Sixth-formers are also looking at going straight into employment, studying part-time or attending university locally and living at home as alternatives to full-time education at the most expensive universities.
Pauline Mason, Worcester sixth form college’s head of student services, said students were thinking more carefully about their options in light of the dramatic rise in tuition fees from 2012.
Mrs Mason said: “Students are concerned about tuition fees which means they are looking at alternatives.”
She has recently returned from a fact-finding trip to 10 universities in America after a rise in queries from students.
We reported recently how sixth-form college student Leanne Gelder, from Claines, Worcester, had been offered a place at two American universities.
Miss Gelder, aged 19, said she believed attending an American university could give her an advantage with potential employees in a tough jobs market.
During the two-week trip, Mrs Mason visited Ivy League institutions Har-vard, Yale, Dartmouth and Brown as well as liberal arts universities Williams and Amhurst.
Mrs Mason said: “Some of the private universities in the States will offer substantial financial support.
“If a student is very bright and comes from a low income family it could be more attractive financially (than studying in the UK).
“We are also looking at Europe, because in some countries the fees are lower than they are in the UK.
“The main thing is the students should think through all the options and that’s what we are trying to encourage them to do.
“We want to give them information so they can make an informed decision.”
Mrs Mason said studying locally was also proving popular but was already on the increase before the rise in tuition fees was announced.
According to the Univer-sity of Worcester, its projections for 2012 already look promising after it welcomed 1,022 potential students to an open day on Sunday, June 26 – when normally it would expect between 600 and 700.
The university may have an advantage over some institutions after it decided against charging the maximum £9,000 and raised fees for undergraduate degrees to £8,100 instead.
A spokeswoman for the university said: “It’s good that people are coming and looking around and asking questions and taking a look at the university.”
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