No UCAS offers? What now?

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No UCAS offers? What now?

If you find yourself with no university offers, don’t panic! There are still lots of options and routes open to you.


But first...

Please make sure you’ve received a reply from all of the universities you’ve applied to, before making any decisions!

Even if you’ve had an ‘unsuccessful’ response(s) from your top choice(s), wait to hear back from your other choices before taking any action. If you withdraw a choice, it won’t be available to you again later, so take your time to consider your options and only do this if you are sure.


UCAS Extra

If you haven’t received any offers – or you want to decline all your offers – you can apply to one ‘Extra’ course through UCAS Extra. UCAS Extra is available between late February and early July.

You can use UCAS Extra multiple times, but you can only select one new choice at a time. If you receive an offer from your new university, you need to either accept it as your firm choice or decline it. If you decline it, you can then add another option (as long as it’s not after 30th June).

If you did not use all your UCAS choices in your initial application, you don't need to use UCAS Extra, you can just sign in to your UCAS Hub and add another choice (as long as it’s before 30th June, and you’ve not accepted or declined any offers).

Not sure if you are eligible to use UCAS Extra? If the service is available to you, it'll show up as a button when you sign in to your UCAS Hub.

Find out more about UCAS Extra here.


UCAS Clearing

UCAS Clearing matches applicants to university places that are yet to be filled, and runs from early July to late October. 

It is open to anyone who has made a UCAS Undergraduate application and doesn’t hold any offers, as well as those who want to apply after the 30th June deadline. 

You can search from courses available in Clearing using the UCAS Clearing Search function (available on the UCAS website when Clearing starts).

After you’ve found a course you are interested in, give the university a call to make sure you meet the entry requirements and they still have vacancies. You can find contact details for the university’s Admissions office on the university website, or by looking for the course using the UCAS search tool and clicking on ‘Provider information’. Make sure you have your UCAS Personal ID and Clearing number to hand so they can look you up – you’ll find these in your UCAS Hub (once Clearing has started). If they offer you a place and you want to accept it, add the Clearing choice on your UCAS Hub.

Find out more about UCAS Clearing here.


Top tip for UCAS Extra and Clearing: Make sure to carefully consider courses available in UCAS Extra and Clearing before applying! Do you really want to study the course? Does it match your interests and/or career aspirations? How does it compare to other options available to you, including any alternative routes into your original choice(s)?


Gap Year

There are lots of reasons why you may choose to take a gap year, including opportunities to travel, volunteer, work, learn new skills and consider your options.

Some of the advantages of taking a gap year are:

  • Taking time out could help you reflect and refocus on what you want to do  
  • Working could allow you to get some money behind you for studying in the future
  • Opportunities to strengthen future applications through work experience, volunteering and skills development
  • It will help broaden your horizons especially if you decide to travel and live abroad  

You may find this blog comparing taking a gap year to using Clearing useful.


Alternative Routes to a Degree

There are lots of alternative routes into many careers, including apprenticeships and studying at college.

If you prefer learning in a more practical way, an apprenticeship might be worth exploring. Explore modern and graduate apprenticeships, and how to apply here.

There are also a range of options at college which include higher education college qualifications, and routes into university. Check out our blog on college routes to a degree for more information!

Top tip: Colleges typically open for applications between October and January and places can fill up quickly, so be sure to research and apply for college courses as soon as you can so you don’t miss out!


Got questions? Would it help to talk through your options? Don’t hesitate to contact the LEAPS team – we are here to help!