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We all love reading Jessica Alexander’s blogs. Now Jess’s mum has kindly offered to share her story about what it’s like to support someone as they go through the uni application process.

Clare Alexander

Helping your child through the university application process is exciting but not without its moments of tension. Thinking about it now, a few years after doing this with my children, I remember it in four main stages: the research, the open days, the application and the results.


The first stage is to help them with their research.  Gathering prospectuses and reading about the courses each university has to offer – the course content and how the course is assessed – is a valuable exercise and can help narrow down their options.  Who knew that an English degree could vary so much from one university to another?

Open Days

Once the research is over, the visits to open days can begin.  This too is a valuable exercise, as it gives you and your child a chance to get a ‘feeling’ for a place, that no amount of statistics can provide (although still an important source of information and not to be ignored).  Open days give your child the opportunity to speak to people who are doing the course they want to do and living in the town/city they are thinking of living in. There’s nothing more reassuring for a parent than speaking to someone who is living the life your child will be living in a year’s time.  So as tiring and time consuming as open days are, they really shouldn’t be missed.


Next comes the application, the numerous deadline dates to remember and the all-important personal statement.  This has to be their own work, but it’s a great time to remind them of their positive attributes and skills.  These skills, their academic achievements and their extra-curricular activities provide the university with a picture of your child and their potential as a future student – it’s definitely not the time for them to hide their light under a bushel!


And finally, after they’ve made their choices, received their offers and sat their exams comes the long awaited results day. Logging on to the results website at dawn, crashing, logging on again until at last the single page which is going to change their lives (one way or another) comes into view. Thankfully for my children all their hard work paid off and they got accepted into the university of their choice.

This is the application process as I remember it.  But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all over for you as a parent, because I can assure you it’s only just beginning……

By Clare Alexander

2 Responses to “A parent’s view of applying to uni”

  1. Chris Michael

    Hi Clare,

    Thank you for your post.

    As a parent myself I understand how difficult it is to try and help your children when you can’t make the decision for them. Endless hours of discussion entangled with worries that they’ll make the right choice can weigh one down but in the end you can only help to guide them and trust them that they’ll make the right decisions.

    Of course a good upbringing is worth its weight in gold and I am proud to say that my 3 young men are very interdependant. In the end all we want is the best for them. 🙂



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