After Results Day – Get Ready for Uni

As soon as your university place has been confirmed, you will begin receiving messages about registration, course or module choices, accommodation and Fresher’s or Welcome Week information. This will probably be from your academic department, the University Registry (central administration) and perhaps the Student Body (e.g. NUS and Students’ Union).

Most Universities will have a dedicated website (e.g. UniversityX.ac.uk/welcome) and moderated Facebook group for new students. Get to know your university and fellow students before you arrive – visit your university and student's union online, and join the Facebook group.

Carefully read information about your enrolment. Be sure you understand what you need to do and when, and what documents you'll need. You must sift, prioritise and read everything carefully. Some mail will be more immediately important and must be responded to promptly.

Student finance

If you gain a university place, change your course or university through Clearing, you must inform your student finance company immediately. Always make sure that the student finance company has your up-to-date contact and bank account details.

Accommodation

Father and son
iStock/XiXinXing

If your university place was confirmed as a result of satisfying your offer, much of the admin work will have been completed already.

You will probably have made your choices about accommodation and simply need to confirm decisions at this stage.
Nevertheless, your signatures (or online confirmation) may be required and you must read the small print relating to all contracts. They are important. 
Understand the payment methods – you may be given options. Note the date you are required to arrive. Make sure your email account supplied to UCAS is up to date and is able to receive bulk emails, and that your University’s address (UniversityX.ac.uk) is in your 'trusted sender' lists.

If your university place has been confirmed AFTER A-level results and/or via Clearing, you may be starting the accommodation process for the first time (or with a new university). 

All this takes place at high speed in August/September. It may feel a little stressful as you will be doing this for the first time, but it really is a case of systematically working through the process. 

Your parents may wish to share this with you and if they are guarantor in any contracts, it is reasonable and right that they get involved.  Another pair of eyes is always a good idea when navigating the legalese.
Universities do things differently but all aim to help you settle in quickly and ensure that your new environment is both safe and secure as well as fun. 

Pastoral care

You may have a Residential Advisor or Residence Tutor who is there to give pastoral support. These people are worth seeking out, as they may be good contacts for part-time work, events, news and key tips and advice.

Moving in
iStock/megaflopp

Keys

Keys, or access cards to property (university or private sector) are always treated seriously. You will be expected to take care of your keys and replacements are deliberately made punitively expensive. 

Insurance

You may want to take out room contents insurance or insure separately a bike, tablet or laptop. This has to be done independently, although you should check that your possessions are not covered by your parents’ insurance before you take out a separate policy. Read more about insurance for students.

Bank account

If you haven’t already opened a bank account, you can do this as soon as you receive your UCAS confirmation letter confirming your university place. Banks will ask for sight of this. Find out if there is a branch on or close to campus, it may make things easier. Setting up your account before you arrive on campus may save time in queues.

Budgeting and managing your money

Dull though it may sound, it's really worth working out a budget. You'll know your minimum income for the year and how much you have to spend. Although difficult at times, sticking to a budget stops you overspending, reduces financial worries and gives you a good idea of how much the following years at university will cost. Get advice on Managing Your Money and Budgeting, or read Student Finance Survival Tips.

Student Rail/Coach Cards

Student Rail/Coach Cards are good value for money even if you don’t think you need one at first. A three-year deal may also save money and you can normally get a replacement if you lose it. Your University town or city may also offer cheap discounted public transport cards.

Bringing your own car

Running a car is very expensive at university as your insurance may skyrocket, and petrol and parking costs may also come as a shock. Most universities do not offer guaranteed free parking on or close to campus and you may not be able to park a car (apart from unloading your stuff) next to university accommodation. If you do bring a car, be prepared to be a taxi service for your new friends!

Read more about Results Day and Clearing or accommodation.

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