What universities should I pick?
Although for some students it may feel that the worst part of the UCAS application process is over, it isn’t finished for good. There is still lots of decision-making moments ahead that can make any student’s head spin, for example, out of your choices you may be wondering: ‘What universities should I pick?’. To ensure all students make the best suited decision for themselves, both personally and academically, read our advice below.
Choose somewhere you want to go
It may seem as if this is an ‘obvious’ factor to incorporate into your thought process whilst on UCAS track, but it can be easily forgotten by excited or anxious students. Some individuals may be entirely focused on choosing a degree course or getting into a specific university that they forget they’ll be hundreds of miles away from home or even miles from the nearest big supermarket. Students need to scout the area they may be living in for three years, and searching online or attending a University Open Day will help this.
University Rankings aren’t everything
Although university rankings are a great way to see what universities are responding well to their own students and trying to offer the best academic service they can provide – they aren’t everything. Bear in mind that some students don’t have the same positive experience as others during their time studying for their degree, and you should pick a university that you really want to go to instead of one that you feel you should attend.
Read as many university reviews as you possibly can
University reviews that are written by students for students are one of the most valuable resources during the application process – because they’re honest. These university reviews aren’t written in an institution’s prospectus/website/advertisement, they are usually on other websites and full of honest answers and will bring to light a lot of issues that you may not find out about.
Try not to be influenced by your friends
Even though we all understand that friendships help to make the world go round – don’t let these relationships influence your choice! We understand that you’re going to miss your friends like crazy when you move away, but the shock and change in lifestyle will get easier to become used to. The novelty of feeling homesick will pass and you’ll start enjoying your new life. The worst decision any student can make is to attend the same university as their friend, simply because they don’t want to go alone.
What about the university with the lowest entry requirements?
Entry requirements are a really good insight into the academic threshold that universities set to allow students to enrol onto their degree courses. If a university has really low entry requirements, you shouldn’t apply because you know it will be ‘easier’ to get in. Apply for universities using your predicted and previous qualifications as tools. If you’re worried that you’re not going to receive your predicted grades, don’t worry, as there are chances to take re-sits, re-take courses or even to go through Clearing and find another university.
The most important bit of advice that is priceless when it comes to choosing a university, is that you should base your decision on your own thoughts and feelings. Analyse how you feel about universities, areas, degree courses and what it will be like when you live there for three years, and don’t allow outside influences to alter your decisions because they’re not going to take your degree for you!