28th February 2019
This guide is taken from the Know How Library, a tool on the Unifrog platform. Not sure whether to take the ACT or the SAT? Or how to give the perfect Oxbridge practice interview? The Know How Library is an easily searchable library of 100s of expert guides for both students and teachers, covering every aspect of the progression process. It is included as standard for Unifrog partner schools.
As you start to receive offers, you’ll see one of the following terms appear on UCAS Track next to each university application:
Here’s what they mean and what to do in each case:
You’re in! You’ve met the terms of the entry requirements and they’d be delighted to have you.
What to do
Don’t rush - take some time to decide whether or not this is the university and course for you. Review all your options, perhaps visit the uni again, and talk to teachers, careers advisers and even admissions officers at the uni that made the offer. If you had your heart set on somewhere else, don’t give up on it just yet - you usually have until May to make a decision (or later, depending on when you received all your offers), so it’s worth waiting to hear back from them.
Once you accept an unconditional offer, you’re committing to go to that uni, so you won’t be able to select an insurance choice or enter Clearing. If you do accept the offer, there will be less pressure to succeed in your exams, but it’s still worth putting the effort in as those grades will follow you around in the future.
Yeah, that’s a thing now. It usually means that you have a conditional offer, but if you accept it, the uni will change it to unconditional. You should treat these in the same way as an unconditional offer.
Also good news! The majority of offers made to applicants are conditional, and it basically means that there’s a place at that university with your name on it, as long as you obtain the necessary grades or UCAS points. The university will let you know exactly what these are via UCAS Track.
What to do
Get your head down between now and the exams to give yourself the best chances of success. Come results day, you’ll find out whether or not you’ve met the conditions of your first choice offer (your ‘firm’ choice) or not. If you don’t meet your offer, don’t worry – there are options. Click here to find out what to do next.
Unfortunately, the university has declined your application and hasn’t offered you a place. This could be because your predicted grades don’t meet the entry requirements, or perhaps because it’s a super competitive course.
What to do
Keep your head up. An unsuccessful application to a university you had your heart set on can be a tough blow, but try not to get too disheartened – wait to hear back from your other UCAS choices and research your options.
If you didn’t respond to a university’s communication by a required date, or you missed an interview, your application to a university might be withdrawn. There are a number of other possible reasons too, so it’s worth finding out why your application has been withdrawn through UCAS Track.
Responding to offers
Once you’ve received responses from all the courses you applied to, you need to choose your firm (first) and insurance (backup) choices. This is a big decision and you can only choose one of each, so use our guide to help.
When to do it?
Generally speaking, the longer you wait the better, as long as you safely meet the deadline.
For 2019 entry, you need to make a decision on your firm and insurance choice by 1st May 2019, if all your universities responded by 31st March.
Many students wait until they receive their mock exam results or school report after February half-term, meaning they’ll have a better idea of the grades they’ll get (important for any conditional offers). This will also give you time to investigate bursaries and funding options using the Know-how library:
If you’re still unsure, talk to your school careers advisers, try visiting the universities again to get a better feel for them, or speak with university admissions officers.
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