UCAS introduces identification for Young Carers when applying to University
For the first time ever, UCAS (University and Colleges Admissions Service) has introduced a way for young carers to self-identify on their UCAS application. This a fantastic move forward as it will both help colleges and universities to properly identify the number of young carers applying to their institution, and encourage more universities to make provisions for young carers in terms of financial, practical and emotional support.
UCAS recommends that you do research before applying to universities by speaking to the places you want to apply and asking what support they have in place for young carers. This can vary massively from university to university, with some offering bursaries, one to one support and flexibility around deadlines and attendance while others may not have any provision at all.
They recommend discussing your needs and concerns with someone at the university before you write your application.
If you want support with this our Teens worker (Paula) has been making a directory of support available at each university and can advise on which places offer the best support. To speak to our Teens worker call 01273 746222 or email Paula.Melis@thecarerscentre.org
The UCAS process
The UCAS website has advice on how identify your needs and discuss them, as well as a practical guide to how you identify yourself on the form and how you can incorporate the skills and experiences you’ve gained from being an unpaid young carer in to your personal statement.
- Research your universities and speak to someone at the universities you want to go to before applying.
- Speak with our Teens worker for advice on which universities have the best offers for young carers. call 01273 746222 or email Paula.Melis@thecarerscentre.org
- Speak to your college or school about how to incorporate your caring skills in to your personal statement – this can make your statement really stand out to a university.
- You can always ask for support throughout your university course even if you don’t want it at first.
On the form, if you provide unpaid care for another person, just select ‘yes’ from the drop down box in the question that asks if you have any caring responsibilities in the ‘More about me’ section of the application.
You will not have to give any further details at this stage. UCAS advises that the university might contact you to speak more about your caring role. This is to help them think about support you might need and to give your application context, in case your final A Level grades are impacted by your caring role.