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A Parent’s Guide: Preparing for Your Year 12 Student’s University Applications

Navigating the university application process can be overwhelming, but with careful planning and support, you can help your child successfully transition to higher education. Here are some tips to help you start preparing for your Year 12 student’s university applications.

1. Understand the process and start early!
Familiarise yourself with the university application process. Research key deadlines, requirements, and procedures for UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) applications. Gain an understanding of the different stages involved, including researching courses, writing personal statements, and managing offers. 

UCAS produce a helpful guide:

2. Encourage Exploration
Support your child in exploring their interests, strengths, and career aspirations. Encourage them to research different university courses, attend open days from the summer term onwards, and speak with current students and staff. Help them identify potential career paths and academic fields that align with their passions and talents. 

Look at: and for more ideas.

3. Provide Guidance
Help your child assess their academic abilities, skills, and goals to determine suitable university courses and institutions. Discuss the pros and cons of different options and encourage them to make informed decisions based on their own preferences and aspirations. Don’t forget to encourage them to speak to teachers and careers advisers at school who can also support with this.

4. Assist with Research
Assist your child in researching potential universities and courses. Explore factors such as location, campus facilities, accommodation, teaching quality, student support services, and career prospects. Help them compile a list of preferred choices, including both ambitious and realistic options, to maximise opportunities for success. 

Look at: and as well as individual university websites.

5. Support Personal Statement Writing
Guide your child in writing a personal statement that showcases their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, work experience, and personal qualities. Encourage them to highlight their strengths, motivations, and aspirations for their chosen course of study and future career plans. Provide constructive feedback and assistance with proofreading and editing. 

The UCAS website has useful advice for individual subject areas:

6. Prepare for Interviews
Prepare your child for university interviews, if required. Help them practice answering common interview questions, articulating their interests and goals, and demonstrating their suitability for their chosen course. Encourage them to research the interview format and expectations of each university to which they apply.

7. Discuss Financial Considerations
Have open and honest conversations about the financial aspects of attending university. Explore tuition fees, student loans, scholarships, and bursaries available to support your child’s education. Help them understand their financial responsibilities and explore options for managing expenses while at university. 

Find out more at:

8. Provide Emotional Support
Acknowledge the stress and pressure your child may be feeling during the university application process. Offer emotional support, reassurance, and encouragement throughout each stage. Remind them that their worth is not solely determined by university admissions outcomes and that there are multiple paths to success, such as apprenticeships!

9. Encourage Independence
Encourage your child to take ownership of their university application journey. Support them to manage their time effectively, stay organised, and meet application deadlines. Foster their independence and resilience by allowing them to make decisions and learn from their experiences.

In conclusion, preparing for your Year 12 student’s university application is a collaborative effort that requires guidance, support, and encouragement. By understanding the process, starting early, assisting with research, providing emotional support, and fostering independence, you can help your child navigate this exciting journey with confidence and success. Good luck!

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