Their are so many emotions when considering and applying to University for everyone, not just parents. Parents have a couple of extra thoughts… Will I have enough time to spend with my children? Where will they go when I’m in lectures? Will we cope financially? I have thought these things over and over in my head since I hit that apply button back in October.
I have two children, and have been putting off applying for University for the last two years since completing my access course back in 2016. However as a single Mum and back with my parents, I have had to recalculate my finances, ensure all possible loans and grants are applied for and calculated so I know my budgets! Not to mention having to ensure my youngest is in nursery and my eldest has someone to drop off and pick up as the uni is around 40 minutes away from our new home.
Thankfully my university has a nursery near campus (Top Tip: Ensure your Child's name is down on the list as soon as you apply as their is usually a long waiting list for these spaces).
However, I had to research after school clubs, child minders, and Grandparents schedules to think of a plan A, B, and C.
My top tips:
Ensure you visit your chosen universities before you apply, gather as much information as possible such as timetables, hours of lectures, and how long they last so you have a rough idea of what information to pass onto childcare.
What mode of transport you will be taking to university, some universities don’t have car parks and if they do permits are required, so calculate this into your budgets. If you're thinking of taking the train and under 25, then look in to a railcard. If you apply for a student bank account, these sometimes give you free rail cards or coach cards which will save you a pretty penny.
Ensure you apply for your student finance and all available grants and loans in advance so you can also start preparing your finances. Grants and parent learning allowances are available from student finance and can help with any books, laptops, and childcare costs during you studies.
Remember to follow my journey on my UCAS blog.