If you’re in your final year of high school, you may already be thinking about starting your next chapter of life. After twelve – yes, it really has been twelve years in school, you may want to take some time off to travel, or you might just want to hit the ground running by entering a higher learning institution and get your career into first gear.
If that’s the case, there might be a list of questions that you need help answering. How does one apply to tertiary institutions? What career should you pursue? Which field of study would help the most? What are the minimum entry score marks? There’s so much to do and consider – and getting your application in is just the first in a series of stages.
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. The top five South African universities offer a variety of study fields. 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.
“We want to be with you every step of the way to help you succeed in this journey. The best way we know how is to equip you with useful information and tools to get started,” says Juliet Mhango, Cell C’s Chief Human Capital Development and Transformation Officer.
Online platform CellCGirl, is every learners’ go-to hub, with its innovative Ask CellCGirl tool, you can ask questions regarding the university application process and get answers to help with the process.
Once you’ve visited the site, you can check out the tips below, to fully equip yourself with information for the various stages of applying to universities:
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. Remember, you always need to 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. Please take note of these dates so that you don’t miss the deadlines. Different institutions will have different dates, and some 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 book (ID), 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 matriculant (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. While you are at it, 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 consider dropping them off yourself. Posting may be the easy route to take but consider whether it will reach its destination on time, 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 Electronic Funds Transfer (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 into your chosen university is one of many pieces of communication a learner will receive, during their time at an institution of higher learning. This comes a few months before you have to make a decision giving you some time to receive your final matric results and also, sort out initial payment to secure a place in a residence should you wish.
The process may seem daunting, as we’ve said, 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.
Image Courtesy: Youth Village