So, what is UCAS?
You might know how many UCAS points you need to get into university, but how much do you know about UCAS themselves? Who are they and what do they actually do?
UCAS stands for Universities and Colleges Admission Service. Pretty much everyone who wants to study an undergraduate degree has to apply through UCAS.
Simply put, UCAS could be compared to an online dating service - students pick up to five universities, and the universities use your application to decide if you’re a good match. Essentially, UCAS is there to ensure the application process goes smoothly.
How can UCAS help you?
If you’ve decided university is for you, you'll soon find out there are tons of options to choose from. This is where UCAS comes in - it'll help you with the initial process of researching subjects, courses and universities.
There is so much information available on the UCAS website that it can at first seem a little overwhelming. But, dedicate some time to familiarise yourself with their website and you'll soon discover just how much useful information there is, including:.
- Choosing what to study (we talk about this in week 2)
- Choosing where to study
- How and when to apply
- Personal statements (we talk about this in week 5)
- Interviews and auditions
- Student finance and funding
- Preparing for your studies
- Replying to your offers
UCAS also holds events throughout the year where you can speak to the universities on your 'hit list'. They'll be happy to talk to you about your options, different types of course. and what they can offer you.
Find UCAS events near you
Registering with UCAS
You have to register with UCAS before you can start applying.
Fortunately, the registration process is quick and easy, and only takes about 15 minutes. All you need at this stage is your personal details. If you’re applying through school or college, you'll also need your buzzword.
While registering is free, applying costs £24. You might be able to tap up your mum or dad, or a grandparent for this. Or, you could find a quick way to make some instant cash to pay the fee yourself.
tasks for this week
- Register with UCAS - it's free and only takes 15 minutes!
- Get familiar with the UCAS website. You'll find lots of advice, which you might not need right now, but it's highly likely you will at some point.
- Take a look at ways to earn some cash to pay the £24 application fee. (this might also come in handy for earning a bit of extra money for when you start uni!).