Why Missing the University Application Deadline Could Be a Good Thing


If you’re applying for 2016 entry into university then you’ll know that the application deadline is 15th January 2016.

Many schools and colleges encourage their students to get their applications in well before the deadline – and if you’re applying to Oxford or Cambridge your application deadline date was in October 2015.

However, there are some positives to applying later or in fact not applying for 2016 university entry at all…

Here are five reasons why missing the UCAS deadline could be a good thing:

#1 – You’ll have more time to write a great personal statement

If you still want to go to university in 2016, but for one reason or another missed the deadline, or you’re now going to wait until 2017 to apply – this could be great in terms of your personal statement.

Think about all the extra time you’ll have to do relevant volunteering and/or work experience to really make your personal statement stand out.

Your personal statement could be the key to getting into university, particularly if you’re applying late when places will be limited, so having plenty to say is vital.

Read more tips for the perfect personal statement in our dedicated Personal Statements section.

#2 – You’ll have more time to consider your options

For those of you that were still completely undecided about which course or university were right for you, then you’ll have more time to consider your options.

This could mean still applying for 2016 entry by the 30th June or it could mean waiting until 2017 to submit your application.

This scenario is especially helpful if you were feeling pressured by your family, friends, or school to apply this year but you didn’t want to make the wrong decision.

Waiting another year before submitting your application gives you plenty of time to carefully research your options and visit universities to discover which course is right for you.

You can use our University Guides section to compare the universities that you might be interested in.

#3 – You’ll have time for a gap year

No one said that college courses and university applications were easy and sometimes it’s nice to take a break from education before going to university for another three or four years of intensive study.

However, use your gap year wisely and take the time to gain relevant skills, knowledge, and experience for your future university course and career.

Here are our tips for Applying to University After a Gap Year if you’re considering taking time out of education.

#4 – You’ll have longer to save money

Going to university and living independently for the first time can be an expensive thing. Depending on the course you take you could find yourself with hundreds of pounds worth of equipment and/or books to buy.

To fund this many students have a part-time job throughout their time at university. However, some students think that this distracts them from their course and takes up valuable study time.

Having a year between college and university gives you a chance to get a job and save some money so that you might not need to work during term time.

If you know which career path you want to follow you could try getting a job in that industry to gain relevant experience before applying for university. Alternatively, there’s nothing wrong with getting a job just to be able to save money and have a few drinks at the weekend.

Take a look at our Student Budgeting and Finance section to get an idea of the costs of being at university.

#5 – You’ll be more mature when you start university

Not all of us are 18 going on 38 and you might just not feel mature enough to be going to university straight from college.

Waiting until 2017 to apply gives you the chance to mature and learn some valuable life skills before moving away to live independently. University and living away from home can be a steep learning curve and not everyone feels that they’re prepared for it when the university application deadline rolls around.

After all, knowing how to cook a few decent meals, how to make a solid budget, and who to call when you’ve got no electricity is no bad thing!

When you are ready to go to university – check out our Student Advice Centre for helpful articles on topics such as budgeting and financial planning, student health, and student housing hints and tips.