Choosing the right university is a major decision – your choice could impact your whole life, by opening doors to all kinds of opportunities, and you are probably going to get yourself into a lot of debt, so you need to make the right choice. Some things to consider are:
Do you want to stay close to home or move away?
If you would miss your family and friends too much by moving away to go to university, you would be better off sticking to one close by. You then have two living options – move into Halls or other accommodation or stay at home while you study. There are positives and negatives to both – while you will save money on living costs by staying at home, you will have less freedom to join in with student life than if you were living with other students.
If you would like to head off for pastures new, you should embrace the challenge of living away from home and everything you know. You will make new friends and become more independent, but be prepared to find it lonely for the first day or so until you find your feet.
Which universities are the best for your course?
If you want to study a popular course, such as English Literature, you won’t find it difficult to find a suitable course. If you want to study an obscure course, such as Egyptian Archaeology, you will have to limit your choice to the two universities that offer it (Liverpool University and University College London). As well as this, you might want to think about the reputation of the universities you are considering and how well the course you have chosen fares at each of these.
Course fees and living costs
Although student loans are available to cover both your course costs and your living costs, as well as several grants and bursaries, you will still need to think about whether you can actually afford to live from these sources of funding alone, or whether you will need to find yourself a job. If you might be looking for a job, heading to a city will be a better option than a town miles from anywhere else.
Also consider that if you live at home during your studies, you will receive a lower student loan than if you are living elsewhere, and if you are living in London you will receive more but living costs are significantly higher.