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Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Getting an offer from a university or college

If you have applied to university or college through UCAS, and receive offers, you can then firmly accept, accept as an insurance, or decline the offers.

Tracking your offers online

If you submit your UCAS application by the 15 January deadline, you will usually receive offers from your universities by the end of March, although for popular courses you may not hear until May.

You can track the progress of your application through the Track service on the UCAS website. For this you need your Personal ID, username and password. You can also use this service to check for any offers and reply to them.

Conditional or unconditional

Conditional offers are tied to you achieving certain grades in your exams, or a certain number of points in the UCAS Tariff. If you don't secure high enough grades or don't score enough Tariff points, you may not be accepted.

An unconditional offer means you have already satisfied entry requirements and can be accepted to study.

Replying to offers

Once you have received decisions from all your universities or colleges, and provided you have at least one offer, UCAS will send you an email asking you to look at your Replying to Offers letter on the Track service on the UCAS website. This letter will list the decisions and your reply date. If you don't reply to your offers by the deadline, you may lose them.

You reply to your offers online using the Track service. For each offer, you can choose one of three options:

  • firm acceptance
  • insurance acceptance
  • decline

You can only accept two offers at the most - one firm acceptance, and one insurance acceptance. For their insurance acceptance, many people usually choose offers requiring lower grades than the firm acceptance.

For full guidance on replying to offers, see the UCAS website.

Changing your mind

If you change your mind after you accept an offer, you may have to withdraw your application and will not be able to use Clearing to look for another course. Contact UCAS for advice.

If you don't get any offers

If you don't get an offer from your initial application or you turn down any offers you do receive, and you have already applied for five courses, you can use the UCAS Extra service from the end of February until the end of June.

If Extra does not produce a suitable offer, you can go through the Clearing system, where universities and colleges advertise - and fill - their last-minute places. Vacancies are advertised on the UCAS website and in the national press from mid-August.

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