Making the leap into Higher Education can seem daunting, and it can feel like there are endless barriers standing in the way of achieving your dreams.
However, there are options out there for everyone – university isn't the only choice available.
We've rounded up some of the main problems that stop people reaching for that elusive degree - and come up with solutions to help you make the most of your education.
Do I have to move away from home?
Absolutely not. Moving hundreds of miles away to university can be a scary experience, and isn't for everyone. Instead of fretting over the big move away from your home town, it's worth considering the options your local college might offer.
You’ll often find a wide range of subjects available within commuting distance of where you already live. So you may not need to worry about finding a new part-time job, shifting all your belongings or settling into an unfamiliar environment.
Will it be affordable?
With university fees rising dramatically over the last decade, cost is definitely something to take into account when you select the type of higher education that will suit you.
If you choose to complete the first part of your degree at a higher education college rather than a university, the tuition fees will be much lower.
Your student loan will cover them, and the best part is you won't pay anything back until you're earning over Â£25,000.
You can still study for a full Bachelors Degree in college by completing a Foundation Degree or HND qualification, followed by a one-year top-up course.
Also, if you’re looking for a way back into education, but don’t have the qualifications for degree level, then colleges offer a range of access to higher education courses to set you on the path.
If the cost of day-to-day living while you're in education is going to be an issue, it is worth checking out if you are eligible for any student bursary.
You don't have to pay back a bursary, but could receive support to help out with travel costs, IT equipment, meals or books.
Will the course be flexible enough to suit my needs?
There are many options available for those who want to work or look after family alongside their studies.
Part-time flexible courses are always an option, and vocational foundation degree courses allow you to focus on a profession or job while you study.
Northumberland College offers over 30 higher education courses, including HNCs, HNDs, Foundation Degrees and Bachelor’s degrees provided in partnership with leading universities and providing clear progression routes to a full degree.
Earlier this year the college was awarded the accolade of Silver in the Government-backed Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) Awards for delivering high-quality teaching, learning and outcomes for its students.
In addition, it also received top honours from The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), an independent body that assesses and ensures that all UK students working towards a HE qualification receive the education they are entitled to and to the correct quality standard.
Northumberland College has a wide range of subjects available at higher education level, including land-based, animal care, engineering, art and design, childcare and much more, so there is sure to be something to suit everyone.
Call 01670 841200 or email [email protected] for more information on courses and study options.