Home KIDS Applying to University: A step-by-step guide

Applying to University: A step-by-step guide

If you’re in your final year of high school, you’re probably already thinking about starting your next chapter of life.

First, you need to do your research; it’s always advisable to look at local university rankings taking into consideration your high school subjects, passions and personality profile. Write your application according to the university’s registration and application process and requirements. Remember, there are millions of other learners with the same dream of getting into university.

Online platform CellCGirl, is a go-to hub, with its innovative Ask CellCGirl tool, and is also full of useful information on study, life and careers. Once you’ve visited the site, check out some of the tips below, to familiarise yourself with information for the various stages of applying to universities.

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Here’s what you need to do

Undergraduate guide – Every tertiary institution has an undergraduate guide booklet available to learners – either online or at their premises. This document outlines the various courses offered, how many years they will take to complete, what academic results or subjects are needed, and the cost. Get a copy of this guide so that you are aware of all the requirements. Different institutions and different courses vary, so you might want to get the guides of the top five institutions you intend to apply to. Always apply to more than one institution, in the event that your application to your first choice is unsuccessful.

Closing dates – Under each course, there is an application closing date. Take note of these dates so that you don’t miss the deadlines. Some institutions may even require you to undergo a test or an interview.

Get documents in order – Whichever course you apply for, all of them require certain documents like certified copies of your results, social and academic achievements, your identity card or ID book, proof of residence, a parent’s recent pay slip and more. Never send the originals but rather copies and safeguard your original documents.

Exam Results – Keep your Grade 11 results as you will need to attach a copy to your application form. If you have not yet written your final matric exam, your Grade 11 results and your Grade 12 mid-year results would be submitted together. But, once you have written your matric, these results also need to be supplied to the institution you are applying to. Do not send the originals, just certified copies.

Application form – Make sure you print several copies of the application form (which is available on the institution’s website). When you make a mistake, do not scratch on the form, rather complete a new form. Make sure to fill in every section to be considered. Once completed, triple check it to ensure there are no mistakes – even get your teacher, career guidance counsellor, or parent to have a second look at your document for accuracy. Ensure that your email address and cell phone and alternative contact numbers are operating.

Be careful what you post – With such important documents intended for university, you may want to drop them off yourself. If posting, consider whether they will reach the university before the closing date. If you are applying to an institution in another province, maybe consider going through a reliable courier service or Postnet.

Pay the application fee – Don’t forget about the application fee. It is advisable to make payment through your bank branch or via EFT. You can attach the proof of payment on your application form or email it through. Do not send cash in the post.

Acceptance to university – Yay! That letter/email confirming your acceptance arrives. This comes a few months before you have to make a decision giving you some time to receive your final matric results.

The process may seem daunting as there is a lot to consider and gather in terms of documents. This may as well be the very first time you feel exposed to a system and processes – where a lot of personal information is shared with a third party. Seek guidance and always call or email the university you are interested in, should you have questions and need clarity. All the forms and information required by universities will help the institution make an informed decision in who take in and offer a space to.

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