Hi everyone, since Student Finance has opened, I thought I would use this blog to provide five top tips for completing your application!
1. You don’t need an offer to apply
If you are still waiting for offers, no problem, you can still apply! Complete your application using your first preferred university and course, and if this changes you can update your application later on.
2. Make sure your application details are correct
Have your UCAS course code to hand and choose the correct academic year and mode of study i.e. full-time – this is very important if you don’t want your loan delayed.
3. Provide any supporting documentation quickly
You might be asked to send original documents with your application, if you are, send any documents requested from Student Finance by recorded delivery and track the delivery as you definitely won’t want them to get lost in the post.
4. Do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions
Lots of support and guidance is offered by Student Finance themselves in the Student Finance Zone – scroll down to the bottom of the page for links to your correct student finance as they are different depending on where you live in the UK. Just make sure you apply before the deadline to get your money on time. In my case I applied through Student Finance NI. Additionally, if you still have any questions you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Enrol promptly to release your funding in September
Your first payment is usually made around 3-5 working days after you are registered on course and the Uni has confirmed your attendance with Student Finance so it is important you complete your enrolment. Details are sent out to firm choice students over the summer so look out for that.
Uni is all about reading. Well, to be honest it’s about a lot more, but you get the gist. I always knew that reading would be a huge factor to my course (Sociology), but I never knew just how much reading I would be doing.
In the first year I thought spending money on books was the right way to go. It allowed me to annotate whenever I wanted, highlight everywhere and mark key passages. However in second year I had limited funds and couldn’t splash out £60 on a book, so I opted to go to the library and investigate what they had. To my surprise (and annoyance at my stupidity) they had every book I used in my first year… and around 5 copies of each.
EHU’s library is fantastic! The ground floor allows you space to complete group work, along with catering facilities to grab some lunch. First and second floor are where the main body of books are situated, with single and group study rooms available to book. On each floor there is a help desk, so if you’re like me and can never seem to find a specific book, you always have a helping hand.
If you’re looking for more subject resources the online library has a full database of texts, such as journals, electronic books and articles for everyone to read. There is also the LINC building for students to have access to even more computers.
ADVICE: Read as much as you can whenever you can.The more you know about your course subjects, the better your grade will be!
On Saturday I assisted Billy, my scriptwriting lecturer, with an applicant visit day. He was running a taster session for people who have been accepted to study Creative Writing at Edge Hill University, and he wanted a current student of the course to speak to the applicants.
Initially I was nervous; the idea of a room full of people all staring at me wasn’t one that I was particularly comfortable with, but Billy assured me that the session would remain informal and that the group was relatively small.
I remember my Applicant Visit Day and how the taster session really heavily influenced my decision to accept my place at Edge Hill, so I knew that it was important to ensure that the applicants all got a good feel of what the course would be like and whether it was for them.
Once the session began I quickly realised that I’d been silly to feel nervous and I actually really enjoyed myself. Billy set writing exercises for the students that I remember doing in my early weeks at uni. I really loved how each individual person approached every exercise from a completely different perspective. I walked around the room checking on people to see how they were getting on and all the applicants were confident and spoke passionately about their writing.
The applicants were being shown around by two other Creative Writing Students, and at the end of the session they were given the chance to ask us questions regarding the course and the university experience. The topic that came up most was the experience of moving away from home- something that I haven’t done to attend Edge Hill, but have done in the past- and it reminded me how big a step all these people were about to take. Living at home I often forget that for majority of students university isn’t just about embarking on a new academic journey, it’s also about gaining independence and freedom.
Meeting students who may be starting at Edge Hill is September was great and I’ll look forward to seeing their familiar faces around campus. I can only hope that they enjoyed the taster session as much as I did!