What to do if you missed the UCAS application deadline

There are numerous reasons that could have caused you to miss the UCAS application deadline – delays with references, indecision or even a technology fail. It’s not ideal, but all is not lost. Which? University offers advice to late university applicants.

The 6pm deadline is looming this Sunday (15 January) for students to submit their application, with up to five university course choices, with UCAS. But if, for whatever reason, you miss the all-important cut-off, there are still options open to you to get to university in 2017.

1. Submit a late application. UCAS will process late applications received after 6pm on Sunday 15 January – up until the end of June, in fact. But there are no guarantees universities will give equal consideration to your application. So while you’ll probably lose out on a place on a competitive course which receives more applications than places available, other courses may still consider you in the mix. Contact universities directly to find out if they will accept you.

2. Get an Extra chance. The UCAS Extra scheme opens in February for applicants who aren’t holding any offers from universities. You can only apply for one course, so take time over your decision. According to UCAS, around 7,500 applicants were successfully accepted on to a course this way last year.

3. There’s always Clearing. UCAS Clearing, best known for those who miss out on places on exam results day, is also a route to university for those who missed the January deadline. Running from July to September, when empty spaces on various courses across universities in the UK are up for grabs, you can find a course – and get in early if you’re not waiting on your results – on a first come, first served basis. 14,900 students applied directly to Clearing and found a place last year.

Which? University’s UCAS application advice hub is packed with practical pointers and insider tips from universities on how to navigate the application maze, including next steps for late applicants as well as those now awaiting or weighing up offers from applied-for choices.

Alex Hayman of Which? University said:

“Getting a strong application in before that all-important 15 January deadline is the best way to maximise your chances of gaining an offer from your first-choice university course. But if you do miss the deadline, it’s not necessarily game over until 2018. Depending on the course and university, an admissions tutor may still be prepared to consider your application, so contact them directly to assess your chances and consider the other options available through UCAS.” 

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