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Advice for Parents


Parents and guardians can have an important role to play when it comes to university choice and selection.

  • Nowadays they frequently provide financial support at the application stage, act as a taxi service to visit universities on open days and, perhaps later on, act as guarantors for rented accommodation, supplement the student loan or provide a much-needed boost to an unexciting diet of value-line products by sending through some online shopping credit.

More significantly, but less obviously, parents provide an important element of stability at a time when many things are in a state of change – new friends, new responsibilities and new places can be overwhelming so the emotional back-up and support of family members can greatly assist the transition from home to university life.

  • Applying to university, surviving the exams necessary to get there and settling into a new and unfamiliar environment can be a difficult time and young people often need all the support they can get
  • Not all students live away from home at university. Rising numbers of students choose to live at home with their parent(s) or family while at university. If this is you, be prepared for the change in lifestyle and flexibility that comes with university study.
  • If you are a parent yourself and are considering university you are not alone. UK universities have good support services in place for childcare and nursery provision, along with student support, scholarships and bursaries.

This section focuses on areas specifically of interest to parents.  

  • See also other sections for detailed information on the application process, choosing a university or a course, finding accommodation, and the all important subject of money: the financial support available and advice on managing a budget.
  • While this section generally refers to parents, it applies equally to guardians and all other carers and supportive adults who may get involved.
  • Universities generally welcome parents on open days and other events before enrolment and often run events and sessions for parents as well as dedicated websites and guides.

Five things to remember

  • Do be positive about higher education.
  • Do get to know the UCAS procedures and deadlines.
  • Do stay calm in anxious times.
  • Do be there when they need you.
  • Do expect your son/daughter to have changed when s/he comes back home at vacations and weekends, and if they are studying while living at home with you or living locally.
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