How to prepare your child for applying to university
Look online together on the UCAS website. Your child will need to decide what course they want to study and consider other factors that will affect their decision (eg the university's location), so they can narrow down a list of potential universities.
Open days are a great way to get a feel for a university before your child chooses to apply there. Open Days usually have to be booked onto, so make sure your child researches the universities they want to visit well in advance.
Campus tours are another opportunity to look around a university if you can't make an Open Day. You usually need to book onto these.
Prospectuses condense the information given on a university's website into a brochure that can be picked up at events or ordered online. It's a good idea to get a prospectus from each of the universities your child is interested in, as it can be handy to compare them side by side.
Application prep is key. Your child will need to fill in various sections on their UCAS application, which includes a 4,000-character personal statement. It doesn't have to be done all in one go but it is best to complete it sooner rather than later, particularly as a referee (usually a teacher) will need to provide a reference.
UCAS deadlines should be communicated to your child by their school or college if they are applying through them, but it is a good idea to be aware of them yourself. The deadline for most courses starting in September 2018 is 15 January 2017 (and 24 March 2017 for some art and design courses).
Any offers your child receiveswill either be conditional, meaning they need to meet certain requirements first (usually exam results) or unconditional, meaning they will automatically have a place if they accept the offer. Once your child has heard back from all the universities they have applied for, they will need to pick their firm choice (first choice) and their insurance choice (back-up choice).