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Advice for parents and supporters

Explore what steps you can take while your child waits for their university offers

Waiting to hear back from a university can be an exciting yet anxious time.

As a parent and supporter, there are plenty of things you can do to help your child stay calm and motivated during the process, so they are prepared for all outcomes and have the resources they need to make informed choices.

Find out how to support them, from understanding and comparing their university offers to preparing for interviews and knowing when to respond.

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How you can support them

Use this checklist to help support your child while they wait to hear back from a university.

Understand the different offers

Once a university has made their decision, they’ll typically respond with a conditional or unconditional offer. There are often conditions attached to a conditional offer, and even an unconditional offer might require a background check. Your child can check the conditions of their offer by reviewing the course entry requirements.

They’ll then find out if they’ve met these conditions on results day.

At Portsmouth, all of our courses list the entry requirements your child needs and each course includes a link to further entry requirement details.

Before your child receives their offers, familiarise yourself with them so you know exactly what they mean and can support them in taking their next steps.

Got questions? Contact our team

Know when to reply

After your child submits their application in January, their UCAS hub will turn into UCAS track. This is where your child can track their application journey and find out when a university has made their decision. 

Your child will usually hear back in May and will need to reply within a few weeks by logging into UCAS Track.

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Top tip

Familiarise yourself with the UCAS hub.

Your child’s UCAS hub is a great resource for them throughout their application journey. They can access a wide range of tools and resources to help them every step of the way and while they wait for their uni offers. These include searching courses and subjects, virtual notepads, and tariff calculators. 

Compare offers

Once your child receives their offers, they’ll need to choose their firm and insurance choice.

Comparing offers isn’t always easy, as there’s a lot to consider. But don’t worry if your child’s not sure what to choose, as they’ll have plenty of time to decide.

To support them in this process, encourage them to revisit the course content, considering factors like modules, teaching methods, assessments, and career goals. They might also want to consider finances, such as tuition fees, additional costs (e.g books and equipment) or any other course related expenses and explore what financial support the university offers.

You and your child could also attend an Open Experience Day to revisit the campus, tour facilities, and learn more about student life before making their final decision.

Top tip

Create a pros and cons list to help your child break down their decision.

No offers or changed their mind? Explore their options.

Consider reaching out to the uni to discuss your child's needs

Knowing your child will be supported while at university is important. If your child has any specific needs, encourage them to reach out to their chosen universities for advice about additional resources they may require, such as disability support, access to wellbeing services or academic help.

Considering Portsmouth? Discover how we support our students

Prepare for interviews

A university may invite your child for an interview before deciding whether to accept their application.

Interviews can be daunting, but they are an opportunity for your child to showcase their skills and personality. While your child waits for their uni offers, prepare them by discussing potential questions and helping them practice their answers. Make sure they've researched the university and course they are applying for – noting down any questions they may have.

Getting unexpected grades or changing plans

Whatever the outcome, we know you’ll want to be there for your child and support them through their next steps. Encourage them to consider UCAS Extra or Clearing if they didn’t get the grades and want to continue exploring their place at university. 

Alternatively, they could contact their school or college to challenge their result, request to retake their exam or see if their chosen university will still accept them, as they may be offered some flexibility.  

Your child can also defer their place if they want more time before delving into student life.

Not sure which path they want to take? Explore other routes to a degree with your child if they’re questioning doing a traditional Bachelor’s Degree

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