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Post-Ucas deadline: five things to do next

So you've submitted your Ucas application, but that doesn't mean your application journey is over.

It can feel like a long wait between submitting your application and hearing back from the universities. But there's lots you can do to make sure you're in the best position possible when the offers do start coming in – here's how to get prepared for what happens next. 

1. Be ready to respond to offers

At some point, you'll start hearing back from universities – when this happens will vary as they all have different resources and methods of dealing with incoming applications, and some courses will receive more applications than others.  

Either way, it makes sense to start thinking about any standouts that you're really hoping for an offer from to make your first and insurance choices.

While you wait, brush up on the different university offers you may receive so you know what they mean and can make a smart decision. 

2. Prepare for interviews

You might be asked to attend an interview as part of your application to a university; if so, start your prep as soon as possible. You'll find that certain universities and subjects are more likely to require interviews than others. 

Feeling nervous? Pick up some tips on getting ready for a university interview.

If you're applying for an art or design-based course, you'll likely have to provide a portfolio of your work and present this during an interview.

3. Visit again to be sure

Hopefully you've had a chance to head to a few open days before making your five course choices. A second visit can help to confirm your feelings about a particular university, give you the chance to ask some new questions or just refresh your memory.

You can also use it to explore the local area and student hangouts to decide whether you can imagine yourself living there for three years. Does that city and location have what you're looking for, whether it's an active nightlife or good transport links to home? If you're not sure what to look for in a uni city, read our guide.

You don't necessarily have to wait for an official open day, either. Feel free to make your own trip – though if you want to see certain areas on campus, the university may need some notice so they can accommodate you.

And if you still have any unanswered questions about specific universities or courses, our sister site The Student Room has dedicated university forums and course forums

4. Sort out student finance

There's actually no need to wait to hear back from universities to apply for student finance, so get this out the way to ensure your first payment hits your bank account in time for the start of term. Find out what you'll pay in tuition fees and what financial support there is for you to apply for (plus the deadline to get yours in time for when you go).

You could also start putting together a rough budget plan, thinking about your likely income and outgoings once September rolls around. Doing this now will help with planning things like whether you'll need to take on part-time work before and/or during university and any extra funding you should seek out. 

5. Think about student accommodation

Get your priorities straight when it comes to student accommodation. Is there a maximum number of students you want to live with? Are you after catered or self-catered accommodation? Is an en-suite bathroom an absolute essential, or something you can live without?

Keep your expectations realistic and in line with both your budget and what your preferred universities have to offer. 

Most unis allocate accommodation on a first-come, first-served basis, so get your application in early. Ideally you'll have seen (or can plan to see) accommodation at open days or via online tours, to get a proper feel of the different living options available.

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