Choosing an insurance university – is it really worth it?

Choosing an insurance university

By Hannah Parker,

Choosing a university is a daunting task in itself and choosing an insurance university can seem annoying and sometimes even pointless. However, your insurance choice is an important part of your application and can sometimes be a blessing in disguise, sending you on a new adventure that you never expected to have.

Your insurance choice is essentially your back-up; it's usually a university that requires lower grades than your firm choice (the university you'd like to go to the most after you receive all your offers.) Your insurance choice must be a university that you would be happy to go to if you were unable to get into you firm choice. There would be no point choosing a course or university as an insurance if you would be truly miserable if you went there. However, this is a problem that many students face; making an insurance choice somewhere they'd never want to be!

Finding two universities that you'd be equally happy at is a challenge, so this is why it's important to do online research on the university as everything you need to know is in one place. A particular helpful factor in making university choices is looking at the city you are going to move to. By looking at theunipod’s UK city guides you are able to see life of the city from a student’s point of view and get a real flavour of what is in store. Its things like that that can help you decide make or break choices about firm and insurance universities. However, the most important thing to do when making your choices is attending as many open days as you can, as this is the only way you can gain a real sense of belonging when you visit.

Treat both the same

So when considering your insurance choice, treat it exactly how you would you firm choice. What course do you want to do? Would you like a city or campus? Are the grades you need attainable? Is the nightlife a big factor to you? When are the open days? All these questions are equally important for all your university choices and these may help you find a suitable firm choice and insurance choice that make you equally happy.

You may find yourself unable to choose which university you'd like as a firm and which as your insurance choice. The easiest way to make this decision is to use theunipod’s own university search, which lets you look through our entire list of all the universities and colleges in the UK. Also, looking at our university league tables will help you clearly see the table of university ranks from The Times, the Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Complete Uni Guide so you can see which universities are ranked highest if this is a factor for you. At this point it's all about you comparing the universities you like and seeing which one should be firm and which one should be your insurance choice.

A level results day

Now it's come to the dreaded results day and you find out you haven't got into your first choice but your insurance university wants to welcome you with welcome arms. What happens now? If you haven't got the grades for your first choice university but you've met the grades for your insurance choice, you will have a place firmed at that university. You are unable to choose between your firm and insurance choice when you get your results; that's why it is such an important decision to make where you want to go! Now that you know you're into your insurance university there are only a few matters to tweak. Look into your student finance and make sure you tell them what university you are now going to as you will have applied for a loan for your original choice; this is a simple step of changing your application online.

You may also have to look at your university accommodation for your insurance university choice to ensure you have a place. However, all universities are very helpful in getting students housing as quickly as they can – you will most likely go on a waiting list and the uni will house you from there.

And don't forget to congratulate yourself at this point. You've got into uni! It may not have been your original choice but things happen for a reason, now go out and celebrate!

Remember that you don't have to have an insurance choice at all. If you just opt to go for one firm choice, if you are unsuccessful, you can then go through Clearing. If you are confident that you can achieve the grades you need for your firm choice university, then why tempt fate? Maybe one choice is all you need. However, most students do like to have an insurance choice, purely as a safety net to fall into if things don't go the way they planned. Do not be disgruntled if you end up at your insurance choice though, as no matter where you are in the world, university life is a unique experience to be enjoyed, finding new friends, hobbies, culinary skills and how long you can go without that dreaded Fresher’s flu. You'll look back on your uni experience with nothing but happiness at the choices you made.