Having parental support during the process of applying to university can make a lot of difference to the chances of children securing a place. It can be a daunting and nerve-wracking time, particularly if they have their heart set on a certain course or institution, and they’ll need your encouragement. There are also practical ways you can help increase the chances of them securing the place they want. Read on for some tips on how you can support your child from a top London Sixth Form

Research options thoroughly

It’s important your child chooses their course wisely as they’ll be studying it for the next few years; they should also choose the institution carefully as it’s where they’ll most likely be living, studying and socializing for some time. Help your child research all the options thoroughly. Talk about whether they want to live at home and commute to a local university, or if they want the experience of moving out and immersing themselves in the campus experience. Research all the universities that offer their preferred course, based on whether they want to stay local or move further afield, and look at aspects such as how the course is taught, whether it’s accredited (if that’s an important consideration) and what future study or career options it could lead to. 

Take a tour

Most universities run campus tours so prospective students can get a feel for the environment and learn more about the course they’re interested in. This will help your child make a decision about where they can see themselves spending the next few years, and it will also help them complete their personal statement if that’s part of the application process. Take the opportunity to talk to teaching staff and current students about the reality of studying there and the details of the course. 

Understand the application process

Make sure your child is clear on what grades they need to achieve and any other requirements they need to fulfill to secure their preferred place. Make a list of deadlines for completing parts of the application and anything else they need to take into account. It’s also worth having a plan B and backup options if your child doesn’t get the grades they need to secure the place they want, so take some time to learn about the clearing process as well. You’ll also want to consider the financial side of things – if they’re planning on applying for a student loan they’ll need to complete the application by a certain deadline. 

Support them with interviews

Your child might need to attend an interview as part of the application process for their chosen course. This can be a nerve-wracking prospect, but you can help your child prepare by role playing the interviewer so they can practise answering questions such as why they want to study the subject and why they want to attend that particular institution. Help your child understand that the interview process is a chance for them to learn more about the course and the environment as well, rather than just a one-sided inquisition. 

Think about the future

Your child may have a clear plan when it comes to their future career and know exactly what route they need to take, or alternatively they might be less sure and plan on studying something they simply enjoy. Either way, it’s a good idea to think about the future and where a particular course might lead, and how this ties in with your child’s future plans. Help them keep the bigger picture in mind when they’re making their choices – this will keep them focused on securing a university place which will benefit them in the future.