Once you've had your interview and received an offer, you'll need to be thinking about getting everything sorted to start college in September.
Following your offer
You'll find everything you need to know about preparing to start college in September on this page. We try to make the transition into college as seamless as possible - but there are some things you'll need to think about before starting at CWA.
We'll continue to contact you throughout the rest of the year with updates on starting college and what our current students are up to. In the meantime, we've put together a checklist of things you'll need to consider between now and August before your course starts. Please click each section for further details:
Save the date - your applicant day!
If you're currently in year 11 or aged 16 - 18 and moving to the college from a different education provider, we would like to invite you to come into the college to experience a day in the life as a college student on your course! These really are an excellent opportunity for you to see what a college day is like and we'd love for you to come along.
All of our applicant days will take place during the week commencing Monday 26th June 2023 - please save this week in your calendar as the experience day will really give you a flavour of what studying at CWA is really like.
You can find more details about our applicants days below.
Check you can log in to the student portal
Focus on your GCSEs!
If you're still in year 11, you would have been given a conditional offer based on GCSE grades; you can find details of this on your student portal or in your offer email. You should continue to focus on your GCSEs and aim for the highest grade possible - not just the minimum grades to gain entry to your chosen course at CWA.
Your GCSE grades can affect your progression into a certain career or higher education and you may not get the opportunity to easily resit all subjects at a later date. For example, if you would like to be a teacher at a primary school, you'll need at least one science GCSE at grade 4 or above, as well as English and maths. You'll need the same to become a veterinary nurse, including two other subjects at grade 4 or above. A recent government survey showed that most employers find GCSEs useful in selecting candidates, with 1 in 4 saying they are “very useful."
If you get a grade 1 - 3 in English and / or Maths in GCSEs (or do not have a GCSE in the subject), you will continue to study the subject at CWA. You can find more details about continuing English and Maths with us here.
Organise your travel to college
It's easy to get to and from college, as all of our campuses are well-serviced by local bus services and the King's Lynn campus being a short walk from the train station.
The college works in conjuction with local county councils and providers to operate various bus routes to and from each campus to cater for our full-time students. We've created a transport calculator to help you find the most suitable and cheapest route into college. If you are travelling into college, it's important that you complete our transport calculator first.
Transport applications generally open in June each year. Completing the transport calculator is just to give you an idea about how you'll get to college - you don't need apply or do anything else just yet!
Please note that, whilst the transport calculator is correct at the time of writing, information and applications for transport may change with new guidance from the government or individual transport organisations. If you are purchasing a travel pass, you should apply directly to your local county council or the provider (depending on what is available / cheapest on our transport calculator).
If your household income is below £35,000 per annum, you will be eligible for our financial support scheme. If eligible, we will provide at least a contribuition towards travelling to college but, in most instances for those aged 16 - 18, we will be able to purchase a subsidised bus pass for you. If you are eligible for financial support and live in Norfolk or Cambridgeshire, please do not apply for transport with your local county council (unless we ask you to do so) as we may purchase a bus pass directly with the provider.
Students who live in Fenland
You may be eligible for our CWA Travel Subsidy if you live in the Fenland region, leaving you with a maximum of £200 to pay for a bus into college for the whole year! You can find more details about this here.
Purchase any kit or equipment for your course
For some of our courses it is necessary to purchase equipment, stationery, protective clothing or industry standard kit to complete your course. We're currently confirming most of our kit and equipment lists for September 2023; we're aiming for these to be ready and available for your applicant day at the end of June.
To get an idea on costs, you can find kit and equipment lists for courses which started in September 2022 on the following page:
Please note that the requirements change each year and therefore costs are subject to change. Please do not purchase anything until we've updated details for September 2023 courses.
If your household income is below £35,000 per annum, you will be eligible for our financial support scheme. If eligible, we will cover the full cost of any essential equipment for you to complete your course. Full details can be found on the above page.
Apply for financial support (if eligible)
If your household income is less than £35,000 per annum or you are in care or a care leaver, you would be eligible for our financial support scheme which will provide a contribution towards costs associated with college (e.g., travelling to college, equipment, work-placement, free meals (if eligible)). If eligible, it really is important you complete an application as soon as possible to help ensure that we've arranged your travel and ordered your equipment ahead of the start of the course. Applications for financial support will open at the end of May 2023. Further details on what you might receive can be found on the following page:
Review your course fees (adults only)
If you are aged 19 and over, there may be some fees to pay for your course. Depending on your education history, personal circumstances and chosen course, you may be able to receive your course fully funded (or partially funded) by the UK government. Our fee calculator below will give you a clear indication on whether you'll be able to have your course fee waived or, if you are studying a level 3 course, covered by an Advanced Learner Loan.
Please note the information on this page and all of the fees on our course pages was correct at the time of publication but is subject to change due to factors beyond our control. Courses fees are generally not confirmed until the June / July before your course starts due to these factors.
Check your timetable and complete your enrolment
We'll be updating our website in July with details on your first day, induction and course timetables (where available). We may not be able to provide full timetables because some courses are split into smaller groups; these groups are generally not confirmed until your induction week. Start dates listed on individual course pages on the website are placeholder and may not be accurate; for example, most courses say they will start on Monday 4th September 2023. Whilst all of our full-time courses will start that week, you may not start your course until later in the week.
We'll also be contacting you in July to complete your enrolment on our student portal. You'll be asked to check your personal details, upload a photo of yourself, upload a photo of your grade sheet (once received) and confirm what course you'd like to do if you've applied for more than one. It's really important that you complete this as soon as it's available.
You will then be given your ID card and lanyard during the first week of term.