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7 Steps to Choosing Your Firm

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To everyone already in the fantastic position of having multiple university offers to choose from – very well done! If you’re having difficulty choosing which uni to firm, here’s 7 things to consider that will hopefully make the right choice clear.

1. The course

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Which of your choices has the best quality course? Or the modules that suit you best? Or offer something the others don’t? Unistats is great for comparing courses based on student satisfaction, and you could also check out league tables to see how your choices fare nationally.

2. The university

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Would you prefer a city or campus university? (Or, like Newcastle, a mix of both?!) Which uni has the best Students’ Union, societies, sports facilities, libraries, and accommodation? Visiting your possible choices on open days is a great way to see if you’d enjoy being a student there.

3. The city

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Think about what you’re after in terms of the size of the city, entertainment, nightlife, attractions and activities. Again, visiting the cities to give you a ‘feel’ for them really helps. This one’s important – you don’t want to end up hating the place you’ll be living for the next 3 years (or longer)!

4. The cost

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Look at the difference in prices for accommodation (both halls, and housing after first year), living costs (monthly student budget in Newcastle), leisure activities, and transport. Don’t forget train/plane ticket prices if you’re moving away from home! If you think you might struggle, university scholarships are worth looking into.

5. The distance

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Do you want to stay near your family, run as far away as you can, or somewhere in the middle? Each has its benefits… Wherever you’re coming from, it’s easy to get to Newcastle thanks to the good road, rail and airline links.

6. The offer

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Most people put a higher offer as their firm choice, and a lower offer as an insurance, but don’t feel obliged to do this if you prefer the uni with a lower offer! Make sure your firm choice offer is realistic and attainable, but at the same time, don’t settle for too low a target. Remember that you can always change your mind come Clearing if you want to, there’s lots of information about Clearing at Newcastle University to make things easier come A-level results day!

7. Your friends

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You don’t have to let your friends influence where you want to firm! While it’s nice to have familiar faces around you when you start uni, many students start off not knowing anyone at all – making new friends is part of the whole experience.

One final piece of advice… Trust your gut instincts, they’re usually right! 🙂

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