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Waiting for uni offers: how to keep your head

Our sister site The Student Room explains how to stay cool while waiting for university offers.

With the university application process in full swing, this autumn's would-be freshers are constantly refreshing their email and checking their hub hoping to catch an offer just as it pops into their inbox.

But don't panic if you still haven't heard from the unis you applied to  not everyone gets their offers at the same time. Grace Etheridge, community engagement manager at The Student Room, explains: 

"Offers can come in at different times for different people – some within 24 hours, some months after your application has been submitted!

You may or may not receive an acknowledgement of your application from a university as well – it all depends on how they like to do things, which is different at every institution. Try not to worry too much if it's taking a long time."

Keeping your cool

Even though most unis don't send offers immediately, doubt will inevitably start creeping in the longer you're left waiting:
I applied to Ucas for York, Durham, Sheffield and Queens. I know it hasn't even been two weeks, but I'm getting anxious as I haven't heard back from any of the unis yet. Just wondering has anyone heard back from any of these unis? Sunday2022 | (the Student Room Member)

But don't worry:
Most top unis don't make the bulk of their offers until after the January Ucas deadline and the final offers will not be made until April or May. Hang on in there – an offer is an offer whenever you get it. Mcginger | (the Student Room Member)

Unis have got until May to respond, so don't give up hope too soon.

When you can expect to hear back

Although you might be willing to nibble off your own arm in return for a speedy decision, universities have plenty of time to play with. And it's time they will use.

If your application is submitted by 31 January 2024, you should get a response from each of your selected universities by 16 May 2024 at the very latest. Ucas will automatically show your application as unsuccessful if the uni hasn't responded by then.

Plenty of time left

Being unsure if you'll get the uni offers you want can be stressful, but don't let it get to your head – there's plenty of time still to go. And if the waiting game really is getting to you, take some comfort from the fact that other students are having a similar experience:
They did say it was going to take a while but the wait is crazy. I'm a law applicant to Coventry, Warwick, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. Haven't heard from anyone. Dohrah | (the Student Room Member)

Honestly such a drag. I sent mine a week into December and I haven't heard anything. Losing a ton of motivation. Dontalktome | (the Student Room Member)

I saw someone else say that 'no news is good news'. You may not have any offers yet, but you haven't got any rejections either! You are still in the running. Booklover1313 | (the Student Room Member)

I submitted my application on 22 Jan and so far I've got one offer. But because it's not my first choice I can't seem to stop worrying about it. Good luck to everyone waiting for their offers! Clumsygoat | (the Student Room Member)

I think it’s best not to think about it too much and use this time to focus on the exams, although I am literally also refreshing my email and checking Ucas every two seconds. Hibz_03 | (the Student Room Member)

How are you dealing with the wait? Have your say on the The Student Room's Ucas applications forum.

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