interview.