Come on! Why not? UCAS undergraduate applications opened 3 months ago and I bet school showed you how to register even before the Summer? Year 13 – here are some of the most common excuses we’ve heard and a little help if this is something you still haven’t got around to…

Reason Number 1 – “I’m not sure if Uni is for me”

Uni might not be for you. Fact. At 18, you no longer have to be in education or learning so could find a job or an apprenticeship. But this isn’t about whether you go to Uni or not: this is about following the timescales in a set UCAS process so that, if you later change your mind, it’s not too late.

UCAS are very busy – they handle millions of higher education applications on behalf of UK Unis every year and need deadlines to enable the process to work smoothly.

The Unis are also underway for next Autumn – some will already have started making offers to those who got their applications in early. So quite literally, if you later decide that you want to go after all, there may not be any places left on your favourite course or at your favourite Uni when you do start looking.

At this stage, you don’t have to go just because you’ve applied – but, if you don’t apply by the January deadline, you may not have much left to choose from.

Unless you are 100% certain about not going to Uni, we’d strongly recommend that you take a look at the UCAS website and have a chat with your teacher / tutor / careers adviser / head of sixth this week.

Reason Number 2 – “I’ll do it over the Christmas Holidays”

Are you sure about that? What do your friends think? Do you really want to spend the festivities completing your personal statement application on UCAS Apply? There must be better things to do and, besides, your teachers won’t be around to discuss this with in person.

Reason Number 3 – “The deadline’s not until 15th January”

If you haven’t done your application yet, what makes you think you can motivate yourself to get it done by the January deadline. It’s only 6 weeks away – and some of that is over the Christmas holidays – so not long.

Your school may well have already set their own deadline for applications to be ready – probably 30th November? Whether the UCAS lead is your careers adviser, head of sixth form, or other designated person, they will need time to review a LOT of UCAS applications and – between you – ensure that key staff also have time to write the best quality reference for you to support your application.

When you come back after the holidays, it will be the start of term and your teachers are going to be extra-busy then and may not have as much time to check through your application, discuss your personal statement with you or add their reference, so this is putting a lot of pressure on them as well.

If you’re going to leave it until the last minute, you risk everything being rushed and that doesn’t sound good for you.

Reason Number 4 – “It won’t take long”

To have said this, I’m assuming you haven’t started yet. Ask your friends – honestly, it can take ages. If you really want something, and you need to apply using a form you’ve not used before writing about ‘product you’ in less than 4,000 characters, you will want to do the best job you can.

Reason Number 5 – “I can’t seem to find the time to get it done”

That’s fine. You don’t need to. Once you’ve registered, you can do a bit and then save where you got to. Then simply log back in and continue where you’d left off. So why not break it up into bite-sized chunks and get it done over a number of days?

Reason Number 6 – “I don’t know what to put in my personal statement”

Your personal statement is a bit like a CV, but UCAS have some handy headings to show you the sort of things to include.

Mostly these are focused on the course and encourage you to show why you want to study the subject, what you are already studying that’s relevant and what activities you have done which could demonstrate your enthusiasm for the subject.

They’ll also be looking to ensure you have the skills to cope with the course and with life at university. Basically – why should they offer you a place?

Reason Number 7 – “I don’t know which course(s) to choose”

Ok, this is a personal one for a careers adviser or teacher – perhaps your tutor – to help you with.

In addition, UCAS have some great video guides to get you started and some fantastic FAQs on their website – just make sure you’re looking under UCAS undergraduate applications or UCAS Apply.

And finally …

On, scroll to the bottom of the screen to find a simple overview on the Higher Education page and some articles under Applying To Uni on the Blog page. It’s Your Future – Let’s Get It Started!

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