Applying to college

This guide is for any college course. You might have to apply to UCAS for HNC or HND, but try the college first and they can tell you. Here's how the process works, step by step!

Step 1: Choose Courses

Use our course choice guide, speak to guidance teachers and careers advisors. It can also be a good idea to make an appointment with college guidance staff.

They can help your child find the right course, and right level at which to begin study. If your child has any additional support needs, contact them at the start of the application process.

Step 2: Apply to each College

Applications for college courses should be made to each college individually. This is increasingly done on their websites, or using the form in their prospectus (brochure of courses). They will usually want to know:

Keep a copy of the information as it will be used in the interview. Not all colleges will interview candidates so it’s very important to write a good personal statement.

It is best to apply well in advance. Most people apply after prelim results, some before. Even if they already go to college part time through their school, they will need to apply again.

Step 3: Interview

Colleges often do interviews. These help them get to know your child better, and to give them a chance to ask any questions.

It may sound daft, but make sure they know the exact place and time of the interview as colleges often have more than one location.

Step 4: Offersoffers

Each college will then reply with either unconditional offers, conditional offers (which depend on exam results), with offers for different courses, or with no offer.

Your child should take their time deciding. Once they have accepted a course, it is final and the other offers made will be offered to someone else!

Step 5: Money!

Once your child has an offer of a place, the college should provide finance forms to fill out. They’ll help you find the best support package possible.

Also have a look at our money for college guide.