How to: make your firm and insurance choice Watch

Sheffield Hallam University
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How to: make your firm and insurance choice

If you received a decision from all five institutions you applied to by the end of March, you’ve got less than a week to make your firm and insurance choices, before the deadline on 4th May.

To help you with the next step, we’d like to provide you with advice on what firm and insurance actually mean and what you should consider before you head to UCAS Track to make that final decision.

If you are a Sheffield Hallam applicant and have any questions, please let us know by posting below and we'll get back to you

What is my firm and insurance choice?

The first thing you need to do is choose your two favourite universities. These will be the offers you accept, and any other offers you have will be rejected.

Firm choice
  • From the two universities, you must pick a ‘firm’ choice (your preferred university and course) and an ‘insurance’ choice (a back-up choice in case you don’t meet the grades required for your firm choice)
  • If your first choice offer is conditional, the place is yours but if it’s conditional, you’ll need to consider if the offer is achievable and realistic. As long as you meet your conditional offer when your results come out, you'll be going to your firm choice university.
Insurance choice
  • Your insurance choice offer is usually lower than your firm offer, but should be chosen with care so that you have an institution you are happy to attend if you miss out on your firm choice on results day.
  • By putting an institution or course as your insurance choice, it means you’re happy to accept the place. If you miss out on your firm choice, but you’re accepted by your insurance choice course or institution, you're then committed to going there.
  • Once you have decided on your firm and insurance choice, you must submit your decision on UCAS Track. UCAS will then communicate your decision to the universities.
  • These choices will remain until you find out your exam results in July/August
  • Your insurance choice is optional. If you really only have one course you’re happy to accept, you don’t need to choose an insurance offer.
Making your decision

Before you accept or reject the offers you have been made, we recommend you review your options one last time to make sure that the university and course you choose are right for you. We suggest that you consider the following...

Is the course right for me?
Look over the course content again and picture yourself learning about the topics covered. Think about whether the course structure, learning style and opportunities are right for you.

How far is it from home?
Moving away from home can be a big decision to make. Support is always available to help you through your transition, but it would help to think about whether you would like to stay close to home, or move further away.

Student life
Think about what is available for you as a student at the university and in the town, city or area you choose to live. Are there plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants? What kind of societies and sports clubs does the union have? How many students go to the university?

Can I picture myself there?
If you've looked at a university’s website, ordered a prospectus and visited an open day, you should have a good picture of what the university and it’s town or city is like. Our students often say that they knew Sheffield Hallam was right for them because they felt a sense of belonging.


When can I apply for accommodation?

After you've made us your firm or insurance choice, you can apply for Accommodation. We’ll send out more information on how to do this once we have processed the change in application.

Things to remember!
  • You can only submit your firm and insurance choices on UCAS Track once all of your chosen universities have made a decision about your application.
  • By choosing your firm and insurance choice, you are rejecting all other offers.
  • You cannot wait until results day to make your choices. You must submit your decisions by the deadline given on your UCAS Track.
We hope that helps!

Laura & Hannah
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Memo A.
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Hello. I am an international student and I have received conditional offers from two universities out of three (Durham and Derby) and I am confused about the UCAS deadlines; on my Track it says I must reply by June 8th but University of Durham and Derby both said that they need a reply by 4th of May. Which deadline should I be keeping my eyes on? Please answer ASAP.
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Sheffield Hallam University
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(Original post by Memo A.)
Hello. I am an international student and I have received conditional offers from two universities out of three (Durham and Derby) and I am confused about the UCAS deadlines; on my Track it says I must reply by June 8th but University of Durham and Derby both said that they need a reply by 4th of May. Which deadline should I be keeping my eyes on? Please answer ASAP.
Hello,

Unfortunately, we can't speak for the universities you have applied for so we're unable to answer your question. We'd recommend speaking to UCAS directly on 0371 468 0 468 if you're calling from the UK, or +44 330 3330 230 if you're calling from outside the UK. They will be able to clear up the different messages you have received from your chosen providers.

We hope you get the answer you need

Hannah and Laura
(Official TSR reps)
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