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10 Things to Remember before Applying to University

by Shirley Erasmus

Applications at universities in SA are closing soon if they have not already closed. It’s important to know everything there is to know before applying to university. Check out the steps below and soon you’ll be well on your way to applying to the institution of your choice!

1. Closing Dates

Make sure you are aware of the closing dates of the various universities you intend to apply towards.

  • Your application must reach the University before the closing date in order to be considered.
  • Here are all the closing application dates.

2. Online vs Postage or Courier

Be aware of how your application must reach the University. Some universities, such as UCT, have an online application process while other universities require you to post or courier your application so that they have the physical copy.

  • Make sure you know how to send your application through.
  • Be sure you allow for the amount of time that postage and delivery takes.

3. Exam Results

Make sure you have all your exam results from Grade 11 and your June matric exam marks on hand. You may need to submit both sets of results to the University with the application.

  • You will need to submit a certified copy of these results. Never send the originals!

FYI: Most universities require you to complete a National Benchmark Test (NBT). Find out more here and check with the institution if you need to complete one.

4. Make sure all Details are Correct

Forms can be a pain to fill in, and are often complicated! Go through the forms slowly and make sure you fill in each part of the form carefully so that you do not make mistakes.

  • Consider doing your application in pencil before you fill it in with a pen.
  • A black ballpoint pen is usually the accepted method for filling in forms, put the purple pen away!

To consider:

When applying to universities make sure you have a working email address, which anyone can create by registering an email address.

FYI: You will also need a working cell phone number and a postage address.

5. Financial Aid

Have a look at the fee’s booklet with your parents or guardians and together. Come to a conclusion about whether or not you might need financial aid. If your household income falls below a certain bracket, either of your parents or guardians are pensioners or either of your parents are unemployed, you may qualify for financial aid.

If you do require financial aid from your University, there will usually be a separate form you may need to complete. Make sure you have your parent or guardian’s most recent payslip for this.

To find out more information about student loans go here.6. Current Year’s Activity

For your application, you will most likely need to fill in what you have been doing for the last year.

  • If you were a student at school you also have to submit your exam results and school subjects.
  • If you were travelling, you may be required to provide details of your activities.

6. Current Year’s Activity

For your application, you will most likely need to fill in what you have been doing for the last year.

  • If you were a student at school you also have to submit your exam results and school subjects.
  • If you were travelling, you may be required to provide details of your activities.

7. Signing the Declaration

Your application will need to be signed by your parents or guardians and by you.

  • Make sure that you all know exactly what you are signing and that all the information in the application is true and correct.

8. Supporting Documents

Most of the applications require some supporting documents.

  • These are certified copies or your ID and certified copies of your parents or guardians ID.
  • Other supporting documents may be your exam results, proof of residence and a recent payslip.
  • Make sure that you have copies of these documents and never send the original!

9. Pay the Application Fee

Find out what the application fee for your University is and make sure that you pay the fee in the required method before you send your application.

  • Do not send cash via post.
  • Pay the fee at the bank or via EFT.
  • Find out whether or not you need to provide a proof of payment that the application fee has been paid.

10. Acceptance

If you are accepted to your chosen University you will be sent a formal letter or email.

  • You will usually have a few months in which to accept based on your final results (so no slacking off yet!). Remember to accept the offer and make sure that in the following year you have paid the Minimum Initial Payment (MIP).
  • The MIP is the minimum amount of your fees which must be paid in order for you to begin a ‘payment plan’ with the university. It is also often what must be paid in order for you to secure a place in a residence.

Too many words to take in?  Don’t worry, you can download our infographic for free which summarises the 10 things to remember before applying to university.  

EduConnect 2Cents

We know that the stack of application forms and a looming deadline can seem very intimidating and the information that the university requires can seem invasive at times. It’s important to remember that the university needs to have all the information needed from you and your family in order to make an informed decision. If you are unsure about what to complete on a form, do not hesitate to phone or email the university and ask! These forms can determine the next three to four years of your life and you should not be afraid to ask questions!

Check out Hippo’s awesome Fresher’s First Year Guide to jump-start your first year in the right direction 🙂

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