University applications when students are taking a gap year

(8 Posts)
LondonMother Mon 10-Jun-13 21:13:37

I think there's a great deal to be said for applying post A level. The stress of hanging on waiting for the outcome of your applications is considerable at a time when there's already plenty of stress from workload, mocks etc. It can be a very drawn out process. My son's UCAS application went in early in October. He got two offers the following week and an invitation to interview a few weeks later. The fourth place sent him a questionnaire a bit later in the year and the fifth didn't finally get round to processing his application until March. As you can't accept an offer as your firm choice until you've had responses from all five of your choices this was extremely frustrating for me because I am the most impatient person who has ever lived.

creamteas Mon 10-Jun-13 20:50:30

If you just miss your grades you might be still offered the place, but there are no guarantees.

If you don't get offered a place, you can look for other universities during a process called Clearing (see UCAS website).

Or you can resit your A levels, or reapply to different universities the following year.

zamantha Mon 10-Jun-13 20:35:15

All very helpful info. Thank you.

If you don't get grades first time - will universities expect you to reapply - how does that work>?

eatyourveg Wed 15-May-13 20:42:32

ds is on a gap year - he applied during his last year at school along with his peers. When the results came out, his firm choice emailed to say do you want to accept, decline or defer the offer, so he deferred. It was a last minute decision and his application was originally to go straight from school. I would imagine not all unis would let you defer at the last minute but his did so he was lucky, he didn't even have to write a letter to explain why

Several of his friends took took planned gap years. (There is a box on the ucas form to tick which year you are applying for) Most had already got places confirmed before setting off on their travels but a couple have applied this year whilst on their year out and some others who missed out on their firm choice and had changed their mind about their insurance, withdrew and started again this year and have taken a couple of resits in the interim

Its swings and roundabouts which is best, if you apply once you have your grades will you have to delay travelling to attend an interview or if you apply before the grades and miss a grade do you go through clearing, get a place then set off or do you hang around and apply again before setting off

Kez100 Wed 15-May-13 19:53:41

Thanks everyone.

It is in the arts and generally relatively low entry academic requirements (which she hopes to exceed by a very long way) but acceptance onto the courses she is looking at is very, very reliant on portfolio and interview. I should have said that (I just thought they all interviewed still!).

You are right in terms of the actual course though. There are so many available and it is so practical, she really wants to pick the right course to fit her strengths and that certainly might change during the gap.

creamteas Wed 15-May-13 18:39:34

Yes, you can apply for deferred entry. But do check as some courses/universities don't encourage this.

But personally, I would say, just to apply the year after.

Applying after A levels is a lot better in many ways. First, you know your grades so can ensure you are applying for the right entry level. Second, you have a lot more time to think about it, so you get the right decision. Also quite often gap year experiences, lead to change in what you want to study. About 1/5 of our deferred entries change for for one reason or another.

Very few universities interview now anyway (except in certain subjects like medicine, art etc) so that should not be a problem. We only interview students with non-standard qualifications. We also use Skype if travelling is difficult.

boomting Wed 15-May-13 18:30:35

Yes, you can apply like that - it's called deferred entry and is done trough UCAS (there's a bit on there where you say what year you want to start)

Kez100 Wed 15-May-13 17:32:39

My DD is due to finish level 3 next year, in summer 2014. She has already started to look for Universities and the normal routine would be to start looking around summer/autumn of 2013, interviews 2014 for a September 2014 start at University.

Now, she has an idea for a gap year. If she goes on it, she would want to still stick with the above regime if she is allowed to because she will be in the UK this year and able to attend interviews etc whereas, the following year, she would be away.

Is it possible to apply for Universities a year in advance like this? Know you have a place lined up for when you get back?

The gap year is a great idea for her which completely fits in with her University course choice, so she might also, possibly, be able to use it as part of her personal statement to help indicate her passion for the subject.

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