What is UCAS Extra?
UCAS Extra is a way of applying to additional Universities or different subjects
BUT ONLY IF
You have either received no offers from your original five choices.
If you have changed your mind about the course/subject you wish to study and intend to decline all offers/choices you have.
Read the following section about eligibility carefully.
Am I eligible for Extra?
You will be eligible for Extra only if:
- You have used all five of your choices; and
- You have had ALL unsuccessful offers (rejections) - or have formally withdrawn from any Offers you did receive ; or
- You have cancelled your outstanding choices and hold no offers; or
- You have received decisions from all five choices and have declined all offers made to you.
If you are a late applicant and/or you have not used up all five of your choices, the Extra listings are a useful resource in identifying possibilities, but you add your choices to Track in the normal way and you are not an Extra applicant. This means that the timescale of a 21 day turn-around does not apply to you; it also means that you do get to pick a Firm and Insurance.
When can I apply through Extra?
The Extra process runs only from the last week of February to early July. This year, UCAS Extra runs from 25 February 2014 to 2 July 2014. Remember that you can't use Extra unless you hold no offers, so you can only apply after you have declined all that you did receive, and/or withdrawn from any choices for which you haven't had a decision. If you are not sure how to do that, contact UCAS.
Your eligibility for Extra will show up on your Track.
How does Extra work?
The UCAS site has a good video showing how to use Extra.
Do I have to apply to the same course?
No. If you've changed your mind since you first applied, you can apply to a different course from the one you first chose. Many people will only make minor adjustments to their subject choice, like changing from joint to single honours or vice versa, but if you want to apply for a completely different subject then you can. Remember however that not all courses will come up in Extra - medicine and dentistry are good examples of those that never do - so your options will be limited to a greater or lesser extent depending on which course and which unis you have in mind.
However, as well as being able to see your original uni/course choices, unis will also be able to see the original personal statement you sent with your UCAS application. If you are making a significant change to your course choice, that personal statement will not be relevant. It's therefore a good idea to write a new personal statement covering why you want to do this new course, and anything you've done to ensure that this is the right choice for you. You can also include details of your results from January exams if you did any, or any additional work experience you might have done more recently. You will need to send this directly to the university you want to apply to, as you cannot change your personal statement on UCAS. Make sure you contact the uni - by phone or by email - before sending this new personal statement. Check that they will consider it, and ask them how and where they would like you to send it.
How many choices can I make?
You can only apply to one place at a time. If you don't get an offer, or if you don't want to take up that offer, you can then apply to a further choice as long as you do so by 2 July. You can have as many choices as you can fit in the time limit, as long as you choose only one at a time, but you can't retrieve any offers you have declined, and a choice once made cannot be changed before 21 days have elapsed if no decision has been posted by the uni.
Please note that after 21 days have passed since you sent an Extra application, Track comes up with an 'Add Extra Choice' button. This will not simply add another choice, it will replace your current one if you are still awaiting a reply - so if you use it, your previous application through Extra will be cancelled. This may take a few days to work through the system, and the result could be that an offer comes through but you no longer have the mechanism by which to accept it! So be very sure of what you're doing before committing yourself.
Remember - if you apply through Extra, you will only have a Firm choice. You will not have an Insurance choice. So make very certain that any choice you make is achievable as you will have no automatic back-up if you don't achieve the required grades.
Do universities reduce the entry requirements for applicants through Extra?
No. As an Extra applicant you will be expected to be able to offer grades and qualifications that match the standard entry requirements. If in doubt about whether you do, this is something to check when you contact the uni.
A uni that rejected me is in Extra. Can I apply again?
There would be no point; they have already considered your application and decided against you. If they have places in Extra it's because they are still looking for applicants that meet their normal entry requirements (which are likely to be more than just grades).
Things to think about
If you previously received no offers
Try to think about why this might have been. You might want to contact the unis and see if they have any feedback for you. Did you aim too high? Are you sure the subject is right for you? Can you do any additional work experience? Have another look at your personal statement. If you now realise that your personal statement could have let you down, take the opportunity to check whether the university you are applying to through Extra will consider an updated version.
Don't just apply to the same standard of university with an unchanged application, as you may be unsuccessful again.
If you have changed your mind
Not that long ago, you were convinced that the course and universities that you applied to last time were the right choices for you. Why have you changed your mind? Are you sure that this new course/university is for you, and have you done additional research into this?
If you are applying for a new course, you may be able to send a new personal statement directly to the university you choose to apply to. Make sure you ask them first though, either by phone or email.
When it's gone, it's gone
Once you've declined offers to go through Extra, you can't retrieve them, even if you don't get an offer from your Extra choice/s. This is why you need to be absolutely sure of what you are doing before declining anything.
For many people it is a better strategy to apply again through UCAS for the next year's entry. You will have known grades and a more realistic idea of which Unis to apply to, and/or a clearer idea of a more appropriate subject to apply for.
Not happy with the offers you have and think you might do 'better'?
Declining offers you have in the hope of getting something 'better' through Extra is a very high risk strategy and not recommended. An option introduced in 2009 for people who exceeded their offer conditions (though very few people actually use it) is that of Adjustment. This does not carry any risk to the offers you already have - but also there are no guarantees that you will be able to get a place at your preferred university.
How do I apply?
How can I see which courses have vacancies?
Always, always check that a Uni is still accepting applications for the course you are interested in before applying. If they are not, you will get a straight Rejection and this just wastes time and risks all Extra places at other Unis being gone before you even apply to them.
You can search the UCAS site for vacancies. You do this in the same way as a normal UCAS Course Search. Run the search and then click on the Applying through Extra filter on the left of the results. Note that this is only possible once Extra has started. Remember that what is on offer will change daily. Don't assume that you can apply in a few days time and that that course will still be open.
If you're not quite sure whether to keep your current offers or decline them for something through Extra, you can see the vacancies first. However, it is essential to check with the university that there really are vacancies if the listing surprises you (eg History V100 at York, or Exeter; Economics L101 at LSE) as the system is that all courses are listed in Extra unless the uni tells UCAS the course is full. Sometimes delays in updating this information (not necessarily UCAS's fault!) mean that you get some unexpected listings in the first day or two.
**** NEVER decline any offer you already have without being absolutely certain that another Uni will accept your application through Extra.
**** ALWAYS remember that even if a Uni says they are 'interested in your application', this is not a guarantee of an offer, so declining offers you have already got is not without risk!'
Contacting the university
Once you've found a course that you want to apply to, don't just go ahead and send your application. Contact the university first to check that they still have spaces and will consider you. You could do this by email, but it's probably quicker to phone them. Ask to speak to the admissions tutor for the subject; if for any reason you can't talk to the admissions tutor then ask for their direct email address. Don't just email their general enquiries address.
Before you contact the uni, it would be a good idea to plan what you want to say. Read through your personal statement, and maybe have a copy in front of you. This is your chance to make a good impression, and a little bit of enthusiasm will go a long way. Briefly mention your grades, experience and anything else you consider relevant. You really need to try and sell yourself! If you are changing your course choice, you need to mention that you have written a new personal statement, and ask them how they would like you to send it to them.
If they say that they have spaces and will consider you, then it's time to make that choice on Track.
Sending the UCAS application
You should apply directly through UCAS Track.
You should only contact UCAS by phone if you have any technical problems.
To enter you Extra choice, you'll need the institution details and course code, as well as any additional details such as campus code that might be required.
PS. Many people have reported error messages when changing things on UCAS Track using alternative browsers like Safari; if this happens try using Internet Explorer to see if that resolves the issue. Also be aware that the UCAS site is likely to be slower than usual when Extra first opens - just be patient and wait until the site is less busy, ie. after midnight or early the next morning.
GOOD LUCK !