Those applying for the majority of undergraduate university courses need to do so before the annual UCAS deadline. If you still haven’t finished yours, follow these seven steps to make sure you meet the deadline.
1. Register with UCAS
It sounds obvious, but it’s essential.
It only takes 15 minutes to register with UCAS at www.ucas.com, when the website will ask you for personal details, an email address and your school or college’s ‘buzzword’ which identifies them.
2. Arrange your reference
If you’re applying through your school, the UCAS application deadline might be even earlier than listed on UCAS – some schools do this so applicants have time to sort out and add a reference.
If you’re not applying through your school, you will need to enter the details of a school, or individual, who will provide a reference for you. They are then sent a link and password by UCAS, in order to can confirm their identity and write the reference.
Make sure they let you know once they've added their reference, so you can then finish and send off the form.
3. If in doubt, call UCAS
If there's a section you're struggling with, check the UCAS website for answers and if you’re still not sure, call them directly. On application weekend UCAS usually extends it Undergraduate phoneline opening hours. On the Friday it is usually open from 9am to 7pm, on the Saturday from 9am to 4pm and on Sunday from 10am to 6pm. The number to call is 0371 468 0 468.
4. Don’t waste time over the student finance section
Leave the student finance part of the application blank if you’re running short on time – it’s only there to speed up the process by passing your details on if you’re planning on claiming a student loan or grant: you can still apply for student finance up to nine months after the start of the academic year.
Check out our University funding: grants and bursaries article too, you never know what you might be eligible for.
Leave the student finance part of the application blank if you’re running short on time – it’s only there to speed up the process by passing your details on if you’re planning on claiming a student loan or grant: You can still apply for student finance up to nine months after the start of the academic year.
5. Get someone to check your application
Your application should include your full education history and details of any paid work, as well as a personal statement.
It’s a big and important document, so before sending it off, get someone else to check it for typos and grammatical errors.
6. Pay the fee
If applying through a school, you should have been told how to pay. If applying as an individual, you’ll need to pay online, once the reference has been added. You can then submit your form.
7. And if you completely miss the deadline?
Don’t panic: there are still courses you can apply for. Start contacting the universities you’re interested in and ask if they will accept a late application.
We’ve put together a handy What to do if you miss the UCAS deadline article, to take you through all the options.