~ Know the key dates for applications to UCAS and CUKAS ~
One Year or More before Applying:
You might have known what you want to study since the age of six and already have your life plan completed, but for the majority of people who don’t, it’s important to leave yourself enough time to change your mind and discover what it is you want to do. This is a good time to begin researching various universities, programs and determining what you need to do in order to be accepted. During this time you should also begin researching scholarships and financial aid programs offered by the universities that interest you.
By this time you should have a clearer picture of the programs and universities where you are intending to apply and what you will need to do in order to complete your application. Find out if you will need to create a portfolio, attend interviews or auditions or sit some standardized tests.
With six months to go before the application deadline, you might feel like you still have loads of time. However, it is a good idea to begin brainstorming and writing your personal statement. Your personal statement is your way of selling yourself to admissions and distinguishing yourself from other candidates. You want to be original and appear to be the type of student the school wants. You also want to give yourself plenty of time to make corrections and let others, like parents or academic advisors, take a look and give you some feedback.
Prepare to send your marks to date. This might be a little confusing if you are from overseas. Contact the universities you are applying to and ask how they would like to receive your marks. You might be asked to calculate your average and enter it in the Education and Marks section on the application. However, they might ask you to send or scan your transcripts to them directly. If this is the case, you will need to dig up the transcripts you require before sending them in. You can always contact your high school if you cannot find a copy that you require.
One/Two Months before:
You should contact the person you would like to write your letter of recommendation. They are doing you a great service, so you want to give them enough time to complete the letter without them feeling stressed. On UCAS, your referee will be invited to submit their letter online. However, on CUKAS, you are responsible for making sure that the letters get sent in. So for CUKAS it is very important that you give your referee enough time to write the letter and for the post to get it to the school. Always check how many letters of recommendation you require and what type of letter it should be (ex: academic or specialized).
Perfect your letter personal statement, or start it if you have already!
Create your account as soon as you can and fill out the primary information. This allows you to see all the information that is required and if you encounter something you don’t understand, you will have the time to get the answer. If you have questions, the best place to ask is the actual website you are dealing with. Call the helpline or check out the Facebook page to ask your questions.
Once you’ve filled out you primary information, have your referee upload their letter to UCAS or if using CUKAS, mail the letter, submit your marks, upload your completed personal statement, check over your application and make sure you have completed all the sections, then pay and submit!
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve submitted your application!
Following the submission of your application, you may be contacted about interviews or portfolios.