Welcome to the ARU Support Hub. Take the mystery and confusion out of applying to university - we've answered the most frequently asked questions and concerns we hear from applicants.
University is truly an opportunity like no other. There are many aspects that make going to university an amazing experience, but the first thing you should consider is what you really want to achieve and learn. Studying a subject or vocation that fascinates you, taught by knowledgeable and supportive experts at the top of their field, is an option that everyone should seriously consider.
Of course, there are other options you can choose to help you progress. You can get a job, go travelling or attend training courses. However, a degree can give you access to more specialist jobs and significantly increase your earning potential. The Graduate Labour Market Statistics 2018 show that median graduate salary was £10,000 more than the median non-graduate salary. Choosing to go to university means achieving a qualification that is respected and recognised by employers and academics worldwide.
Going to university isn’t just about studying to achieve your future goals. University is also about finding your yourself, experiencing new things and enjoying the journey of personal growth. Meeting your deadlines, budgeting your money, paying your rent and bills, taking part in social events and finding new extra-curricular activities - university can help to nurture your sense of responsibility and give you new-found independence.
Another benefit of university is that you will also be surrounded by like-minded students in a supportive and friendly community. Whether it’s on your course, through sports, social events, or when you join a society through the Student’s Union, you’re guaranteed to find people that share your passions, hobbies and interests. Most graduates find that they form friendships at university that last a lifetime.
Whether you should attend university or not is a decision that only you can make. It’s important to remember that it’s no-one else’s choice. If you think receiving a degree will help make your ambitions a reality and attending university will give you a chance to become the best version of yourself, you shouldn’t hesitate to apply.
If you think uni might be for you, why not explore our undergraduate course pages.
If you struggle with certain academic skills and you’re worried this might hold you back, our friendly and supportive experts at Study Skills Plus will be able to help you throughout your degree.
Not at all! You don’t necessarily need to know what career you want, but while you’re studying with us we would love to help you try and work out what you want to do next. That’s why we offer a wide range of services to help support you and prepare you for tomorrow’s workplace.
Our Employability Programme is very popular with our students, as it works with you throughout your time at ARU. As you explore your interests we can help you secure work experience, placements, volunteering opportunities and we even offer support for your start-up ideas.
It can take up to four weeks to consider applications, so we recommend you apply at least a month before your preferred start date.
If you're interested in applying for a postgraduate research course, please visit our Research admissions page.
If you're considering going to university, seeing the course fees and estimating the cost of moving out can be very overwhelming. However, the important thing to remember is that there are lots of different types of financial support available.
Undergraduate study can be funded by using a combination of student loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries. Your entitlement to these is calculated on an individual basis. However, the tuition fee loan is available to anyone applying for an undergraduate course at a publicly-funded institution. This will cover the full cost of your course, so there's no need to worry about paying for the course itself.
There is also a loan available to cover your living costs whilst you are at university. The amount you are entitled to depends on your household income and where you choose to live whilst studying. You can use the Government’s student finance calculator to find out how much you maintenance loan you are entitled to each year.
Depending on your situation, you may be entitled to additional grants and allowances. These are typically income or needs assessed and have been created to ensure that higher education is accessible to all. You can read more about time in our grants and allowances section.
Most universities offer scholarships are bursaries, which change from institution from institution. For example, at ARU we offer an Achievement Scholarship that is available to any undergraduate students that have earned ABB (128 UCAS points) or above. This could entitle the applicant to an extra £2,000 worth of funds. It’s worth finding out if there are any scholarships or bursaries you can apply for that will help with the cost of studying.
There are plenty of options when it comes to making university affordable. Make sure you find out what exactly you are entitled during the application process.
The cost of university is one of the most common concerns amongst applicants. At ARU we have a range of grant and scholarship programmes that can help you get the financial support you need to complete your studies.
If you’re taking out a student loan with Student Finance England, you won’t have to repay anything until the April after you graduate. Even then you’ll only pay 9% of any earnings over £25,000 a year. After 30 years any outstanding loan will be wiped regardless. It’s a system designed to ensure that you contribute to the repayment in line with what you earn after university.
It's common for students to need to work part-time during their studies in order to cover their living costs. That's why ARU has an on-campus recruitment agency called the Employment Bureau, which can help to find you paid part-time work opportunities that fit around your studies. Our job vacancies board features a wide variety of internal and external roles that could complement your studies or just earn you a bit of cash.
Clearing is a system that matches applicants to university places that haven’t been filled yet.
If you have made a UCAS Undergraduate application that doesn’t hold any offers, you are able to apply for Clearing.
Clearing is a great opportunity for many applicants for a number of reasons. You may not have met the terms of your conditional offers. You may have decided at the last minute that you would like to apply for university. Or you may feel that you want to change your course or original university choice.
You can check ARU’s Clearing course list from 1 July. We also accept Clearing applications from 1 July. Clearing typically runs through to September, but we recommend applying early to avoid disappointment.
Definitely! If it’s been a few years since you took your last exam, that’s no problem. No matter what you’ve been doing since you were last at school, you can always apply through Clearing to kickstart your education career again. If you already know your results, you’ve got a head-start. Simply find your course and apply online from 1 July. We’ll get back to you before A-level results day, so you can start preparing for your exciting new chapter.
We understand why you might not want to accept a Clearing offer if you haven’t visited the university, which is why you can drop-in to ARU for a campus tour throughout the year, as well as during Clearing.We offer campus tours every Wednesday afternoon, the meeting point in Chelmsford is our MAB Reception and the meeting point in Cambridge is our Helmore Reception. They happen on the hour from 12pm, with the final tour of the day taking place at 4pm. There is no need to book a time slot – just drop in and say hello!
Many applicants get a chance to see all of the accommodation options during open days, but some applicants don't see their accommodation until the day they move in during freshers week. No matter whether you have or you haven't seen where you're going to live in person, finally moving in to a new room can be overwhelming.
It's important to give yourself time to settle in, but if you arrive to your new accommodation and you feel that something isn’t right then you should get in touch with your accommodation team. If you feel like you would be happier elsewhere they will always be willing to talk you through your other potential accommodation options. However, University accommodation will be dependent on availability.
The accommodation team at ARU will always work with you to make sure you are in a living situation where you feel safe and happy.
Living at home is a great opportunity to keep costs down, especially if you live in a convenient distance from campus. You will still meet like-minded students on your course, in societies and at events, so there’s no need to worry about missing the social side of university life.
If you attend an ARU open day you will have the opportunity to tour our student accommodation. Even if you are planning to live at home during your degree, it's still worth taking part in the tour to give you a feel for what university might be like if you opted to live on campus.