High Education and Student Finance

Deciding what to do after college can be a particularly tough decision to make. Here’s a guide to finding your way.

Why go to University?

Many pupils worry about the cost of university or being away from home!

But here are five reasons why UCAS says university is a good choice:

  • Increase your knowledge - study what you love, you're interested in and with the top experts in their fields
  • Gain a qualification that's international recognised - UK higher education qualifications are recognised and respected worldwide
  • Increase you earning potential - having a degree makes you more attractive to employers, you'll have a greater choice of jobs and you'll earn more.
  • Experience student life - University is demanding but its also fun. Whatever your interests, there are a huge range of clubs, societies and diverse social life on offer.
  • Develop the essential skills you'll need in your career and working life - communication, organisation, time management, team work, leadership and problem solving.

How much does university cost?

Have a look at this video:

Student finance is not as scary as it might first seem. You will not pay any money back until you have graduated and you are earning a good amount of money. Even then, it is a small amount over a long period of time.

If you don’t go to university, there are other available pathways for you to consider.

Some options include:

  • Higher Apprenticeships
  • Degree Apprenticeships
  • Job – there are lots of opportunities and trainee positions for school leavers. Some people choose to work first and then consider university or apprenticeships to get a better idea of what they really want; others find their feet at work and never look back.
  • Refer to Notgoingtouni for advice about different routes and vacancy details.
  • Taking a Gap Year – some pupils take a gap year to go travelling or gain work experience before going to university or taking another career pathway.

Useful Links

High Apprenticeships Infographic

Degree Apprenticeships Infographic

Unistats Compares UK higher education course data - which university is doing the best?

Success at School Career advice for schools and students aged 13-19. Search jobs, advice & find out about employers, work experience, courses and career choices. 

Prospects Prospects help guide pupils in graduate careers. They have plenty of information that can support you to map out your career pathway. 

Russell Group Universities Advice from the Russell Group about choosing GCSE and A level subjects

Oxford & Cambridge Outreach Service Information about applying to Oxford and Cambridge and the outreach activity they offer all in one place.

Bright Knowledge has lots of information and advice on choosing a university.

UCAS enables you to research your university choices and courses. You also apply for higher education courses through their website.

WhatUni.com helps you compare courses and universities.

The Guardian University Guide has profiles of every university and course in the UK, league tables and student news.

Pure Potential is an independent organisation which raises the aspirations of thousands of sixth-formers every year, helping them to achieve offers from excellent universities.

Push Independent guide to universities.

Greater Manchester Higher Greater Manchester Higher is a collaborative network. The partnership is a part of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme, which will deliver a nationally coordinated approach to working with schools, universities and colleges to help people access higher education.