Going to university over the age of 25: our advice & top tips
Can I go to university if I’m over the age of 25?
Absolutely! If you’re over 25 years old, university can still be a fantastic option to open up doors to future careers. In fact, there’s never a “perfect” time to begin studying — it’s different for everyone. Whilst some people love to jump straight into university after school, others prefer to wait until they’re older and more career-focused.
In fact, according to UCAS, almost a third of undergraduates are mature students (over 21 years old), so there’s no need to worry about being the odd one out. Plus, in recent years, there’s been a huge rise in the number of older students applying to universities. This sudden increase could be due to the impacts of COVID-19, with many finding themselves out of work and needing to upskill.
How can I prepare to study after being out of education for a long time?
Returning to the world of studying can be a little daunting, but it won’t take you long to get back into the swing of things. Take some time before your course begins to familiarise yourself with studying techniques, such as note-taking, revision skills, paraphrasing and essay planning. This will help you to feel more confident in your study methods and more prepared for life at university.
It’s also a good idea to create a detailed timetable for your studies. As a mature student, you may be balancing learning with a job or perhaps even have a family to prioritise too. For this reason, having a set timetable can enable you to evenly divide your time, ensuring you leave space for relaxation too.
Furthermore, it’s worth considering if you may require any additional support before beginning your course. University staff are there to help make your experience the best one possible, no matter your age. So if there is anything that can be done to help with your transition back to education, don’t hesitate to raise it.
Can I go to university if I’m a parent?
There are many mature students at university who balance studying with childcare. Being a parent doesn’t have to stop you from progressing in your career, or from learning new skills.
Here at UCSA, we offer part-time, flexible courses to help you juggle multiple priorities. All our courses are delivered over weekends, set days or in a block release style. As most of our students are in employment, we’ve worked hard to create courses that can fit around their busy lifestyles.
If you’re looking for a way to upskill but don’t have the time to return to full-time education, we also offer “top-up courses”, aimed at students who have already completed a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma in a relevant field.
Many universities also offer on-site childcare facilities and wellbeing support teams to help make your time at university easier. Plus, there are usually plenty of groups and societies for other parents and students in similar positions.
Can I apply for student finance if I’m over the age of 25?
Yes, students over 25 can still access financial support and loans. There is actually no current upper age limit for tuition fee loans. Plus, the amount you earn/your household income doesn’t affect eligibility. Of course, the guidelines will be different for each organisation, so it’s important to check each website and read the regulations carefully.