What Happens Next?
The first thing to happen after you have submitted your application to UCAS is the arrival of a Welcome Letter confirming the courses and universities you have chosen.
- It is important to check this carefully to ensure there is no mistakes.
- Keep your application number safe as you will probably need it later.
- The Welcome Letter will also include your application number and your password for Track, the online system for following the progress of your application. You can opt to have all communications sent to you by email rather than the post.
Then there is nothing to do but wait and focus on your exams.
- Universities are increasingly aware that applicants don't like to be kept hanging around so you may find some decisions arriving fairly soon.
- If your application arrived at UCAS close to the main deadline (around 50 per cent of applications are submitted in the final six weeks before the deadline) it can take several weeks before you begin to receive correspondence from the universities, as they cope with the post-Christmas back-log.
All being well, particularly if you have chosen your universities carefully, you will receive several offers.
You can hold onto any offer you receive until all your chosen universities have made their decisions and then you have to choose which ones you want to accept. When any decisions do arrive, they will be one of the following:
- Unconditional Offer (U): This means you have already met all the entry requirements for the course.
- Conditional Offer (C): This means the university will accept you if you meet certain additional requirements, usually specified grades in the examinations you will be taking.
- Rejection (R): This means that either you have not got, and are unlikely to get, some key requirement for the course or that you have lost out in the competition with other applicants.
If you receive an offer, you will almost certainly be invited to visit the university concerned.
- This is a good chance to find out much more about the course and university than you can through reading prospectuses and looking at websites.
- Bear in mind that the occasion is designed to encourage you to accept the offer as well as to give you the opportunity to find out more.
- So, just like reading prospectuses and looking at the website, be critical of what you are told and look for evidence of any claims that are made.
Remember that you are investing a lot of time and money into this very important decision.
Next page: An Interview?