Parent's guide to university | NatWest



Parent's guide to university

Your child leaving home and going off to university is an exciting time with lots of possibilities and questions. We’ve put together a guide to help you prepare, both during their application and beyond.

 

The application process

The application process has various steps and some deadlines you won’t want to forget. To apply for a higher education course, your child will need to go through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

The UCAS website is packed with videos and articles on every step of the application process. It also has information on things like writing a personal statement and ideas for extracurricular activities to support applications.

If you sign up to their monthly newsletter you’ll get plenty of helpful, up-to-date information and reminders of important deadlines in the application process too.

 

Choosing a university

The key thing to remember is that this isn’t really your choice, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be supportive. Be prepared to help with travel on open days, finding the right course, and even clearing if things don’t go to plan.

You’ll find a whole host of information from UCAS. The annual university rankings lists produced by publications like The Times and The Guardian will also come in handy. When it comes to choosing the right place to live, our guide to choosing accommodation can help too.

 

Preparing your child for living independently

Your first concern might be getting your child a university spot, so thoughts about making sure they're ready to fend for themselves when they get there can get put on the back burner. But it can be a shock to the system, so spend a bit of time getting them ready and introduce them to the idea of living independently. Our guide to independent living will give them food for thought, but basic training on household things like cooking, washing clothes and cleaning will give them a head start too.

 

Student finance

When it comes to student finance, parents’ income can be a factor. You might have questions about things like the student loans’ parental income threshold, how student finance works for divorced parents and what qualifies you for additional support.

You can find the answers at www.gov.uk/student-finance, which also has info on additional bursaries, scholarships and funds available to your child. This is also where you and your child will be making the application for assessment and loans.

 

Setting up a student bank account

Getting your child set up with a student bank account will mean one less thing to organise while they're starting their studies. If they already have an account with us, they can upgrade to our student account.

 

Transferring money online

Your daughter or son will be learning to live independently. The key word here is learning. It’s likely the time will come when you get a call for money. You may get little or no notice, so it helps to be prepared.

If your child needs a quick cash boost you can use mobile or online banking to transfer funds to them fast.

 

Empty nest syndrome

When your child leaves home, you might experience feelings of sadness and loss; you’re not alone. Many parents have similar feelings – in fact, it’s so common it’s got a name: ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’.

If you’re feeling like this, try and think of their move towards independence as exciting. Remember your child is probably as nervous as you are. Far from leaving you behind, they’ll still look to you for advice and support - and will probably soon be home to visit for a home cooked meal and the home comforts they'll no doubt be missing while they're away.

Getting your child set up with a student bank account will mean one less thing to organise while they're starting their studies. 
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