It's not uncommon to feel like certain things are making it more difficult for you to attend university. Here are a few things that might be on your mind and details of what support is available to you.
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Attending university will likely have a sizeable impact on your finances. On top of tuition fees and accommodation rental, everything from food shopping to those all important nights out adds up to a big financial commitment.
Make sure you really take the time to research what support is available to you. Student loans, depending on your circumstances and country of origin, are the go-to option for covering the cost of education. Once you have confirmed your fee status, you should apply to your local awarding body as soon as possible, according to their guidelines.
In the UK, student finance companies in each country will grant the full cost of your university education, provided this is your first time applying. These bodies also offer maintenance loans, which are income-assessed and contribute towards living costs (i.e. travel, accommodation, essential shopping).
You may also be eligible for additional funding, depending on what you're studying and your personal circumstances. Universities themselves can often grant bursaries or scholarships under certain conditions - a little bit of research can really pay off in securing the support you're entitled to.
So that may help with the big stuff, but what about funding the fun parts like nights on the town, decorating your new flat and the odd takeaway to fuel late-night study hours? Luckily, students also benefit from discounts at a lot of major retailers - it's worth signing up to platforms like UniDays, Save the Student and Student Beans to get regular updates on what offers you can take advantage of.
If you're concerned about meeting the conditions of an offer you already have or are intimidated by the published requirements for your dream course, that's okay. While it's good to aim high, you can easily start to feel under pressure to succeed.
Offers are made to school and college leavers based on a number of factors in your application, including existing qualifications, your personal statement and references provided by your teachers or tutors. You may also need to submit a portfolio, or be invited to an interview or audition.
All these things add up to a picture of what you're capable of and inform the conditions of your offer. The results you're asked to achieve are based of off what you've done already - so we know you've got this!
For 2020/21 entry, interviews and auditions have moved online for reasons of safety in the current climate. In place of traditional exams, awarding bodies are asking schools and colleges submit information that will help calculate a grade representative of all your hard work. The SQA and Ofqual have provided details of this process and these results will be considered as normal by the universities you have applied to.
Find out how Edinburgh Napier University is handling applications at this time.
If you have yet to apply and are concerned about entry requirements, talk to your teachers and advisers about your standing and what steps you could take to meet your goals. Alternatively, you may have left school or college some time ago and are concerned about your qualifications being out of date. In that case, have a look at our advice for mature learners.
Either way, the important thing to remember is that universities want you as a student. There is a place waiting for you, even if it's not the one you originally applied for.
Prospective students who miss out on the conditions of an offer, haven't accepted an offer, change their minds or choose to apply later in the year can use Clearing as another chance to attend university. Courses that still have places available are advertised from July.
University isn't just a financial investment - your studies will demand a lot of your time and energy as well. At Edinburgh Napier University, for example, a typical undergraduate student has around six to 10 hours of classes, lectures and tutorials.
In addition to when you're actually on campus, you will need to put aside time for homework, coursework and study.
While this seems like a lot and is undoubtedly a big commitment, most students are still able to maintain a good social life and many undertake part-time work alongside their studies. For a lot of people, this busy schedule is an intrinsic part of the student lifestyle and university culture.
However, under these circumstances, the risk of burnout can be a real concern. Most institutions will have support systems in place to help you manage your wellbeing and support you through your studies.
Your ability to achieve and maintain a healthy work/study/life balance will depend on your individual circumstances. If you feel like you might struggle to commit fully to your course, it's also worth talking to current students about how they handle it.
COVID-19: Will it impact your application?
You might be wondering how everything going on right now is going to affect your chances of going to university in September, or even your applications for next year.
Our admissions processes are running as normal, though we hope you understand it might take a bit longer for us to respond to your queries. We have also been working hard to provide online alternatives to applicants who would normally have been asked to an interview or invited to attend an offer holder event.
We are in regular contact with Health Protection Scotland and guidance from the Scottish and UK governments is informing the decisions we make about what Edinburgh Napier will look like in a few months' time. Rest assured, applications are still being reviewed, offers are still being made and classes are still being planned. We're here - and we're waiting for you.