APPLYING TO HIGHER EDUCATION SEPTEMBER 2015 Why bother going to Uni? The average graduate starting salary is approx £24000 (NI) Graduates entering law, banking and finance, IT and engineering can expect salaries above this the average lifetime earnings of a graduate are £227,000 more than those of a nongraduate with two A-levels The UK has passed a significant milestone towards becoming a graduate economy, with more people now likely to have a degree than to have only reached school-level qualifications How do you apply? Most applications will be through UCAS (electronically) Applications for universities in Ireland are through CAO (electronically) A few institutions are direct entry Many European countries charge lower tuition fees than the UK (www.studyineurope.eu) UCAS Student Guidance Interviews September 22nd 2014 – 10th October 2014 Applications through CAO Closing date of early February (meeting in November) Up to 10 degree and 10 diploma choices Listed in order of preference No personal statement or reference Different values for grades compared to UCAS tariff No conditional offers – selection by order of preference and results in August www.cao.ie No tuition fees but a €2500 registration fee (pa) UCAS application Timetable Oxbridge and Medical / Dentistry / Veterinary Applications Closing All other applications Closing date 15th October 2014 Forms completed and handed in by 3rd October Sent by 13th October 2014 Date 15th January 2015 Forms completed and handed in by 17th October Sent by 14th November 2014 The UCAS form Register – username and password Personal details – name, address etc Choices – maximum of 5 realistic courses Education – schools attended, exams completed and pending Employment – not very relevant to majority of pupils Personal statement Cost £23 The Personal Statement • • • • • • A personal statement is probably the single most important piece of work that pupils have had to do so far Justify course choice (very important for a vocational course) Work experience Activities inside & outside school Positions of responsibility Concluding statement What happens next?? After the interview, pupils are asked to make any corrections as quickly as possible Pupils then bring a finalised paper copy of their form to Mrs Browne The form is checked one more time and pupils can now “pay and send” The cost is £23 and paid online by debit/credit card The form is automatically sent electronically to school The school now writes the confidential reference and attaches this to the electronic form and sends this to UCAS What happens then?? UCAS then sends the form electronically to all the universities Admissions tutors then make a decision based on the personal statement, predicted A-Level grades, admissions test scores, GCSE grades & A/S grades, evidence of motivation and the school reference Some pupils may have to go to interview before a decision is made They will reject an applicant, make a conditional offer or (rarely), an unconditional offer What does an offer look like? May be expressed as grades eg ABB May be expressed as UCAS Tariff points eg 320 points May be expressed as a combination of the two eg 320 points to include an A in chemistry A detailed break down of tariff points is available on the UCAS website At A2, A=120, B=100,C=80, D=60, E=40 The 4th AS grade is worth half these points What next?? If rejected, the decision is final but pupils can ask for feedback Pupils must wait until all five decisions are made before they can confirm any decision By early May, pupils accept a Firm Conditional offer and an Insurance Conditional offer which should have lower grades These are binding but there may be some leeway UCAS Extra is available online from the end of February to the end of June if a pupil has no offers Pupils can only apply to one course at a time in Extra Finance 1 – Tuition fees Universities in England, Scotland and Wales have now set their own tuition fees to a maximum of £9000 NI have set fees for NI students at £3575 All students will be eligible for a non-means tested loan to cover their tuition fees. The student takes the responsibility for the loan which is repaid directly from their salary when they earn over £16,365 But they are optional Finance 2 – Maintenance Loans Loans are also available for living expenses Amount available depends on household income (pre-tax income minus pension contributions and allowances for dependents) London £6780 Living away from home £4840 Living at home £3750 If a pupil receives a maintenance grant, the amount of maintenance loan available will be reduced Also optional Other info about loans Loans are repaid at 9% of earnings above £16365 The time to repay is based on income and amount borrowed – not on a fixed time period After 25 years, any remaining debt is wiped Interest on the amount is linked to inflation BUT, this means that you will owe the money for longer and potentially repay more Loans do NOT go on credit files Earnings (annually £) 16365 Monthly repayment (£) 0 As a % of income 0 17000 5 0.3 19000 20 1.2 21000 35 2.0 23000 50 2.6 24000 57 2.9 25000 65 3.1 Finance 3 - Grants Grants are non-repayable Students from lower income households will be eligible for a non-repayable grant up to £3475 If household income is less than £19203, student is eligible for the whole grant If income is more than £41065, student is eligible for none of the grant A sliding scale works in between the upper and lower limits If a student is entitled to the maximum grant, the maximum maintenance loan is reduced Finance 4 – Other support Universities have to provide additional support to students who receive the full grant – a minimum of £347 (non-repayable) Scholarships are available in engineering and IT “Access to Learning Funds” are available to students on low incomes Health Professional Degrees (S&LT, OT, Radiography etc) can have fees paid if pupil is accepted on NHS funded place Disabled Students’ Allowance – pupils who have a diagnosed physical disability, mental health difficulties, or have a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, may be entitled Information available www.hotcourses.com www.prospects.ac.uk (What do graduates do? Section) DEL – “Financial Support for Higher Education Students” (Usually opens in February) DEL – Student Finance Branch Education & Library Boards www.dfes.gov.uk/studentsupport www.studentfinanceni.com www.moneysavingexpert.com www.unistats.com www.mtssulby.com/dsa How can I help? Talk to your son / daughter about their choices Check the form is completed correctly Discuss the content of the personal statement and ask to read it Try to remind them of key dates Encourage, encourage, encourage!! What if I need help?? www ucas.com/parents (sign up to receive the UCAS parent guide and quarterly email bulletins) Contact Mrs Browne at school (90702777 or email@example.com) Check the school’s website – all dates, presentations and useful websites are listed QUESTIONS????