Mature Students: Everything You Need to Know

There are plenty of people who subscribe to the theory of “University is a young person’s game”, how wrong these people are. University is designed with the sole intention of giving anyone who wants to go to university, the opportunity to learn and to move forward with their lives in the direction that they want.

Plenty of mature students who go to university are often there for two reasons. Maybe they’re looking to learn more about a certain subject or are pursuing a change in career direction.

Another reason is that maybe the company that they work for has changed their job description that means that they have to have a degree. There are many different reasons as to why, but they will all be unique to each applicant. We’ve got some common questions for people that are applying to university as a mature student.

What is a Mature Student?

A mature student is someone who studies at university beyond the average starting point. Most university students start at around eighteen, however, a mature student is someone who starts university after the age of twenty-one. After the age of twenty-one, you are considered to be a mature student.

How do I apply to become a Mature Student?

You will need to apply through the UCAS website, this will allow you to pick the universities that you want to apply to and will allow you to sort out your options, your personal statement (use our Personal Statement examples and Personal Statement editor to help complete it to a university accepted standard.) and will also allow you to start assessing your options. Your UCAS application will be the same as anyone else applying, not matter how young or old that person is.

 

Can Mature Students still use Clearing or Adjustment?

Yes. What’s Clearing I hear you ask?… Clearing is used to help students to get into a university as a result of grades that are lower than they thought they would get and UCAS Adjustment is obviously the opposite of that, this will still apply to Mature Students that are looking to apply too.

Are there any benefits to becoming a Mature Student?

There is always a benefit to going to university, assuming you’re prepared to work and put the effort in, you will always see yourself benefiting from university. Obviously, the stock answers that you’ll most likely see are:

  • Learning new skills
  • Gaining improved job prospects
  • Professional progression
  • New life experience

But you can always find a good reason to go to university, regardless of your age, there’s no reason to miss out on university just because you think you’re too old when it comes to education, age is just a number.

What qualifications do I need to become a Mature Student?

This is all dependent on the university that you’re applying to. If you are a student of around twenty-one, then you can just apply with your usual qualifications and grades, if you’re an older student, there may be a possibility that your university may not accept your grades or qualifications anymore, so they may ask you to take of the many Open University courses, or ask you to an Access Course of some kind; this will allow them to assess you and your abilities and see if you will fit into the university’s way of life and ethics.

You can also use an APL, which is an Accreditation of Prior Learning, which allows universities to see the work that you have done previously, whether that be through work experience you have done or any private and self-taught work that you’ve done, however not all universities will accept one or all of these applications, so you will need to speak to the university in question to help you when you’re applying to university.

Are there Childcare facilities to help me when I’m a Mature Student?

This again will depend on the university that you’re applying for. If you have a small child that needs to be cared for in any way, then you should speak to your university and see if there is anything that is offered for students. Some universities will offer daycare facilities, some will offer a babysitting service of some kind or they will have a grant system in place to help those with small children, it’s best to speak to your university and see what’s happening with this, if not, get used to having to use a lot of babysitters!

Are courses full-time or part-time for Mature Students?

It’s entirely up to you. If you choose to go to university and you’d like a full-time course, then you can choose that, however, if you’re balancing your course around your work life and home life, then you are more than welcome to opt in for a part-time degree if it’s easier for you, ultimately, your course is applicable to what you want to do.

 

Am I still entitled to a Maintenance Loan if I am a Mature Student?

Of course, you are, all student finance remains to same. A Maintenance Loan is available for all students regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, age or what you’re studying; of course, the amount that you can borrow is very much all dependent on what it is that you’re studying, where you’re studying and how much money you have coming into your house at that time.

Are there any Grants, Bursaries or Scholarships offered for Mature Students?

There are a number of grants available for Mature Students, which will apply depending on the circumstances, also, there will be other grants and bursaries or scholarships that you would be entitled to as well, it depends on what you’re applying for (learn more – student grants, scholarships and bursaries). The most common ones are Mature Student Scholarships, Access Entry Mature Students Bursary and Women Careers Foundation.

What is a Mature Student Scholarship?

Most universities offer this as a scholarship for students that have shown exceptional academic prospect, for the most part, the grant will cover around £3,000. Although, most universities won’t cover students below the age of twenty-five.

What is an Access Entry Mature Students Bursary?

Available for students over the age of twenty-one, this bursary is good for £1,000-a-year, which will keep the wolves away from the door. The bursary is all dependent on the university, however, as there may be one or two universities that don’t offer it at all.

What is a Women Careers Foundation?

This is a grant that is granted (See what we did there?) to female students that are over the age of twenty-one (Although exceptions have been known to happen for younger students that are studying a Music degree or Dance degree (Or Musical Theatre degree ) at university), this is all dependent on the university, as many universities may not allow students to apply for these at their university, owing to university guidelines and the like, it’s best to do your research and to contact your university beforehand.

Do I still have to pay my loans back if I am a Mature Student?

Woah, slow down cowboy! You won’t be dodging any fees that easily, not on this government’s watch! All student loan repayments have to be paid back and you won’t be able to dodge them, no matter how hard you try, you will have your debt wiped after around thirty years the same as everyone else and you will only pay back your loan if you’re able to, don’t worry, the loans will always need to be paid back, which we imagine will bring you a great comfort.

So there you have it! Everything that you need to know about becoming a Mature Student! Universities will always have Mature Students on their books and they will also have people that are willing to help Mature Students, remember that education knows no age, as long as you’re prepared to work, you’ll fit right in!