Online, on course... support and social networking

UCAS’s online support services can help you get to university or college

UCAS has been around for years, helping many, many thousands of students get from school to university or college. It was founded in 1994, but in fact dates back to 1961, when it was the Universities Central Council on Admissions. Today, the organisation processes more than two million applications for full-time undergraduate courses every year. And while UCAS's mission remains the same, its methods have moved with the times. Today, there is a range of online tools to make your journey into higher education a happy one.

A key service to keep you up to date with how your application is going is Track. This online service updates around every 10 minutes to ensure you know exactly what's happening with your application. To use it, you'll need your personal ID and the same user name and password you used in Apply. It's available at ucas.com. And, if you have an iPhone, you can now download the official UCAS app, which lets you view Track on your phone. The app was developed with a brother-and-sister team who had already created their own Track application. Abbie Hughes, who came up with the idea, said: "It seemed obvious to me. As soon as you send your UCAS application, your whole year involves constantly being on the computer, tracking your application. Track addiction sets in! So I thought it would be easier and simpler to be able to track your application from your phone."

Her brother Toby had developed successful iPhone apps before, so had no problem creating it. UCAS approached the siblings and offered to buy their idea and work closely with them to develop it further. The finished product includes a read-only version of Track, a section on FAQs, and key dates in the UCAS application cycle. Best of all, it's free.

Follow the right track

Track will show your status on results day, whether it be your confirmed place or your entry into Clearing. However, cancel your plans to stay up late and text your mates just after midnight to share how you've got on: on results day, Track isn't updated until mid-morning – so get a good night's sleep if you can.

Should you find yourself in Clearing, you can go to the UCAS website to check the available courses. Here, you can search for courses you might be interested in, view additional information, click through to the university or college website, and find the contact details for each.

Another service is ucas.tv, where there is a range of videos covering many aspects of getting into university or college. These include "how to" guides about Clearing, Track, Adjustment, preparing for results and replying to offers, along with video diaries and case studies of students who have been through the process before.

Graham Bond, UCAS's publications manager, said: "We introduced video content to the UCAS main site, and set up UCAStv in 2008 to provide greater access to information about the process of applying to university or college. The content and UCAStv has proved very popular, receiving about 200,000 hits a month and over 350,000 in August through Clearing."

Study the form

Why not talk to other applicants and students about your experiences, too? At www.yougo.co.uk, the UCAS student network, you can meet people doing your course, or going to your university or college of choice, before you leave. Yougofurther is available only to UCAS applicants and students, so it is the ideal place to chat about your journey into uni or college.

You can also make friends and talk to universities and UCAS advisers, take part in regular web chats, and get information about the UCAS application and what to do after results day. Then, after you have been accepted, this student-only site will provide information and guidance about your exciting move into higher education: money advice, staying healthy and so on.

Yougo's online community manager, Giles Ursell, said: "Yougofurther is a fantastic place to meet people before you go to university. It is a student-only community with over 500,000 members – all who have applied or are applying for a place in higher education. We have five dedicated UCAS customer service advisers who are here to help you with your queries, answer your questions and support you along your UCAS journey."

Jack Ferguson, a yougo member who is now happily studying his degree, says: "When I was applying for university, I was quite nervous about what to expect and whether I would make friends easily or not. However, yougo gave me the chance to make friends with people in a similar situation to me. Many of my closest friends are those who I met through yougo. So I owe a lot to yougo for helping me settle into university."

Degrees of comparison

The UCAS student network is available to you as soon as you register in Apply (the online application). You just need your personal ID to log in. Once you've registered, you are free to access all areas of the site and to start meeting people online.

For those who want to discover a little more about their chosen university before they go, there's Unistats ( unistats.direct.gov. uk) – the official site to help you to find out more about universities and colleges in the UK. It features statistical survey results about universities and colleges, subjects, content and teaching style. What makes the site unique is that the statistical results come from previous students, so the results aren't compiled from information given by people in suits, but from people like you. It includes results from the latest National Student Survey, and quickly allows you to see student satisfaction results, job prospects and much more. The opinions of more than 220,000 students are included, so you can get a good idea of the university experience at each institution. Unistats can also help you quickly narrow down your options, should you find yourself in Clearing.

So remember that whether you have a confirmed place or not on results day, there is a range of websites and services you can use to help to ensure you find the right course and where you can prepare for the move into higher education. Help is but a click away.

Sport
The sun rises over St Andrews golf course, but will it be a new dawn for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club?
sportAnd it's Yes to women (at the R&A)
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
footballToure's lack of defensive work is big problem for City
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

year 4/5/6

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you looking for a full...

NQT Teachers

Negotiable: Randstad Education Crawley: Randstad Education can provide you wit...

Year 4 Teacher

£20000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to wo...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week