Every student applying to uni is very familiar with UCAS and the UCAS website. Many students make their five choices and start receiving offers soon afterwards. But what happens if you don’t get any offers, or if you don’t like the offers you end up with? What then?
That’s where UCAS Extra comes in. You only need it if you have applied to your choices and end up without an offer around the end of February. UCAS Extra opens then and carries on accepting applications until June 30th, the final deadline for all UCAS applications for university entry the following September/October.
It’s important to realise that UCAS Extra is nothing to do with clearing – clearing opens at the end of July and runs through into early September and is usually used by students who do not get the grades they need to have their original offers confirmed.
You need to look at your UCAS track screen. If you become eligible, a button will appear on your track screen to let you know. You then have to start the application process again by choosing a course and a university. The UCAS website course search will show which courses are still available – your choices may be more restricted than first time around.
Once you have settled on a course and a university, it makes sense to get in touch with the university direct to make sure that they are still able to accept your application and consider you for a place.
If all looks OK, you then make your application through UCAS – not direct to the university. UCAS sends the application on and you then need to wait. You cannot change a UCAS Extra choice for three weeks (21 days) after it’s gone into the UCAS system. Note that the universities you apply to through UCAS Extra will be able to see which universities you originally applied for.
You can only make one UCAS Extra application at once – you don’t make five choices again. If all goes well, after 3-4 weeks, you should receive an offer, conditional on your exam results in the summer.
If the university you have chosen does not make you an offer, or the offer they do make is not to your liking, you can then go through the UCAS Extra process again. The only limit to the number of times you can do this is time – you need to wait 21 days each time and, eventually, you will run up against the June 30th UCAS deadline.
If you get to July and you don’t have an offer, don’t panic. This does not mean that you won’t be going to university. You need to keep calm and be persistent. Clearing opens at the beginning of July and runs on through results day in August and beyond. Thousands of students find their university place through clearing and are very pleased with their final destination.