A recent survey undertaken by UCAS has revealed that the younger a student decides that they will want to apply for higher education, the more likely they are to go to a higher tariff university.
If a child is certain about applying to university by age ten or earlier they are 2.6 more likely to end up at a more competitive university than someone who decided in their late teens. In particular the most advantaged young people are more likely to be focused on university at a young age compared to their more disadvantaged peers.
Of the 6,500 people who told UCAS the reasons as to why they didn't apply to the higher tariff group of universities 49% thought that the entry requirements were simply too high, but that they would have applied if they had known they had a chance of getting in.
Three quarters did suggest that they would have applied to a higher tariff university if they were offered a travel voucher so that they could attend an open day. In fact, nearly three quarters of applicants would have found visiting more universities useful, but cited a lack of time and expense as key reasons for not visiting more open days.
Of the least advantaged students a quarter didn't apply to higher tariff institutions because they felt the cost of living would be too high.
Surprisingly out of those that responded, 64% of applicants think that the right accommodation is as important as the right course, highlighting that high quality student accommodation is a key contributor to a students decision to apply to a given university.