Receiving offers: UCAS track
Decisions will come from your chosen universities in random order. They should start to arrive a few weeks after you apply and are transmitted to you by UCAS. Remember, your application is one of the many hundreds that admissions tutors must work through, so be patient!
Universities have to decide whether or not to offer you a place by early May. Before they make a decision, they may call you for interview; alternatively, they may offer you a conditional or unconditional place and invite you for an Open Day.
You have to reply to any offers you receive but not until you have received all your institutions' decisions.
When you receive your last decision, you will also be told when you have to respond. This will vary, and it is your responsibility to respond by your given date.
Important: the deadline for declaring choices depends on the date of the last decision that appeared on Track and might therefore be different from the deadline for other members of the year group. You must therefore check Track regularly and reply by the deadline stated there. Failure to reply by the stated deadline will result in all offers being withdrawn.
Each decision will be either:
U: unconditional offer (no further qualifications are required. If you accept this offer then you are in!)
C: conditional offer (still some work to do, but if you accept the offer and achieve the conditions in the examinations you are about to take, a place will be guaranteed)
R: unsuccessful (no place)
You can reply to your offer(s) using TRACK on the UCAS website.
Consider your replies carefully and meet with your application supervisor to discuss your options. As a general rule, your FIRM choice should be the course you really want to study and hence the offer you really hope to be able to achieve. Your INSURANCE offer should generally be a lower offer just in case you miss the FIRM choice entry requirements. Do not accept an offer (firm or insurance) unless you are sure that you will be happy to enrol on the course.
These commitments are binding: you are not permitted to alter your choices at a later stage.
What can you do if you are unsuccessful?
In the unlikely event that you a) receive no offers or b) you decide that you no longer want to go to the places that have made you offers, you still have the chance of finding a course elsewhere by withdrawing and using a service called Extra from mid-March until early July. This scheme enables applicants to make additional course choices, one at a time, where vacancies still exist. Courses available on UCAS Extra will be highlighted on Course Search on www.ucas.com.
If you still have not managed to find a place, or you miss the grade required for acceptance on both your Firm and Insurance offers, you still have the opportunity of getting a university place in Clearing.
Clearing starts on A-Level results day. You must be at home if you hope to find a place in clearing; your parents cannot do it for you!
To go through Clearing, you need to check the official lists of higher education vacancies (published on www.ucas.com) and then contact a university or college with places on a course that interests you. It is best to speak directly to the admissions tutor, who may ask for your clearing entry number (found on TRACK).