You’ll spend hours, days, weeks, even months perfecting your UCAS application, but what exactly happens once it gets to its final destination? This means everything to you - it could shape the rest of your life, but will the person who deals with thousands of applications every year know that? Will they think it’s as important as you do? Will it get the respect you think it deserves?
The admissions team at Bucks New University knows plenty about what actually happens to your application – after all, they look at thousands each year! The experts there have helped to answer some common worries you might have.
If I apply sooner, I’ll hear back before my mates…
The UCAS January 15 deadline is probably stuck permanently in your head like an annoying song lyric. It’s great to be organised and get your application in early but that doesn’t mean you’ll hear back before your friends.
It ultimately depends on the uni and course you apply to. Some will make offers as soon as they get applications through, others won’t make offers until all applications are in and some will do a bit of both – making offers to early applicants but still leaving a decent number of places open for the January deadline.
It is important however, to stick to that January 15 cut off if you want to apply. Don’t forget Oxford, Cambridge and degrees such as medicine or dentistry often have their own deadlines.
“Getting your application in sooner rather than later is always a good idea. But giving yourself plenty of time to prepare means you can make sure your submission is as polished as you can get it,” says Owen Lord, Bucks New University admissions team leader.
No-one will bother reading my personal statement properly, they’ll just skim read it…
Your personal statement could be the clincher that gets you on to the course you want at the uni you want to go to. This is your chance to show why you’re the perfect candidate for a place on the course you’re applying for. This WILL be read by admissions tutors who will then decide whether to give you a place or not. So, it’s really important you give it your absolute best shot! Of course, it will vary from tutor to tutor how long they spend reading it, but it will definitely be read and contribute toward the university’s final decision.
I’ve heard that some unis are a bit rubbish at getting back to applicants, is that true?
It varies from uni to uni. You might hear back from some universities within two to three weeks, some will issue invitations to interview within ten days, others will take longer. A lot depends on the individual departments and the number of applications received.
But don’t panic, you WILL hear back from your choices. Plenty of unis will send you a letter, postcard or email acknowledging receipt of your application. Most of them are also active on social media so you can get in touch with them via Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and TSR and get any worries you have about your application answered.
Will I be penalised if I send my application in close to the deadline?
No, no and no! Your application will be treated in the same way whether you sent it as soon as you could or you leave it until January 14 so DON’T worry that you’ll lose out. However, around half of all applications are sent in in the six weeks before the deadline so you may not hear straight away as the unis catch up with this influx. Keep an eye on UCAS Track though – any offers (or rejections) will appear on there.
Remember, before you submit your application check, check and check your forms. Proofread your personal statement, check you’ve included all your qualifications, make sure you’ve filled in everything correctly and meet all the requirements for the course you’re applying for.
Don’t despair if your application is unsuccessful – you still have options. One of your universities may offer you an alternative course, you could use UCAS Extra to add an extra choice or you could apply through Clearing which opens on July 5, 2018. Whatever the outcome and whatever your worries, what happens to your UCAS application once you hit send shouldn’t be one of them – it will be read, it will be fairly looked at and you will get an answer.