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UCAS information for Uni applications

There are six steps to follow when you’re looking to get a university or college, read below on how to apply with UCAS
You usually apply in the academic year before you plan to go to college. The earliest you can submit a finished application is the September before you want to start your course (unless you are applying to defer your place until the following year).
If you haven’t done your exams by this stage, your application will be based on the grades your teachers or lecturers predict you will achieve.
To have the best chance of getting on the course you want, you’ll usually need to submit your application by 15 January. But in some cases the deadline will be earlier or later than this.

Make sure you’re familiar with the relevant deadlines, and start preparing your application well in advance.
Once you’ve applied to UCAS, your application gets passed to the institutions you've chosen.
Each university or college has its own application procedure. Some may ask you to come for interview and you may also be asked to take a test.
Others may offer you a place based on the information on your application.
Once you've made your UCAS application, you can apply for financial help as soon as student finance applications open. You don't need to wait for an offer.
To find out how much you could get - and how to apply online - see the 'Student finance' section.
If you submit your UCAS application by the 15 January deadline, you will usually receive offers from your universities by the end of March - although for popular courses, you may not hear until May.
If you get an offer from a place you haven’t visited, an open day could help you decide whether you want to study there.
If you don't get an offer
If you don’t get an offer from the universities or colleges on your list, or you turn down or cancel your choices, the UCAS Extra service could give you a second chance to secure a place.
Extra operates from the end of February until the end of June. To be eligible, you must have already used all five of your choices. UCAS will let you know if the Extra service is open to you.
If you don’t get an offer through Extra, you can go through the Clearing system, where universities and colleges advertise late course vacancies.
Offers will either be conditional (dependent on getting certain grades on your current course) or unconditional (if you already have the qualifications required).
If you haven’t done your exams yet, you can accept one offer firmly and another as an ‘insurance’ back-up.
If you get the grades you need for a conditional offer, your university or college will confirm your place. UCAS will send you a formal letter of confirmation.
If you don't get the grades you need for a conditional offer, your university or college may not be able to confirm your offer. If this happens, your insurance choice may accept you. If not, then you have another chance to get a place through the Clearing system.

Most Clearing activity takes place after the A level and Scottish Higher results come out in August and goes on until mid-September. It's the time when universities and colleges advertise outstanding course vacancies in the national press and on the UCAS website.
UCAS will let you know if you are eligible for Clearing. Over 30,000 students find places this way each year.