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Christmas lights in all the shop windows? It can only mean one thing... the UCAS application deadline is drawing near. Meanwhile, the news is busting with stories about students, tuition fees and uni. unwraps it all...


What should I be doing now? (Yr 13)
The official deadline for hitting the submit button on your UCAS application is January 15th, but don't be leaving it till the last minute. The most popular courses are packing them in already and however great your grades are or however brightly your personal statement glows, once the places are gone, they're gone.
Just get it done. Now. Like pulling off a plaster, no one wants to do it, it's a pain when you're doing it, but afterwards, it's all so much better.
Remember you don't have to fill in all five choices when you submit to the first one. So if you're still unsure what or where you want to study, you can check out what courses will take you where career-wise at
Even if you've made your choices, you can see at which you might want to pick in the end by looking into what past graduates from that uni and course have gone on to do and what they've earned.

What should I be doing now? (Yr 12)
Now's a good time to start thinking beyond AS levels, beyond A levels, beyond uni, beyond your working life, beyond... woah, back up. Stop at working life. What might you like to do? What will fulfil you? What will fill your pockets? Okay, now how are you going to get there?
Going to uni may well be the best way to turn dreams about the future into your real daily life. But it's not as simple as that, it matters what course you study and where you study it. There's no right answers — the direction you take depends on where you want to end up.
That's where can help you explore the options and see which make most sense to you.

Did you know? 
Students are more worried about debts than about their chances of getting a job. In research commissioned by bestCourse4me, 59% of sixth-formers said the cost of going to uni was more off-putting than career worries.
It's good to know most of them realise that a degree will probably help their prospects, but maybe they don't need to be so worried about the finances.


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Money made clear

Earlier this month saw Student Finance Day, a day of events designed to unmuddy the myths about student money. For instance, although tuition fees in English unis are rising to as much as £9,000 a year, that doesn't mean students have to pay that. You don't pay anything upfront. You only start paying anything when you've left uni and you're getting a decent wage. Even then you only pay a small slice of what you earn. And, unless you earn loads, you'll probably never end up paying the full amount before your student debts are wiped clean after 30 years. How will the system will really work?


Tuition fees take a tumble

Hunh? Yes, really. Tuition fees are falling. 27 universities are dropping their new fees before they've even started charging them.

This is happening because the Government announced plans to allow universities that charge less to take more students. Some have decided to drop their average fees to qualify.

Always check with a university what the fees will be for any course you're thinking of doing. Also ask if they've got an scholarships (free money for being good), bursaries (free money because you need it) or fee waivers (no-cost place) you might be able to get.