Will submitting an early Ucas application stand in your favour?
If you’re applying to uni, that all-important January Ucas deadline may be permanently lodged in your brain. But submitting your application early may increase your chances of being offered a place…
It really depends on which policy your preferred uni adopts – it could be one of these three:
How universities make offers
1. Immediate offers
The Ucas Apply system opens from mid-September, and some universities will start making offers as soon as they receive applications through – meaning you’ll be competing for fewer places if you’re a later applicant.
2. Wait and see
Other universities, meanwhile, won’t start making offers until after all applications are in, so individual candidates are judged against the wider cohort of applicants.
3. Best of both
Some unis start offering places to applicants as soon they receive applications through, but limit numbers so there’s still a high proportion of places available come January (when the vast majority of students make their application).
Should you submit your application sooner?
It may put you at an advantage to get your Ucas application submitted before January, but only if it fits around everything else going on. Before you send your application off, it's important to be sure that you've found the right course and have a strong personal statement.
Make sure you have a watch of these video tips from uni tutors to find out what a strong application really looks like...
Watch now: How to make your university application stand out
Reasons for getting your Ucas application in early
Despite what you might have heard, submitting your application in October (around the Oxbridge applicant deadline) won’t disadvantage you with other universities.
Reasons for relaxing and applying close to the deadline
You will have more time to decide and hopefully make the right decision about which universities and courses to apply for. It will also give you more time to visit university open days, and brush up your personal statement.
Whatever you do, your school or college may still need a few weeks to process the application anyway, before it is sent off.
As a general rule of thumb, if you know what and where you want to study, try to get your application completed by November or earlier. If you’re unsure, give yourself more thinking space and aim for a later application.
Far better you make the right course choices than just an early one!
And if you do miss the 29 January Ucas application deadline, here are your options.