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Missed the UCAS deadline? Don't panic...Here's what to do

The UCAS application deadline came and went on Wednesday 25 January with an almost audible sigh coming from students across the country as they completed their submissions in the nick of time. But what if, for whatever reason, you missed it?

By Cara Fielder. Published 27 January 2023.

Well not to worry, you don’t have to wait a whole year before trying again. There are still plenty of things you can do to try and secure a place at university for September. We’ve pulled together a few pointers on what you can do to make sure you don’t miss out on the perfect university place.

Don't Panic

As we all know, panicking isn’t going to help. Plus, you have plenty of time. So there’s no reason to frantically make rash decisions that you may regret later. Take some time to reassess the situation and get your head around what you’re going to do next.

Check with the universities

It could be that your top choices still have some vacancies, so it’s well worth your time giving their admission team a call and finding out if you’re in with a chance of getting a spot. Universities don’t actually stop accepting applications until late June, so find out from the admissions team if there are any places left and what you need to do to grab one.

Finish your application

It might seem like an obvious one, but if you’re still procrastinating over one or two bits of your application then it’s not going to matter whether there are spaces still available on a course. The sooner you make sure you’ve done everything that’s needed to get your application off, the sooner you can send it in. If you’re stuck on any part of your application, check out our guide on writing a successful UCAS application.

Get your UCAS Extra sorted

UCAS Extra basically gives you your second chance to apply. It opens on 23 February 2023 and allows you to apply for as many courses as you’d like, but you can only submit one application at a time. Once you’ve spoken to universities and know which courses are available, be sure to prioritise which ones you want to apply for. And get in there early; the top picks go fast, with thousands of applicants securing places each year.

Beat the queues during Clearing

UCAS Clearing is predominantly used by students who don’t receive the A-level results they needed for their chosen course, meaning very few people bother looking at it until results day in August. Fortunately for those who missed the January application deadline, Clearing actually opens a full month before results day. This gives you plenty of time to get your Clearing applications in before the masses hit the phones in August.

The bottom line is that there’s no need to worry if you missed the submission deadline on 25 January. You’ve still got plenty of time and options available to you to get yourself a place on a course for September.


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