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Advice for parents and carers

Read our guidance on how to support the young person in your care with their application.

Visitors at Open Day looking at programme

Parent and supporters webinar

This event is for the people who are supporting applicants in making their university decision.

In this session, you’ll gain practical information on how you can offer advice and support as they make their decision.

We will also explain the benefits and importance of attending events like Decision Days, and how these events can help the applicants make their decision.

Join us via Zoom on Tuesday 13th February 2024 from 6.00pm to 7.00pm.


Choosing which university to study at is a big moment for anyone.

As a parent or carer, you will want to help the young person in your care to make the best decision for them.

This page offers some practical advice around how you can support them as an applicant while also helping them prepare for the independence of university.

Discuss options

Two students sitting with Study Abroad Adviser looking at brochure

Discuss options

Spend some time discussing all of the options available to an applicant.

Encourage them to think about the courses they might like to study, the entry requirements they can aim for and what extra things (such as work experience) they could do to support their application.

Try to help them narrow down the area of study which best suits them and consider what career opportunities different qualifications may offer.

Research universities

UCAS fairs, university websites and prospectuses (which you can usually order online) are all good starting points to find out what different universities have to offer in terms of courses, opportunities and the student experience.

Attend events together

Student Ambassador leading large group of visitors on campus tour at Open Day

Attend events together

The best way for an applicant to find out if a university is for them is to see it for themselves. This could be on an Open Day, a Decision Day (which they will be invited to after applying) or a campus tour. These events offer a great opportunity to speak to staff and students and find out everything they might want to know about the university.

It will be reassuring for them to have your support, but try to take a back seat and let them take charge of the day. Encourage them to ask their questions, approach the people they want to talk to and form their own opinions.

Help them prepare for independence

If they are moving away from home, this may be the first time an applicant has had to cook and care for themselves. If they don't already know how to cook or clean a kitchen, help them learn the basics and master a few meals before they leave.

The clean up after cooking can be a big source of arguments but students can avoid disagreements with flatmates in their first term by making sure they know how to do household chores like cleaning, taking the bins out and laundry.

Even if they are not planning on moving out, the move from school or college to university should represent a new level of independence.

Talk about money

Leaflets for Student Funding Advice team and phone screen showing Blackbullion app

Talk about money

Talk with an applicant about how they are going to manage their finances and establish any extra financial support you are going to be giving well in advance.

As with cooking and living away from home, managing their own finances is an important part of establishing their independence, and the more practice they can get before they leave the better. There is support available to help students manage their finances while they are here, but you can help them to be prepared.

As a parent or carer, you are also able to access Blackbullion, a money advice service with plenty of tips on budgeting and managing money. Just go to and use our university code: YSJOD.

Support from a distance

Parents and carers are advised to support from a distance. This means don't hang around too long on the first day since it's the time when everyone is in the same boat of meeting new people, so it's an easy time to start making friends.

Keep in regular contact while they are away from home and offer support in any way you can.

How the application process works

The UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) website contains lots of helpful information about how the university application process works, including key dates and a jargon buster.

UCAS Key dates UCAS jargon buster

You can also encourage an applicant to read about the York St John application process on our dedicated page. This contains information specific to us, including the application codes they'll need and details of our offer schemes.

Applying to York St John

Useful links

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Student support

Student cycling down path towards York St John

Health and wellbeing

Staff member handing out leaflets to students at Careers Fair


Four students walk together outside the Creative Centre.

Our values

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Student life

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