Student finance, How to revise right, and just a sprinkle of fun with our new game

As the exam tsunami sweeps over you, it can wash away all thoughts of uni applications. Fair enough – getting the grades has got to be priority number one to get into your dream uni. But, if you’re in year 13, don't forget you’ve got a deadline this month for applying for student finance and, if you're in year 12, it’s worth keeping one eye on the next wave on the horizon. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter for exam hints and tips, deadline reminders, uni news and more from bC4me.
This month
What to think about if you're in year 12

Exam season is here. If you missed any of our revision tips in last month’s newsletter, catch up here.
In between cramming and revising, it’s worth thinking about what you're going to do during that time after you’ve finished your exams but before the start of the summer break?
Your school or college might already have loaded down your timetable like Extreme Buckaroo, you might be planning a little well-earned chill time. Either way, it’s a good time to plan some uni open day visits alongside your post-exam recovery so you can get an idea of what they’re really like.
Unis usually hold several official open days a year, but you don’t have to wait – most unis are happy for you to come any time through the year. Some will ask that you let them know you’re coming which isn’t a big ask, it's only reasonable. Besides, they may be able to make sure you're getting the most out of your trip. 
But don't just think about what they want to show you most. What do you want? How does what's on offer at their uni match your needs? Has it got what it takes to become a place you'd call home?
While you’re visiting unis and thinking about courses and where your degree could take you, it might also be a good time to think about what A Levels you might need to get into your perfect uni. Take a look at our guest blog written by Anna Vignoles, Professor of Education at Cambridge on choosing A Levels.
Of course, you can’t visit all 140-odd universities during this time. In fact, getting to 4 or 5 would even be a push. How do you decide which ones are worth the train fare? The Uni Chooser, from our friends at, can also help you narrow down your choices and help you produce a shortlist of unis to visit.

What to think about if you're in year 13

The deadline for applying for student finance is 31 May. So if you haven’t completed your application, strap on your skates.
You can still apply after this deadline, but there’s a chance that you'll beat the money to uni. You might find yourself starting uni with only the change from down the back of the sofa. 
There are two types of money you can apply for: loans (which you have to pay back) and grants (which you don’t).
This money will pay for the following things: 
  • Your tuition fees: covered by a loan and goes straight to the university.
  • The money you need to live on: this is often called ‘maintenance’ and basically covers anything that isn’t fees including rent, bills, food, travel, textbooks, nights out etc. Depending on what money you or your family has, what you're studying and even where, you'll either get a loan for this or a grant.
Speaking of grants, now is the time to apply. Grants are Government cash that help you out on top of your maintenance loan but you don't have to pay any of the money back! Sound too good to be true? Well it just might be... not everyone will qualify for a grant.
While you’re thinking about how much uni might cost, it’s also worth considering how much you could earn after you’ve got a degree.
Who you apply to depends on where you’re from, not where you’ll be studying. The places to apply to are Student Finance EnglandStudent Finance WalesStudent Finance Northern Ireland and Student Finance Scotland.
TOP TIP: There are often a whole load of other grants or bursaries you can apply for from your uni. They'll all have different criteria and deadlines, but check with your chosen unis what they've got and what you need to do to get it. A good place to start looking is The Scholarship Hub, which allows you to search unis for details or scholarships and bursaries.


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In the news
Try not to worry, old sport
We all know one. A pushy parent. The one who shouted at the referee at the house hockey game. The one who slagged off the opposition and left your team red-faced. The one who designed a diet and exercise plan for their kid over summer holidays. But it looks as though enough is well and truly enough for 4 in 10 students who have thrown the towel in on sport altogether because of competitive parents. The study reported it wasn’t just half of 8-16 year olds who noticed parents’ bad behaviour, other parents noticed too. If any of the above applies to you, try not to worry – there will be tonnes of sports and societies available at your uni of choice and your parents should be nowhere in sight (the matches usually take place during working hours).

Revise your revision technique
We’re sure that, at this stage, you will be up to your eyeballs with revision… To avoid it all getting too much to cope with, schedule some well-earned down time. That's according to none other than the Association of School and College Leaders (headteachers. in other words). The deputy general secretary of ASCL said “It’s very difficult for young people to keep going during the exam period. It’s like running a race: you have to pace yourself so that you don’t run out of steam when it comes to examination time.” Sound advice.
Lol Brb Bbz Kk Ttyl Ly <3 Rofl… erm, ok
A psychiatrist has warned that the increase in smartphone use has children as young as 5 displaying “borderline autistic” behaviours. Iain McGilchrist told the Telegraph about cases he has heard of where teachers have had to tell their Year 1 pupils what certain facial expressions mean – he says this is due to young children being unable to read facial expressions or show empathy. Iain reckons this inability is down to children sitting in front of the television or a tablet screen instead of out and about with their friends.

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