Preparing to go to university - the admin!!

(82 Posts)
TheThirdOfHerName Tue 28-Aug-18 13:36:13

Most 18 year olds are capable of sorting out their pre-university admin, but mine needs support (due to dyspraxia & anxiety). Because he needs my help, I've found out quite how much admin is involved.

He started the process with a list of tasks, e.g. apply for university, apply for student finance, apply for DSA, apply for accommodation, apply for a student bank account. Initially it sounded straightforward, but each task is actually made up of many subtasks, most of which require different logins, passwords and security validations.

Applying for accommodation was supposed to be done completely online, but at three different stages of the process the system would not let him access the next step and he had to sort it out with phone calls and emails.

This morning he completed the online registration for his course. There were six stages to the process, including several "Computer says no" moments along the way. Luckily the website accepted the third ID photo he tried to upload. He couldn't access the final stage until the system had accepted his responses for the first five stages.

I often see posters comment that in their day, students did all this independently, and query why modern 18 year olds need help. It's true that when I was a student I handled the admin myself, but everything wasn't so bloody complicated back then!

OP’s posts: |
OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 28-Aug-18 14:12:06

I don't remember any complications at all when I went to university! It was nothing like now.

Take finance, one simple thing.
Register with SF, have to send off some forms twice due to ???, dh and I have to fill in separate forms, dd gets pestered to send proof of bank account when she already had done so.

Get results

Try to create actual student bank account online. Computer says no. Goes to appointment with bank manager which fortunately she had preset up.. Supposed to do it online apparently but manager takes pity.
Manager looks and sounds visibly relieved that it went through.
Bank card and pin sent separately. That makes sense. Bank card has to be verified in branch.
Can't set up mobile banking until online banking set up. dd falls for the trap of expecting her password manager to remember her password. Cant reset password. Now the reset has to be sent via post and will take 5 days before she can do anything more with online banking.

Info sent to student finance. Fingers crossed that they don't lose that info.

When I waved a form sent to all of us about the electoral register under her nose after all of that this morning, she almost cried. She's not even got to enrollment or the nitty gritty of accomodation yet.

TonTonMacoute Tue 28-Aug-18 14:15:41

DS has managed it all pretty well, although he has asked me to check stuff, but I do agree that it seems much more complicated than it was in my day.

So far, we have found the worst part has been the bank account, they have made it so difficult i am almost at screaming point with it!

EdisonLightBulb Tue 28-Aug-18 14:16:11

Sorry your DC has had problems. I am pretty IT literate and still encounter application problems at least once a week from some organisation or other.

DS's (modern ex-poly) university application process was easy. DD's (RG) processes were a PIA and nothing has been user friendly.

Student Finance is shit whoever applies and wherever they go grin

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 28-Aug-18 14:21:38

I caught dd mid paddy when the password failed on her bank account. I don't blame her, I share her feeling of impotent rage!

AtiaoftheJulii Tue 28-Aug-18 14:26:08

Dd2 is off to France tomorrow for a semester. Double hassle!

flatmouse Tue 28-Aug-18 14:39:58

I'm ignoring HC1 form at the moment (free prescriptions) because it looks so horrific to complete.


OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 28-Aug-18 15:15:09

oh no. Wait til I tell dd about that one.

uh oh Atia - French paperwork is ermmm fun.

NoHaudinMaWheest Tue 28-Aug-18 15:26:20

Yes to this.
Dd had an appointment on Saturday to open a bank account. We took all the paperwork they said we would need and a bit extra. None of it fulfilled their criteria. So we have to chase some different paperwork and go back for another appointment. Bank guy kindly said he would do his best to fit us in before dd goes off a week tomorrow. Hopefully her card and pin with come before she leaves.

Xenia Tue 28-Aug-18 16:11:03

Some bits are harder and some are easier these days.

My sons had a bank account already so just with a few clicks I think converted it to a student account with the same bank which was easy - their bank had a specific system as they are really keen to encourage those already with that bank simply to upgrade to a student account. In other words those with an existing account don't have the same issues at all.

I think we have always taken the view that it is vey rhard indeed to get free prescriptions in England once you are 19 although why on earth we should pay masses of tax inEngland just to let other parts of the UK not have presctiption charges is beyond me. We should get a massive tax discount in England over the taxes they pay in the other parts to reflect the lack of free prescriptions.

My son was trying to pay a university charge yesterday and the system said look at this word doc as to how to pay this charge but the word doc did not say how and the charge was not showing on his account so he is just going to have to wait. I had the same with my council tax discount - supposedly easie ron line but actually the opposite as the system does not let you upload documents you have to upload to get the discount so set up so you fail and they send letters deliberately so you don't have time to respond within their timescale so I ended posting everything by special delivery to get round it.

We didn't have student finance issues or need to send income details in as they have no student loans so thankfully avoid that bit.

I did buy their student rail cards and took them to the tube station to add the discount on their oyster cards as my boys were busy at the time. My twins went last year. Trying to remember what else we did on admin. The bill for the rent of halls and fees was emailed to them after they started, they forwarded it to me and I paid it so that wasn't too bad. On arrival day write down their room numbers immediately as you may be going back and forth to the car with stuff and forget which room they are in. Keep a paper file with university log in details etc

Hoozz Tue 28-Aug-18 16:13:32

On student finance, be prepared for it all to go smoothly and then next March they write stern letters asking for proof of everything. P60s, interest on savings, bank statements.
This has happened to us twice. Letters threatening to stop the loan and then, finally, another letter saying it's all ok, as you were.

TheThirdOfHerName Tue 28-Aug-18 16:25:37

Xenia good tip about the room number.

I've bought him one of those expanding document folders so he can put in all letters & paperwork as they arrive.

OP’s posts: |
OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 29-Aug-18 21:23:40

dds registration for university actually went really smoothly tonight. I was informed I was the emergency contact. Good to know!

TheThirdOfHerName Wed 29-Aug-18 22:06:24

DS1 registered for online banking today. It went very smoothly compared to the requirements of the accommodation portal and registering for his course.

I'm learning that his best time for this stuff is around 11am.

OP’s posts: |
Xenia Thu 30-Aug-18 10:23:42

TheThird, good plan. I have paperfree teenagers (and loads of paper files of my own) so we have constant jokes between us where I will say had you printed it out you would have found the information by now, my paper files are better and of course they can make the case the other way.

Clairetree1 Thu 30-Aug-18 10:29:16

if he can't cope with the admin involved in transferring to university, no chance at all he could cope with a degree.

yes, there is a lot of admin, of course there is, you are dealing with moving home, and all the admin that takes up and always will, every time you move home in your life, yo are dealing with borrowing thousands of pounds, you are dealing with proving you have academic qualifications, you are dealing with ID, etc.

yes lots to do, but if you can't do it, you are not university material.

One notebook, all notes and passwords all together in one place, keep track of everything, work online, phone calls, emails, etc, just crack on and deal with it.

TheThirdOfHerName Thu 30-Aug-18 10:51:48

Thanks for the helpful input Clairetree1 hmm

OP’s posts: |
Clairetree1 Thu 30-Aug-18 10:53:38

I'm stating the obvious.

NoHaudinMaWheest Thu 30-Aug-18 11:00:18

Claire you are being ridiculous.

In many areas of life, people can cope with some aspects but not others. This is doubly true for those with disabilities.
So, of course, if a parent or someone else is able to support with the difficult areas, they will.
It frees headspace and energy for the other stuff which they have to do themselves as well as the actual studying.

Clairetree1 Thu 30-Aug-18 11:10:13

I am not being ridiculous.

I am stating the obvious

no way can someone do a degree if they can't complete the enrollment admin!

stupid to pretend they can.

OP. I would recommend your son contacts the university and defers for a year, at least, and comes back to it when he is a bit more mature.

Or he will simply crash out, or struggle through 3 years for something worthless.

I'm sorry, but it is ridiculous to think you can do a degree, if you can't do the admin. Seriously. Think about it.

LIZS Thu 30-Aug-18 11:22:10

Nonsense claire. Every transition is a learning curve. Dyspraxic ds is about to enter his final year, a few years ago no way could he have set up utility accounts for a shared house but gradually has become more confident and organised. He has a A4 folder containing relevant account details, exam certificates, letters confirming internship, photocopies of id documents, appointments, cv etc.

NoHaudinMaWheest Thu 30-Aug-18 11:24:35

The skills needed to manage admin are not the same as those needed to study most university subjects.
There are some degrees where someone who struggles with admin would not be successful but presumably students with such issues will avoid those subjects.
Needing support with admin for certain disabilities is no different from e.g. a student with visual impairment needing support with accessing written material.

UrsulaPandress Thu 30-Aug-18 11:31:29

It's not just managing the admin though is it. It is managing the multifarious stupid bloody systems that different institutions implement.

It's a whole new level of soul destroying officialdom.

And I speak as someone who regularly has to deal with the various and ever changing government websites.

<sobs quietly>

Clairetree1 Thu 30-Aug-18 11:54:22

Needing support with admin for certain disabilities is no different from e.g. a student with visual impairment needing support with accessing written material.

no, it is absolutly worlds apart - and I knew someone was going to pop up saying this was the same thing, it couldn't be more different.

One is a disability affecting access to information, which means that for both admin and degree material the information will be accessed differently

one is simply not having the ability to cope with the information. or follow the instructions. Or manage and organised themselves.

I have seen literally thousands of youngsters off to university, and I have seen hundreds fail and crash out.

I know what indicates not having the ability to follow through and complete a worthwhile degree.

OP, I'll say it again, your DS should defer until he has the maturity to do his own admin.

what a waste of a student loan. You only get a certain number of years maximum, you know

Lancelottie Thu 30-Aug-18 12:00:34

Oh, I dunno, Claire, I’ve got the bloody degree already and I can’t keep on top of the admin. It’s the impotent rage caused by getting 23 random computer failures and a system that requires you to have already logged in successfully before you can get through to tell anyone you haven’t been able to log in.

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