Off To Uni : After Applying

If you've kept up to date with my Off To Uni series (if you haven't you can read all of the Off To Uni posts here) you will know my last couple of posts have been all about the applying process so to follow on from that todays post is going to be all about the aftermath of applying and getting offers and making your firm and insurance choices. This is where it all begins to feel really real!

After you submit your UCAS application its all a bit of a waiting game whereby you can put your head down, get engrossed with school work and just pray your offers come in. Some peoples offers can come in really early and others can take months to come. Don't worry if they do take a while as every university is different and every course is different. Some courses/universities require you to have an interview/audition before they give you an offer. If this is the case you usually can hear back from them quite quickly to give you an interview/audition date and then its just waiting again to see if they've offered you a place. I was fortunate enough to not have to have any interviews and was just waiting on offers. I got most of my offers back quite quickly. My first offer I received the day after submitting my application and my last offer I received in January before the application deadline. I was very fortunate to have gotten five offers however, I know many who were not as lucky. Don't be disheartened if you don't get all your offers or if you get declined from all your choices as it isn't the end of the world. You just need to keep telling yourself it was obviously not meant to be and you can still go to university through the clearing process. As I did not go through this I cannot describe the process all that well so if you are intrigued you can check out this post here.

Anyway, if you receive an offer you will either get an unconditional or conditional offer. Unconditional means that you are into that university, doesn't matter what grades you have and you definitely have a place there in the following September. Whereas a conditional offer means you have a place on the condition on receiving certain grades. The majority of applicants receive a conditional offer hence the importance of a-levels and results day.

Once you get all of your decisions through this is when the hard work starts. When you get an offer they will state what you need to get to turn the offer into an unconditional offer. Most of these are their typical entry requirements for the course but some are tailored to the grades you got in AS. For example I know two people who applied to the same course at the same university, they both got conditional offers but one was for the grades AAB and the other ABB. So if you do apply to a university with higher entry requirements than your target grades theres still hope they could accept you. Once you get your offers it soon comes down to you on making your firm and insurance choices.   You don't have to make these straight away and again you have a deadline to make your decision. This is usually in May.

To help make your decision the universities usually push for you to choose to go to their university, this can be through sending you emails, post and other forms of social media. You also get invited to attend 'applicant days' some universities do this better than others. University of Liverpool's applicant day, in my opinion, was really good. The day was well planned out, you got to meet a lot of students already on the course and ask questions as well as having a run through of the course again and then prospective students were taken off on their own for a mock tutorial to talk about a case which they had set us to read beforehand. It gave a real feel the university as well as a good chance to meet prospective class mates. You also could look around the accommodation again. But in my opinion they were there to help and any question was never too big or too small. It was the perfect day and completely sold me on that becoming my first choice. However, Oxford Brookes was basically another open day, which was fine but as I had already been there done that it seemed to be a waste of a day as I didn't feel like I had learnt anything new or taken anything away from it. Despite choosing this to be insurance choice the building itself sold it to me for than the applicant day. I was lucky to already have in mind what I wanted my firm and insurance choices to be so after visiting Oxford Brookes for the second time I made my insurance and firm decisions that night.

Making your firm and insurance choices is a big decision as it is essentially deciding your future more so than when you first applied, you are narrowing it down to two universities. There are a few things to keep in mind when making these though. Be Realistic its easy to say 'oh I really like that university' and whatnot but can you achieve the grades? You need to think this through. Your insurance choice should be of a lower entry requirement than your first as like its called its your insurance for if you fail to meet the requirements of your firm choice and if its higher than your firm and you get rejected from there there is little chance your insurance will then accept you if it is of a higher entry requirement. So just think logically and realistically. Also make sure this decision is yours I know a lot of people who have decided to make their decisions based on what their parents want or what they think will please them or based on what works for their partners. 

Again I hope this post is helping you and feel free to ask me any questions on any of the social media I link below. The next post is all about applying for your student loan, so make sure to come back to check that one out!

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