Can I Go To University?

There are some stereotypes about University students which can be harmful. A lot of films and TV shows all University students as the same person, but this isn’t the case. In this blog, I’ll challenge any preconceptions about University students.

“Am I not too old?”

Media overrepresents the young students of University, and never really represents mature students. Rest assured, there’s plenty of mature students of all ages! No matter your age, occupation, or if you’re parent, you’ll be able to study any course you want (assuming you’ve got the qualifications/can use an access programme to get onto the course).

“Can I go to University if I’m disabled?”

II have a lot of support on both my course and by the University’s Inclusion team in ways I couldn’t imagine when it comes to my disabilities. I was worried about being a disabled student, but when I arrived I realised I wasn’t alone, and even if I was, I had all the support I could ever need and more. In Sixth Form, I only had Extra Time, no support in lessons. This isn’t the case at University! I’ve had support for placement and all my tutors understand and respect my health conditions. Your living situation and wellbeing will be covered by our Inclusion team, too.

“Is there any point if I don’t drink?”

Of course! I know a lot of people, including me, who have had some of the best times of their life sober while at University. Everyone in the movies seem to drink alcohol, but in reality, there’s a lot of students who don’t drink. You’re bound to find non-drinking buddies on your course and at societies, and there’s even ‘dry socials’ in Freshers week to get involved in!

Closing Words

When considering University, please ask yourself, “is University right for me?”, not “am I right for University?” You absolutely are! Here at University, you’re a part of a community – one that’s diverse, and the people you’re surrounded by won’t judge you if you step outside what a lot of people consider the ‘typical’ University student. We’re all here for the same reason after all, to have a good time and get an education.

-Tony

Scholarships

Whilst applying to university and during your time of study there are a range of scholarships available to students. Some scholarships you will be automatically entered into depending on things such as your academic results and others you can apply for.

You can use the eligibility calculator to answer a few short questions to find out which scholarship may be suitable for you

Scholarships Calculator

 

For prospective undergraduate students there are many scholarships available, the first being an excellence scholarship. An excellence scholarship can offer up to £2000 and is available to students who show excellence in disciplines beyond the curriculum in areas such as the creative arts, IT, performing arts and volunteering and citizenship work although there can be other examples. Anyone can apply for this scholarship as long as you are applying to Edge Hill and are holding a firm offer.

The next scholarship available to students is the sports scholarship and this offers up to £1000 and other benefits depending on the level for which you may qualify. The sports scholarship has three tiers and consists of bronze, silver and gold. The bronze scholarship requires you to make a significant contribution to sport at Edge Hill and contribute to community sport in coaching, officiating, administration or sports development. If you are awarded a bronze scholarship you currently receive free annual Edge Hill Sport and Team Edge Hill membership as well as free access to the gym and a free sports scholarship hoodie. To be eligible for the silver level of scholarship you must have represented either regional or county at junior or senior level in the last 12 months, be a current professional club first team or academy player, have a sports administration at national or regional level or be coaching or officiating at a regional level. If you receive this level of scholarship you will receive the same benefits as bronze but additionally you will receive up to £500 towards training and expenses, free personal training and access to strength and conditioning sessions as well as nutritional advice. Finally the gold level of scholarship requires applicants to have international or national representation at junior or senior level within the last 12 months, be ranked in the top 10 nationally, be an athlete on a recognised National Governing Body or be coaching or officiating at a national level. As a result of this people who receive the scholarship at this level will receive all of the aforementioned benefits but the financial part of the award increases to up to £1000, and they will also have access to a sports science support package which is tailored to their personal needs. Who gets the awards and at what level is decided by a panel.

Finally there are the academic scholarships. The university offers the high achievers scholarship and the Liverpool scholarship both of which offer benefits based on academic excellence. The high achievers scholarship is available to students who achieve 144 or more UCAS points from A-Level or equivalent BTEC qualifications, and who meet the other criteria which can be found on the website. The scholarship offers £1000 paid in two instalments and you will automatically be entered for this scholarship based on your results. The Liverpool scholarship differs slightly in that it is for a person who is domiciled in the city of Liverpool and who receives the highest UCAS tariff score in one sitting (there are some additional criteria). The scholarship offers up to £3000 and can be received by one student or shared if multiple students receive the same UCAS tariff score. Again this is a scholarship that does not have to be applied for and successful students will be contacted via letter during their first semester.

An understanding of scholarships can allow you decide which ones are most appropriate and your eligibility to apply. It can also give you an extra push of motivation knowing that if you excel at A-Level or are particularly talented in your hobby or an activity you may get that extra commendation for it when you arrive at university. More information about the scholarships at Edge Hill can be found here:

Scholarships

 

 

The wonderful world of Student Finance!

Hello all, hope you’ve had a great week.

I wanted to make a post about possibly one of the most important things (in my opinion) surrounding university life: Student Finance and funding options! If you are living on campus or even if you think you’ll struggle with course and travel costs, Student Finance is something I’d definitely suggest. This is a funding board put together by the government for current studying students.

There are currently two different loans on offer for new students:

  • Tuition fee loans: these pay for the price of the course you want to study. Even if you are staying at home and aren’t wanting extra funding because of this, the University still charges a fee for being on the course. You have to pay this back after Uni, however, this is once you begin to earn over £21,000 a year (https://www.gov.uk/repaying-your-student-loan/overview)
  • Maintenance loans: this is the loan you might want to apply for if you are living on campus or need help with anything such as travel fees, course books and necessities and food during your time on campus etc. You also have to pay this back, however, the same rules apply as with the tuition fee loan.

The application process can seem daunting, especially if this is your first attempt at applying for any kind of funding for anything, but if you follow what is said during the application process, you’ll be ok! Your parents/guardians are also required to fill out an application of their own so that they can gather information on their income and also get confirmation on the information you’ve given them. You are required to send certain documents as proof of what you’ve said and ID, but this is all clearly explained, so don’t worry!

Once your application has been processed, you will get a clear confirmation email and will eventually be told how much you are entitled to.

I found the Student Finance process to be quite daunting, so here’s a few tips:

  • Don’t panic! You’ll be ok just as long as you stay organised and listen to what you are being instructed to provide and mention in the application process.
  • Don’t keep putting it off. Especially if you need funding for rent or food! You don’t want to be caught out by deadlines or risk not getting paid when you need the money.
  • Read the guidelines and criteria provided. This will stop you getting caught out by anything that might mean your application doesn’t get accepted or is stalled.

Most of all, just remember the top tip I’ve provided!

Click here for a link to the Student Finance page and some information on how to apply and what you need to know.

Offers and Interviews!

So congratulations if you’ve been invited to an applicant day, as this means you’ve been offered a (conditional or unconditional) place! This is great news! If your offer is unconditional then you know that you’ll be joining us in September to start! However if you receive a conditional offer- do not fret! As long as you continue to work hard you will also be joining us in September as you will undoubtedly meet the necessary criteria!

Some courses may also request other non-academic requests, such as placements/work experience! Back in 2014, I attended an interview for my course (Secondary Maths Teaching with QTS)! Before the interview I was asked to prepare a part of a lesson on expanding brackets that I would be demonstrating to the panel. I also was told I would be subjected to a written comprehension based on an educational topic, as well as questions from the interview panel. The interview panel at the time consisted of two people, the head of a local high school and the maths course leader at Edge Hill.
Thankfully I received a conditional offer which was based on my grades at college, passing the skills tests (required for QTS) and also having completed work experience in a high school and primary school!

My advice to you as prospective students, many of you with interviews to attend is to be confident, research your subject topic (you might be asked about current affairs!) and enjoy the experience! The tutors will be happy to help you and answer any questions you have. At Edge Hill you are an asset to the university so ensure that you show off your talent and skills so you can really develop academically over the forthcoming years!

Good luck!

Making my final UCAS choices

Anyone applying for university this year has some quick thinking to do! I can’t tell you what is best for you individually, but I can tell you about my experiences and what was best for me, and my thoughts looking back two years later…

One thing that helped me massively when making my decision was attending different university open days. Luckily, my dad was able to either drive or accompany me on the train for a number of them. Being able to physically experience the university and the surrounding area was a huge aid in my decision making process. I visited both campus and city universities, and honestly most of the city uni’s weren’t for me. Living just outside of London for most of my life, and taking frequent excursions into the capital, had got me used to the bustle of the city. But as a place for me to study in a university setting, the cities I visited weren’t for me, and I would never have known that if I didn’t visit them personally.

Then again, some of the campus uni’s felt too secluded. Edge Hill felt like great middle ground. Despite being a campus university, it is only around 10 minutes from Ormskirk town centre (and although Ormskirk is small, it has good character) and only 30 minutes on the train from Liverpool – a city I’ve also come to love. As soon as my open day at Edge Hill was over, it already felt a tiny bit like home – I knew it had earned a place as either my firm or insurance choice.

In the end, I chose Edge Hill University as my firm, and a uni with much lower entry criteria as my insurance. Now, I don’t regret my firm choice for a second, as Edge Hill is a fantastic uni and I know I’ve already grown as a person just from my year and a half studying here. However, I do regret my insurance choice. I should’ve aimed a little higher and been more confident in myself to achieve the grades I had set out to acquire. After all, if I did end up falling below my expectations, I could’ve always looked at Clearing.
Like I said earlier, I can’t know which decision is right for you. Ultimately all I can do is wish you luck, and hope that you found some of my experiences helpful and worth reading. So with that in mind… Good luck!

What is UCAS? Why do I have to use it?

So you’re all probably familiar with the idea of UCAS, whether this is UCAS points, the application itself or even just the website.

UCAS hosts the application process for universities, meaning that you will have to only fill out one application instead of one for each university you apply to – isn’t this a life saver?

So the deadline this year for Edge Hill applicants is 15 January 2017… this seems ages away, but remember to keep on top of your application. The part you will have heard most about is your personal statement. This is not as daunting as everybody says it is! Basically you write about yourself, telling the University why you want to study the course and why you’re the most suitable candidate to do so.

UCAS do charge a fee of £13 to apply to one course at any one university, or £24 to apply to multiple courses at any university. So bearing this in mind… UCAS is a formal and serious application so make sure you step up and show universities like Edge Hill what you have to offer. UCAS offer more information for undergraduates here, so if you want to find out more on the step-by-step process of the application take a look.

Remember to please ask us if you want more information.

Applying for Student Finance Top Tips

As I’m sure you are aware Student Finance England is the organisation that most students apply for in order to help pay their way through university, and will help to pay for things like your tuition and living costs. However, I know that there are plenty of people out there who end up applying for finance very late on and often have issues trying to get the application complete before they start in September, so I would strongly recommend trying to get it sorted out as soon as possible so you can concentrate your time onto other things!
There are 4 stages to the application, and it does take a little bit longer to gather information and fill in details than you may initially think so make sure you are prepared early! The stages go as follows:

1. Registration
When you register you’ll be given a unique Customer Reference Number and be asked to create a password and secret answer. Keep these safe as you’ll need them to log into your account to check the progress of your application and re-apply for student finance next year.

2. Before you start your online application, you should have the following to hand:

  • your valid UK passport, if you have one;
  • your university and course details;
  • your bank account details;
  • your National Insurance number.

If you want to apply for finance that depends on your household income, they will ask your parents or partner to give us information about their household income and their National Insurance number. This is the bit that could take a little more time than you might think so make sure you have all this to hand before you start!!

3.Evidence
Not always but sometimes student finance will ask you to provide evidence of your house hold income, so this could include your parents p60 form to show what they earn for the last financial year, so make sure you ask them in advance to have a look for it just incase!

4.Declaration form:
Finally you will be asked to print and send of a signed declaration form which will need to be processed before student finance can pay you so don’t forget to do that!!

If circumstances change and you need to change your application, this can also be done and you can find out more information about that : Here 

I really hope this post is helpful, I had lots of trouble trying to get my application sorted in time so I was highly recommend trying to sort it out early!

Faye’s Blogs – The Holiday’s are Over

So even though I don’t have lectures start until something like the 21st January I have 3 essays that need to be in on Monday.

I am stressing out over them so much! Even though I feel as if I have been working on them for months!!

I cannot wait to get them over and done with. I think that this last semester is going to be less stressful. HOPEFULLY!! I don’t think that I have as many assignments to do. I need to check though.

But I am going to start the new assignments straight away!! Maybe in my final semester ever of university I will stick to this?

Also this week I have applied for 2 part time jobs because I really want a car so the money will be helpful and I really want to move out when I leave uni!! So I’m wanting to try and build up my savings!