The ball is finally in your court.
This month you’ll probably be getting some offers from universities. You may have some already. It can be exciting — like getting several Valentine’s cards all at once.
It can also be unnerving: frantically hitting refresh on the UCAS website for hours on end and feeling like the only Valentine you’ll get might be from your mum.
It doesn’t have to be stressful though. If you haven’t heard back yet, calm down. Unis are supposed to let you know by March 31st, though they may take a little bit longer in some cases. Delay is not necessarily a bad sign.
You don’t have to tell UCAS what you want to do until May 5th, so if you've got offers, don’t rush. That said, like all deadlines it’s probably better to know what you’re doing as far in advance as possible. Once you have made your choices, whatever they are, let UCAS know.
An Extra option: If you don’t get any offers from universities or you’re having second thoughts about the subjects you’ve applied for, you don’t necessarily have to wait another year to go again.
By registering with UCAS Extra you can apply to courses that still have spaces left. The choice will be more limited, so only pick a course through Extra if it’s something that you really want to do.
It might make more sense to re-apply next year, rather than study a course you don’t want to, just for the sake of it. If that might be something you’re considering, have a look at our Gap Year section for loads of info on making the most of a year out.
Making the call: Once all your offers are in, UCAS will send you a summary and ask you to accept two offers (one firm and one insurance) and reject the rest. Don’t worry, they won’t be offended.
A firm acceptance should be your dream uni, the place you’ll be happy to call home if your grades meet what they’ve offered.
Your insurance choice should be a course and university that you’d still be very happy with, but — and this is important, so listen up — it should be asking for lower grades.
It's just in case your exams don’t go the way you hope.
Are grades everything? Just because a degree has high grade requirements, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily better or the perfect course for you.
If there is a course that you want, at a uni that you’ll love, then put it as your firm option.
LUCY HARDING is the Editorial manager for Push. She is an English Literature grad and an MA Publishing student at UCL. She is passionate about international relations and cultural diversity, having worked closely with her university’s Erasmus society to support European students. She also spent a year abroad studying at California State University: Long Beach
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