Is University for me?
That is a big question and is specific to you and your situation. If you are unsure because, for example, you're either the first in your family to consider going to university, you're in a tricky financial position, or you are a carer, then look into the financial support available to you. Also look into degree apprenticeships which will enable you to earn money, earn your degree and stay at home need be.
OK, so now that you know you can go to university, lets think about whether you should go to university. We've devised a 3 step process to help you decide.
Ask yourself our series of questions
Weigh up the pros and cons (we have started the list for you)
Do your research (see the tables below)
Step 1: the questions
What career do I envisage myself having? I'll then work my way backwards and see if a degree is required or preferred for that career path
Have I properly considered all thee options? Have I ruled out apprenticeships and school leavers schemes that could get me access to similar jobs?
Have I thought about the cost? While University is free in some countries, in the UK the basic costs could set you back upwards of £40,000 and in the US it can go into the hundreds of thousands. However, please note 2 things. Firstly, there is some financial support out there for you. Secondly, you must consider the greater average earning potential of university graduates.
Do I actually want to continue learning?
Step 2: write a pros and cons list. We'll start you off.
Step 3: do your research...
How to Choose a University
There are many things worth considering including:
Course content and structure
Subject and university rankings and reviews
Location and distance from home
Cost of living
Social scene both at the university and in the surrounding area
For those of you considering studying int he UK, we love The Uni Guide's tool where you enter your predicted grades to see what university options are available to you. Then you can check out The Guardian's university profiles. If possible, we highly recommend attending as many university open days as you can. Be sure you do your prep so that you can make the most of your trip!
University League Tables
The easiest way to get the most out of league tables is to break them down into their constituent parts, decide what aspects are most important to you, and then look into the data further. It is important to note that the rankings below are simply a rough general overview, and don't forget to filter by degree subject! Aiming high (which you should always do) doesn't necessarily mean that you must go for the university ranked number one on what is a subjective list; ones lower down are often still worth considering. We enjoyed reading this piece from The Student Room.
How to Go About Choosing a Course
To start, ask yourself a fex questions: what subjects am I good at at school? Which subjects do I enjoy the most? What are my longer term career ambitions and what qualifications do I need to achieve them? How do I want to study?
Course/ Subject Guide
What is it? What will I learn? How will I learn it? What are the entry requirements? What is the application deadline? What do I need in order to apply? Why should I study that course? Where can I study that course? What can I do with that degree? What postgraduate opportunities are there? The answers to all your questions can be found below.
Depending on your country of residence, there is typically base support that the government offers to everyone regardless of your situation. However, there is often additional support from government, companies and charities for those who a) excel in a certain subject, b) are on a low income, c) have children/ who are carers, or d) are disabled. Look hard for grants, scholarships and loans that you may well be entitled to apply for. See what support is available to you below!
Tell us what else you want to find out about university or suggest some sites of your own at: