Adjustment 2013 - Everything you need to Know

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Minerva
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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.

How easy is it to get an Adjustment place?
It's hard to say. This will be the fifth year for Adjustment, but only a few people posted on TSR about their experience of Adjustment in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The numbers of people getting places through Adjustment increased significantly last year to 1,329, compared with 382 in 2009, 377 in 2010, and 552 in 2011. Overall, however, this is a tiny percentage of all applicants, and should be seen in the context of the numbers getting places through Clearing [55,721 in 2012].

It is possible, even likely, that this big increase in numbers of people successfully applying through Adjustment in 2012 was linked to the changes in how university places are funded. These changes are explained here. This year, the benchmark has been reduced to ABB, so if you have these grades or better and are eligible for Adjustment, you may find that there is rather more choice than there was back in 2010 or 2011. It was interesting to see that some very high profile unis featured in the Adjustment experiences thread in 2012, and for competitive courses too.

Important things 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 some universities may advertise 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
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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PQ
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*posting to subscribe*

(I'm not stalking you honest!)
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iamsuperwoman
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My sister got into both her unis. Her firm was asking for a lower grade (BBC) than her insurance (BBB).

She is now in adjustment.

What does this mean? Has she done better than BBB?
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ViolentMind
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On my track i got into my firm and theres an option saying find out about and register for adjustment?

I havent seen my results yet but does this mean i did better than my offer?
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ddaappoo
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(Original post by iamsuperwoman)
My sister got into both her unis. Her firm was asking for a lower grade (BBC) than her insurance (BBB).

She is now in adjustment.

What does this mean? Has she done better than BBB?
most probably yes
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Zottula
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That button is there for everyone. You need to see your results to see whether you are eligible or not.
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Minerva
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(Original post by iamsuperwoman)
My sister got into both her unis. Her firm was asking for a lower grade (BBC) than her insurance (BBB).

She is now in adjustment.

What does this mean? Has she done better than BBB?
She has the option to register for Adjustment, as all people holding unconditional firms do, but this doesn't mean that she is necessarily eligible. She should wait and see what her results are. Even if she's eligible, she doesn't have to do anything about it!
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Minerva
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(Original post by ViolentMind)
On my track i got into my firm and theres an option saying find out about and register for adjustment?

I havent seen my results yet but does this mean i did better than my offer?
Not necessarily.

See the first post in this thread
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Nerd2
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(Original post by ddaappoo)
most probably yes
Hi,

I got this this morning on my track:

Congratulations. This letter confirms your place and any agreed changes at..... for the.... course, subject to your meeting any outstanding non-academic conditions. The course starts in September 2013 with a start year of 1.

I was just wondering does this mean I got the grades and I'm definitely in? I haven't seen my grades yet, so I'm still skeptical.

Also since I am an external candidate, I thought my grades would not automatically sent to universities, but I don't know.
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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by Nerd2)
Hi,

I got this this morning on my track:

Congratulations. This letter confirms your place and any agreed changes at..... for the.... course, subject to your meeting any outstanding non-academic conditions. The course starts in September 2013 with a start year of 1.

I was just wondering does this mean I got the grades and I'm definitely in? I haven't seen my grades yet, so I'm still skeptical.

Also since I am an external candidate, I thought my grades would not automatically sent to universities, but I don't know.
Yep, you're in. Congratulations
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Zottula
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(Original post by Nerd2)
Hi,

I got this this morning on my track:

Congratulations. This letter confirms your place and any agreed changes at..... for the.... course, subject to your meeting any outstanding non-academic conditions. The course starts in September 2013 with a start year of 1.

I was just wondering does this mean I got the grades and I'm definitely in? I haven't seen my grades yet, so I'm still skeptical.

Also since I am an external candidate, I thought my grades would not automatically sent to universities, but I don't know.
It means you're in, congratulations. It doesn't necessarily mean you got the grades they asked for though. It's possible you exceeded your offer, or that you dropped a grade or two but they decided to take you on anyway. So it's important you still go and collect your results.
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Minerva
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(Original post by Nerd2)
Hi,

I got this this morning on my track:

Congratulations. This letter confirms your place and any agreed changes at..... for the.... course, subject to your meeting any outstanding non-academic conditions. The course starts in September 2013 with a start year of 1.

I was just wondering does this mean I got the grades and I'm definitely in? I haven't seen my grades yet, so I'm still skeptical.

Also since I am an external candidate, I thought my grades would not automatically sent to universities, but I don't know.
You're definitely in, but might not have got your grades. Unis can accept you anyway even if you did miss your offer.
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IrrationalDonkey
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I was looking just looking through the adjustment section in UCAS and wanted to check whether I was eligible so I clicked register as I thought it would give me more details. Turns out I have now registered for adjustment but I'm perfectly happy with my firm. Will this have any impact on my offer and accommodation or do I just have to wait for it to expire? Thanks
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Zottula
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(Original post by IrrationalDonkey)
I was looking just looking through the adjustment section in UCAS and wanted to check whether I was eligible so I clicked register as I thought it would give me more details. Turns out I have now registered for adjustment but I'm perfectly happy with my firm. Will this have any impact on my offer and accommodation or do I just have to wait for it to expire? Thanks
If you do nothing else then don't worry about it. Nothing will happen.
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IrrationalDonkey
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(Original post by Zottula)
If you do nothing else then don't worry about it. Nothing will happen.
Phew! Was getting worried
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Jack93o
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I done the same thing as well
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IrrationalDonkey
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(Original post by Jack93o)
I done the same thing as well
Well Im glad Im not the only one lol
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when she was 22
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I applied to York through adjustment at about 11am today, she said they'd like to offer me a place and would send an email for me to reply back to and confirm I accepted their place. Haven't got an email yet though! Should I be worrying? If I don't receive an email by the end of today should I ring back and ask?
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PQ
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(Original post by when she was 22)
I applied to York through adjustment at about 11am today, she said they'd like to offer me a place and would send an email for me to reply back to and confirm I accepted their place. Haven't got an email yet though! Should I be worrying? If I don't receive an email by the end of today should I ring back and ask?
It's been a couple of hours. I'd phone and ask them to resend and check the address it was sent to (it's easy to get email addresses wrong over the phone!).

(check your spam folders first though!)
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Zottula
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(Original post by when she was 22)
I applied to York through adjustment at about 11am today, she said they'd like to offer me a place and would send an email for me to reply back to and confirm I accepted their place. Haven't got an email yet though! Should I be worrying? If I don't receive an email by the end of today should I ring back and ask?
Results day is a very busy time for universities so don't expect the email straight away. The offer was made at 11 so it wasn't long ago. Might be worth a call though .
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