Advice for Parents of Students Applying for 2024 Entry

Choosing to go to university isn’t a decision that just impacts the student, it also impacts their family, particularly their parents.

Going to university is often the first time a student has lived away from home and this can make it a daunting experience.

Here’s our advice for parents to make sure the application process and their child’s move away to university is as easy as possible.

University – what are the benefits?

If your son or daughter is the first in the family to attend university is can be hard to see the benefits, especially now tuition fees have gone up, but there are many benefits to higher education.

University gives students a chance to:

  • Study subjects that they’re passionate about and interested in
  • Earn a qualification that will lead to a career in their chosen field
  • Learn how to face the challenges of life
  • Develop their independent thinking skills
  • Build relationships with people that could become lifelong friends

It’s well documented that graduates have better opportunities to follow their chosen career path, improved job prospects, and a higher earning potential.

What is UCAS?

UCAS is the “Universities and Colleges Admissions Service” and has been handling university and college applications since the 1960s.

All undergraduate university applications need to be made using the UCAS process and there are several stages to the application process.

You can read more about the UCAS application process here.

When does my son/daughter need to apply to university?

There are important dates you and your child will need to know to ensure you don’t miss the UCAS university application deadlines.

In the majority of cases students need to submit their university applications by 31 January 2024.

However, this is earlier (October 2023) for students wanting to study at Cambridge, Oxford or applications for Medicine, Dentistry, and Veterinary Science/Medicine.

The deadline may also be later (March 2024) if your son or daughter is applying for an Art or Design course.

In all cases it’s worth confirming with UCAS and the universities your child is applying to the application deadline dates.

How can I help my son or daughter during their application?

There are many ways you can support your son or daughter during the application process.

Here are some tips to help you both get through the application period:

  • Start researching early – it’s never too early to start deciding which university and course might be the right option
  • Know the deadlines
  • Try to go to the open days of all of the universities you’re interested in
  • Know the entry requirements for each course and university
  • Ensure your child has the perfect personal statement
  • Understand how UCAS Extra and UCAS Clearing work so your child can access all of the options

In a very practical way, if your child is applying for student finance you’ll need to provide information about your household income to Student Finance England.

Find out more about university fees and finance here.