By when do most students make their firm and insurance choices?

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Brutal Bee
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I know that it all comes down to when you feel that you are certain and you feel like you have made your decision carefully (obviously).

However, I am also aware that if I leave myself too much time to consider and think, I am just going to become lazy and drag it out for longer than needs be. I will also perhaps waste too much time thinking and just being indecisive (time which should instead be invested into my studies). I also have exams in May and I don't want to be doing UCAS stuff then. On the other hand, I don't want to feel like I am just rushing an important decision.

So, I am asking The Student Room to help me.
1) When is the ideal time to have chosen the firm and the insurance?
2) What deadline should a I set myself , do you suggest?
3) When did you make the final choice during your own application cycle?

Thanks guys (just realised it's past midnight lol, doubt I will get many responses)

P.S. I have heard back from all of my choices, so I am in a position now where I kind of know where to firm but just thinking about insurance.
Last edited by Brutal Bee; 1 month ago
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Admit-One
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Given that I’ve already started receiving requests from applicants desperately trying to swap their replies, I would suggest leaving it as late as possible.

If you have no other deadlines, (accommodation, applications to uni’s in your home country etc), I would leave it until a couple of weeks before your UCAS reply deadline. There is no advantage in choosing early.
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Brutal Bee
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Any other students willing to share their own 'stories'?
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Brutal Bee
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Given that I’ve already started receiving requests from applicants desperately trying to swap their replies, I would suggest leaving it as late as possible.

If you have no other deadlines, (accommodation, applications to uni’s in your home country etc), I would leave it until a couple of weeks before your UCAS reply deadline. There is no advantage in choosing early.
Oh, really?! These people are really ahead of the game, having already firmed (obviously for some it didn't work out).

Good point, thank you!
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emiloujess
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(Original post by Law-yer)
I know that it all comes down to when you feel that you are certain and you feel like you have made your decision carefully (obviously).

So, I am asking The Student Room to help me.
1) When is the ideal time to have chosen the firm and the insurance?
2) What deadline should a I set myself , do you suggest?
3) When did you make the final choice during your own application cycle?
Ok, my story is a little... complicated. I applied to Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Birmingham and Swansea. Firmed Cardiff and Aber very early on (it may have been Jan/Feb time, if not before then). Emailed them both to change my course a couple months later.

Nearer results day I decided I actually wanted to go to Bournemouth for a different course (mainly my mum's pressure, and my insecurity). Emailed both Cardiff and Aber asking them to reject me on Results Day. Come results, I had to phone Aber early morning as they had accepted me. That phone call… hurt a lot. I *loved* Aber with all my heart. Should've followed my instincts. Ended up changing course at Bournemouth after a year.

Don't get me wrong I love where I ended up but... a small part of me wonders what would've happened if I'd stayed put at Aberystwyth that Results Day. Especially as the Masters I've applied to lines up nicely with it. I miss that place, so much. Haven't been there for five years. Please don't do what I did. Take your time, make the right decisions, don't be influenced by league tables or family.
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JGoosey2002
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(Original post by Law-yer)
I know that it all comes down to when you feel that you are certain and you feel like you have made your decision carefully (obviously).

However, I am also aware that if I leave myself too much time to consider and think, I am just going to become lazy and drag it out for longer than needs be. I will also perhaps waste too much time thinking and just being indecisive (time which should instead be invested into my studies). I also have exams in May and I don't want to be doing UCAS stuff then. On the other hand, I don't want to feel like I am just rushing an important decision.

So, I am asking The Student Room to help me.
1) When is the ideal time to have chosen the firm and the insurance?
2) What deadline should a I set myself , do you suggest?
3) When did you make the final choice during your own application cycle?

Thanks guys (just realised it's past midnight lol, doubt I will get many responses)

P.S. I have heard back from all of my choices, so I am in a position now where I kind of know where to firm but just thinking about insurance.
I think I’ll do it near the deadline so I know how confident I’m feeling for the exam
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Simbasoul
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(Original post by Admit-One)
Given that I’ve already started receiving requests from applicants desperately trying to swap their replies, I would suggest leaving it as late as possible.

If you have no other deadlines, (accommodation, applications to uni’s in your home country etc), I would leave it until a couple of weeks before your UCAS reply deadline. There is no advantage in choosing early.
The only small advantage for a few universities is that some of them open their accomodation booking towards the end of March - but you can only book if you have firmed them. Others run things like ballots etc for accomodation (which are actually much fairer systems) as the first type penalises people like medics etc where traditionally decisions to make offers can be made much later than for other courses.
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Admit-One
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Yup, early accommodation deadlines are something of a bugbear and add unnecessary pressure on offer holders to make quick decisions, but it does happen.
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Brutal Bee
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(Original post by JGoosey2002)
I think I’ll do it near the deadline so I know how confident I’m feeling for the exam
I know it will sound strange, but I just didn't want this 'stress' of not having made the decision too near the exam period lol

I will probably do it Late March/early April
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mnot
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(Original post by Law-yer)
I know that it all comes down to when you feel that you are certain and you feel like you have made your decision carefully (obviously).

However, I am also aware that if I leave myself too much time to consider and think, I am just going to become lazy and drag it out for longer than needs be. I will also perhaps waste too much time thinking and just being indecisive (time which should instead be invested into my studies). I also have exams in May and I don't want to be doing UCAS stuff then. On the other hand, I don't want to feel like I am just rushing an important decision.

So, I am asking The Student Room to help me.
1) When is the ideal time to have chosen the firm and the insurance?
2) What deadline should a I set myself , do you suggest?
3) When did you make the final choice during your own application cycle?

Thanks guys (just realised it's past midnight lol, doubt I will get many responses)

P.S. I have heard back from all of my choices, so I am in a position now where I kind of know where to firm but just thinking about insurance.
There is no rush imo, take your time & think through everything.

I recommend giving yourself a list of criteria for you and evaluating each uni against this.

If you have decided then you can still hold off firming if you want, the only advantage of going early is if accommodation is first come first served although this is rarely the case until after May.

But absolutely do not pick until you are ready, and put your favourite uni as firm regardless of grades.
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PQ
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(Original post by Simbasoul)
The only small advantage for a few universities is that some of them open their accomodation booking towards the end of March - but you can only book if you have firmed them. Others run things like ballots etc for accomodation (which are actually much fairer systems) as the first type penalises people like medics etc where traditionally decisions to make offers can be made much later than for other courses.
Even those universities will hold back rooms in all halls to release in May so as not to disadvantage applicants who couldn't pick a firm choice earlier (especially because some of those people waiting to make them a firm choice were waiting for that university to make an offer!).
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watershower
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I already made up my mind before i had even heard anything back. Then again, I only liked 2 universities out of the five I applied to anyways.
If you can visit them again, definitely check them out. Most of my decisions were based on the open day experience and the location.
Get rid of the ones you definitely don’t like and when you’re left with 2/3 (assuming you got at least 4 offers), do a pro con list and order them.
I think you can leave it as long as the end of april if you’re feeling unsure. Good luck x
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Simbasoul
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(Original post by PQ)
Even those universities will hold back rooms in all halls to release in May so as not to disadvantage applicants who couldn't pick a firm choice earlier (especially because some of those people waiting to make them a firm choice were waiting for that university to make an offer!).
They might hold back some accommodation but not in all halls, and your choice is limited the later you leave it - Nottingham, for example, allows you to book your actual room in a flat, so often people book the flat together - all of the self catering flats were booked within 2 weeks of accom opening last year - I know because I had a conversation with them when they opened their accom at end of March....about what happened if my son came in as an insurance student (answer you will have to choose from whatever is left from people who didn’t make their firm offer grades!)

They guarantee you 1st year accom if you firm, and will do their utmost if you are insurance but the guarantee was only for firm.
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vicvic38
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I personally accepted my offers as soon as all of them had come in, but that was only because I ended up waiting ages for Durham to reply, and I'd already had my Oxford offer, so I was certain on my two choices for a few weeks before I could make a choice.

However, I do agree that unless you are absolutely certain you should hold off for a bit and decide once you are more sure.
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JJSJ125
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This is a great question. I definitely understand the urge to just put it behind you to focus on exams -- it's weighing on me too.

Today I read these posts from the experts above and decided I'd look up when the accommodation applications open for my first choice and that date is April 2. So I've set that date as my goal. Coincidentally I'll hear from my last application/acceptance (I am American) on April 1, so I'll give myself 24 hrs to consider that offer if I get it, and then finalize.
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dj_ad_1
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yeah im thinking of firming mine in april after ive visited all the offer holder days for my unis and then making a final decision a week before the deadline in may.
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Martin.w19
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(Original post by Law-yer)
So, I am asking The Student Room to help me.
1) When is the ideal time to have chosen the firm and the insurance?
2) What deadline should a I set myself , do you suggest?
3) When did you make the final choice during your own application cycle?
Well my story is that im a mature student of 27 living in Durham (UK). When I applied for uni, i already knew where I wanted to be which is Teeside, I was not sure what course i wanted to apply for but looked at it from a logical point of view. I applied for courses I thought I would enjoy and also knew the industry demand for the type of course i wanted to go for.

Using that logic allowed me to decided, i was advised to apply for mutiple universitys as there was a chance that Teesside might reject my application.

once I recieved my offers back (Considtional for all) i than began my research into the courses themselves and made an informed decision based on the level of course work that is required to be done each year, what the course would cover and what conditions I needed to meet.

Thankfully Teeside has pulled through for me and made my firm and inssurance choices based on the reasons as stated above. Teeside have only asked me for 112 UCAS points at DMM grade which I've been working my ass off to achieve and can now thankfully say i have got there.

my advice to anyone reading this is, don't let others tell you what to do but only allow them to advise you (its your future after all), choose a choice that have high industrial demand, not only could you be looking at a good payrate per year but you also have the skills an employer is looking for when you graduate and have a high chance is getting a job that you enjoy faster.
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Brutal Bee
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(Original post by Martin.w19)
Well my story is that im a mature student of 27 living in Durham (UK). When I applied for uni, i already knew where I wanted to be which is Teeside, I was not sure what course i wanted to apply for but looked at it from a logical point of view. I applied for courses I thought I would enjoy and also knew the industry demand for the type of course i wanted to go for.

Using that logic allowed me to decided, i was advised to apply for mutiple universitys as there was a chance that Teesside might reject my application.

once I recieved my offers back (Considtional for all) i than began my research into the courses themselves and made an informed decision based on the level of course work that is required to be done each year, what the course would cover and what conditions I needed to meet.

Thankfully Teeside has pulled through for me and made my firm and inssurance choices based on the reasons as stated above. Teeside have only asked me for 112 UCAS points at DMM grade which I've been working my ass off to achieve and can now thankfully say i have got there.

my advice to anyone reading this is, don't let others tell you what to do but only allow them to advise you (its your future after all), choose a choice that have high industrial demand, not only could you be looking at a good payrate per year but you also have the skills an employer is looking for when you graduate and have a high chance is getting a job that you enjoy faster.
Thank you for your post. I am really so happy that there is finally someone on TSR from Durham.

Do you mind sharing a little bit (anything) about your city or Durham university (if you ever considered it or have visited it)?
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Martin.w19
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(Original post by Law-yer)
Thank you for your post. I am really so happy that there is finally someone on TSR from Durham.

Do you mind sharing a little bit (anything) about your city or Durham university (if you ever considered it or have visited it)?
Durham university is limited on the courses that is provids for my area of interest which is computers and networks, i never considered Durham because of this reason so looked towards Teeside and Sunderland.

in regards to visiting the uni, I actualy work in the city and can tell you that Durham has turned into one big uni in regards to how much development of accomidations and buildings they have either upgraded or demolished and rebuilt. the student night life is always obvious with the amount of young people hitting the pubs and clubs on a night. during the day there are many students arround the city going abut their daily lifes, this is due the the fact that Durham Uni (from what i have seen) has multiple diffrent buildings located arround the city.
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Martin.w19
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(Original post by Martin.w19)
Durham university is limited on the courses that is provids for my area of interest which is computers and networks, i never considered Durham because of this reason so looked towards Teeside and Sunderland.

in regards to visiting the uni, I actualy work in the city and can tell you that Durham has turned into one big uni in regards to how much development of accomidations and buildings they have either upgraded or demolished and rebuilt. the student night life is always obvious with the amount of young people hitting the pubs and clubs on a night. during the day there are many students arround the city going abut their daily lifes, this is due the the fact that Durham Uni (from what i have seen) has multiple diffrent buildings located arround the city.
the city itself i would say is limted. there are many pubs, clubs and a small amount of restarunts, but in regaurds to shops there is a retail park located 10 minuets bus ride from the city of 30 minuets walk with excellent bus routes to the retail park. the city is limted in what it can provide, once you have seen the castle theres not much more to actually see unless you have your own transport.

Durham is made up of a large county which spands arround 25 sqaure miles with multiple villiages and a small city no bigger than 3 miles wide
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