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Adjustment 2012 - Everything you need to know

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    The 2013 thread is here

    The principle of Adjustment is that if you exceed your firm offer you can search around for other options while still hanging on to that unconditional offer. The UCAS pages explaining how the process works are pretty clear, so it is worth checking them out. There's also a UCAS video that explains the process here.

    How easy is it to get an Adjustment place?
    It's hard to say - this is only the fourth year for Adjustment, and only a few people posted on TSR about their experience of Adjustment in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In the first year (2009) UCAS reported:

    Over 40% of applicants had the opportunity to use the scheme. Of a total of 3,600 registrations, 384 were placed in their Adjustment choice, 2,355 reconfirmed with their original choice and 444 were placed in another choice (main scheme, Extra or Clearing). 417 of those who registered were not placed.
    What isn't clear from this is how many of the 2,355 who stayed with their original firm applied for an Adjustment place and were unsuccessful (as distinct from those who may have registered but then didn't do anything about it). Presumably the 417 who weren't placed were people, probably with high grades going for competitive courses, who decided that they'd rather reapply than stick with what they had, or decided to withdraw altogether.

    Unfortunately, UCAS didn't publish the same detail for Adjustment in 2010 and 2011, but there was a small increase in the numbers placed - 552 last year. The overall 'success rate' in Adjustment seems to be about 10% of all people who register for it.

    In 2012 it may well be easier to find a place in adjustment than it has been in the past, particularly if you have A level results of AAB+ or higher. This is due to changes in how university places are allocated and funded. We expect that there will be universities who will be advertising specifically for adjustment candidates who fit the AAB+ criteria so this will add a layer of uncertainty to adjustment this year.

    Important points to remember about Adjustment
    • It is optional. If you are happy with your existing firm, stick with it. This is after all the uni you chose after careful research, visiting on open days, gossiping on TSR, etc etc.
    • Getting a place somewhere else at this late stage could mean that you are not eligible for accommodation or for financial support specific to that university so you may end up in a worse position than you currently are with your firm.
    • Not all unis will be able to offer places through Adjustment, but even if they are, this does not guarantee success for you, so you may find yourself getting your hopes up only to have them disappointed.
    • Because the range of choices in Adjustment will be limited, you may do better to take a gap year and re-apply with your actual grades.
    • Like Clearing, the speed of decision-making does increase the risk of you making the wrong choice. Just because somewhere sounds perfect it doesn't mean this is the case in reality - some students have moved via Adjustment and then ended up dropping out to reapply.


    How will I know if I am eligible for Adjustment?
    If you have exceeded the requirements of your FIRM offer you will be eligible. You have to work this out yourself, as the UCAS system does not do this for you, though the final decision about whether you qualify rests with the university you are negotiating with.

    Note that the “Register for Adjustment” button appearing on your Track does not by itself mean that you are eligible to use it - the button appears as soon as a 'conditional firm' becomes 'unconditional firm'.

    What does 'exceed' mean in practice?
    There is a list of examples on the UCAS pages. Remember that you are not considered to have exceeded your offer simply by having additional A levels – so if your offer was AA and you get AAA, or you were asked for BBC and you got BBCC, you’re not eligible to use Adjustment.

    For tariff or IB points offers, as long as you have achieved any specified subject grades, achieving more points than the headline offer required would mean you are eligible for Adjustment. For example, if your offer was 300 points including a B in chemistry, and you achieve 320 including that B, this would count. Likewise with IB, 36 points against a 35 point offer would count as long as you achieved all HL or SL grade requirements specified in that offer.

    However, it is the unis who decide if you are eligible for an Adjustment place, not UCAS, and they'll do this once you apply to them.

    I think I'm eligible: what do I do now?
    On your Track page there will be the option to register for Adjustment as soon as your firm offer changes to 'unconditional'. From this point, you have five calendar days (including weekends) or until 31 August to secure a place through Adjustment. Note that the five day period begins as soon as your Track updates to show UF (or on Results Day if Track updates earlier than this). If this happens fewer than five calendar days before 31 August you will have less time.

    When you get through to the uni, you’ll be asked for your UCAS number, which will enable them to see your application – including PS and reference. If you haven’t registered, the uni staff won’t be able to do this and therefore can’t consider you.

    OK, so I've registered. Now what?
    Check uni websites for advice on contacting them about Adjustment places (note that there will be no centralised lists on the UCAS website as there are for Clearing) although in 2012 there will be universities advertising on TSR and elsewhere for adjustment applicants. You can ring any uni/as many unis as you like. However, make sure you have all relevant information to hand before you ring, and be prepared for a mini-interview. Think about what would make you an attractive candidate to the uni: you may be competing with people who have just missed their offers. It won't just be about your grades. If your PS is very old, think about what's changed since you wrote it. Have you done particularly well in some of your modules? Which ones? Are they relevant to the course you are interested in? Show them that you know something about what makes this course different from others.

    Your existing unconditional firm will be aware that you have registered for Adjustment. Your place with that uni is guaranteed unless and until an Adjustment offer has been made. We understand that unis sometimes get in touch with applicants who have registered for Adjustment; this is nothing to worry about, but if you feel that the uni is putting you on the spot, the best thing to do is to contact UCAS and talk any issues over with them. Understandably, unis are trying to make the best judgement they can about how many places they still have available, so they may ask you how likely it is that you will be taking up their place, but they shouldn't hassle you for a decision.

    What next?
    Good question. The UCAS pages rather suggest that you'll get an immediate response. It will certainly have to be a quick one, but it's easy to imagine that there could be cases where several applicants are chasing a very small number of vacancies. In that case, the only fair thing to do is to have the 'gathered field' rather than a 'first come first served' free for all, but we don't actually know how unis make their decisions about which applicants get these places.

    Remember that once you have told the uni over the telephone or by email that you are accepting their offer of an Adjustment place, you are committed. As soon as the uni posts your details to Track via UCAS, you will not have the option to turn the place down and retrieve your original Firm place.

    I've been made an Adjustment offer!
    Congratulations! You will need to confirm your acceptance to the uni, and your Track will be updated once UCAS receives notification from the uni. This means that your original Firm place (which has been held for you while all this is going on!) will be given up and made available to someone else. Once this has happened, you will not be able to retrieve your original place even if you change your mind. This is why it's so important to have thought through the wider implications of changing your uni at this stage - don't forget about accommodation, in particular.

    Then - you post in this thread and tell us what happened

    And when you've done that, you'll need to update your Student Finance application in plenty of time to receive your loan. In most cases this can now be done online through your Student Finance profile but if not you can submit a Change of Circumstance form.

    Can I apply for a different course through Adjustment?
    There are people who have done so successfully. Your chances of success will depend on what you are hoping to switch to and which unis you are applying to. Adjustment isn't really designed for this purpose but there's certainly nothing in the rules to say you can't do it. You'll just need to be really convincing when you talk to the admissions tutors .

    Can I apply for a deferred place through Adjustment?
    Technically there's no reason why not, though the unis are likely to take a different view. On the whole, if you are willing/keen to defer a year, you'd be much better off re-applying, since you will then be able to write a new PS and have a full range of unis to choose from.

    I really want to go to my insurance instead - can I apply to them on Results Day as an Adjustment applicant
    If you are eligible for Adjustment, there's no harm in trying this one; there's nothing in the rules to say you can't . Again, your chances of success will depend on the course and uni. If the uni in question doesn't have any Clearing places, this would be your only option. However, a uni doesn't have to offer an Adjustment place even if they were your insurance, so a successful result is not guaranteed.

    The unis I applied to through Adjustment turned me down
    Never mind. Remember that you chose your existing Firm after careful thought and research (didn't you??) and it's still there, waiting for you.

    If you really don't want to go to your Firm, then you do have the option, as anyone else does, of deciding to withdraw from UCAS altogether for this year and re-applying for next.

    Oops.... I registered for Adjustment without meaning to :o:
    Don't worry; just don't do anything, and in five days' time all will be well. It might be an idea to let your firm uni know that this was a mistake, in case they were about to ring you, but also because this will help them with their planning.
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    (Original post by hawkzzter)
    How do universities check if you're eligible for adjustment? Does UCAS provide them with A-level results?

    I ask because I'm an international student and my conditions were based on AP exams. I firmed Warwick MORSE and insured Durham Econ. I've already got my AP results and I've exceeded the Warwick offer. But I changed my mind and would rather go to Durham...

    Do you guys think there will be any vacancies at Durham for Math or Economics?

    And I hope Durham accepts a photocopy of the AP score report because it normally takes around 10 days for the official report to get sent. One thing I could do is send it now so Durham has it in time for adjustment...
    You will have the option on UCAS to apply through adjustment, but YOU have to do the calling. I looked on the UCAS website which is helpful about the process and I also called to find out if you can call more than one and you can but I was warned to be careful and choose the Uni I want to go to soon.
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    I registered for adjustment it hasn't updated, shall I press register for adjustment again or wait?
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    (Original post by crazyoctopus)
    I registered for adjustment it hasn't updated, shall I press register for adjustment again or wait?
    Do you know that you've exceeded your offers (i.e. do you already know your results)?
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    (Original post by crazyoctopus)
    I registered for adjustment it hasn't updated, shall I press register for adjustment again or wait?
    Wait.
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    (Original post by hobnob)
    Do you know that you've exceeded your offers (i.e. do you already know your results)?
    Yes I do and I have. Otherwise I don't think you can even register for it, not sure though.
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    (Original post by justn1c2)
    You need to register on track first otherwise they (they being the university you are calling) cant check if you actually did exceed your firm offer.
    I've just registered but there's nothing new on my Track profile - should there be? It says that for Clearing, you have to wait 'until our full service is made available later today to add any Clearing choice' - is this the same for Adjustment?
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    (Original post by Craghyrax)
    Wait.
    Super advice. I think it's best not to keep clicking things anyway or something could go very wrong.
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    (Original post by crazyoctopus)
    Yes I do and I have. Otherwise I don't think you can even register for it, not sure though.
    You can register for Adjustment even if you haven't exceeded the conditions of your offer and therefore aren't eligible. Anyone who gets into their firm can register, but you'll have to prove to the unis you talk to in Adjustment that you are eligible.
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    (Original post by crazyoctopus)
    Super advice. I think it's best not to keep clicking things anyway or something could go very wrong.
    Its annoying when things move slowly and you need to sort out your future
    It will progress eventually though. Good luck!
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    i want to go through adjustment but I'm slightly confused about what happens to my firm choice. If I rang 3 uni's and managed to secure verbal offers, do they all come up on track alongside my firm where I then choose with of the 4 I would like?

    Is there any point ringing up uni's if you're still waiting for your clearing number to still show up after registering for adjustment?
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    (Original post by lp94)
    I've just registered but there's nothing new on my Track profile - should there be? It says that for Clearing, you have to wait 'until our full service is made available later today to add any Clearing choice' - is this the same for Adjustment?
    No, nothing significant will appear but by registering you allow universities who you call up to see your application when you give them your UCAS details. You can now start ringing around the universities to find a place. If you agree to take up a place, then they will add themselves to your track (and at that point you lose your firm place)
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    I've clicked 'Register for Adjustment' and it told me my Track page would update within the hour, and now there is no 'Register' button so I'm assuming it has worked.
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    (Original post by lp94)
    I've clicked 'Register for Adjustment' and it told me my Track page would update within the hour, and now there is no 'Register' button so I'm assuming it has worked.
    Yep, it should tell you that you have registered shortly, but there won't be any extra buttons or anything.
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    No, nothing significant will appear but by registering you allow universities who you call up to see your application when you give them your UCAS details. You can now start ringing around the universities to find a place. If you agree to take up a place, then they will add themselves to your track (and at that point you lose your firm place)
    Are you sure? On UCAS it says 'Please note, if you have registered to use Adjustment on A level results day, it may take a short time for your registration to be processed, and for the universities and colleges to be able to view your application.'

    Can I still start ringing and just let the university know that I have registered but they may not be able to view my application yet? Or should I wait? I don't want to lose out by waiting.
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    (Original post by F1 fanatic)
    No, nothing significant will appear but by registering you allow universities who you call up to see your application when you give them your UCAS details. You can now start ringing around the universities to find a place. If you agree to take up a place, then they will add themselves to your track (and at that point you lose your firm place)
    Can they hold the offers for you? I dont really want to confirm a different uni and lose my firm. It'd be nice to have a few offers to choose between. Is that possible?
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    Hello, all, i got my results today and lancaster have confirmed my place to study history there. I got A* A A B (one of the A's is general studies). I've been reading about the adjustment thing, ie, trading in your uni for a higher one. but i don't know whether to do it. what would you do? i don't really think any uni's higher in the league tables would take me, to be honest. but i don't want to look back and regret not taking the opportunity to go to the best uni possible. i like lancaster. the course is good, and it seems lovely. but as i say, i don't want to regret anything. tbh, i would have applied somewhere that would consider taking my general studies as part of my offer last year, but i didn't think i'd get an A. what do you think? i don't want to risk losing my unconditional offer at lancaster.
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    You presumably chose Lancaster for a reason, and you've probably spent the vast majority of the past year thinking about going to Lancaster. If you don't have any particular desire to go to another uni, it might be sensible to stick with Lancaster.

    You can ring round other unis and enquire without commiting to anything at this stage, though. Remember that changing uni at this stage may mean that you don't get the accomodation you'd prefer, though other things like student finance are very simple to change.
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    (Original post by lp94)
    Are you sure? On UCAS it says 'Please note, if you have registered to use Adjustment on A level results day, it may take a short time for your registration to be processed, and for the universities and colleges to be able to view your application.'

    Can I still start ringing and just let the university know that I have registered but they may not be able to view my application yet? Or should I wait? I don't want to lose out by waiting.
    No harm in starting ringing now, the worst they can say is that you need to call back later but at least you will find out whether they would consider places via adjustment.

    (Original post by Waqar.)
    Can they hold the offers for you? I dont really want to confirm a different uni and lose my firm. It'd be nice to have a few offers to choose between. Is that possible?
    No, if you formally agree to the offer then you lose the firm. You may be able to talk to them and ask if they would make you an offer, but if you're not prepared to commit to it at that point you need to ask if they'll hold it for you and for how long. There is no guarantee that they will.
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    You can look at Adjustment if you want. You won't lose your place at Lancaster if you don't find anywhere else. Not many people get places through Adjustment though. Top courses are unlikely to be found in Adjustment and as you already have a place on a good course you're unlikely to find anywhere better. You chose Lancaster for a reason so the sensible thing would probably be to stick with Lancaster. The risks are you may end up at a university you have not researched as well and you might not get your preferred accommodation.

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