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Are Uni offers made on a first come first served basis?

(32 Posts)
amumthatcares Fri 30-Nov-12 17:13:27

DD submitted her completed UCAS application & fee to school on 26th October and it still hasn't been sent off. We were led to believe that they would be processed, the teacher reference added and sent off in order that they were submitted to the school. I do appreciate the school has hundreds to deal with but DD is aware of students that have submitted theirs since her and theirs have been processed and sent off in one day. I am not a happy mummy right now and have telephoned the school to tell them so!! DD's concern (and I don't know the answer) is that the Uni's make offers as applications come in and so by the time the latter ones arrive all the spaces will have been offered. Is this the case?

FestiveWench Sat 01-Dec-12 23:55:48

And to emphasise the point about the difference between offers and places...

A typical ruled of thumb might be that a course would make 3 offers for every place on the basis that one of these would go elsewhere and one would miss the offer. Obviously the actual numbers depends on the popularity of the uni and the difficulty of the offer.

None of this is an exact science. Admissions tutors do their best make an appropriate number of offers but some years the course will have more students the the target and some years they will have fewer. But without a crystal ball we can't know exactly how many students will accept and meet our offers. And we are very unpopular with the admin staff she we get it wrong and admit too many students smile

amumthatcares Sun 02-Dec-12 18:23:03

Thank you for all the replies. My line of thought was the same as that of amillion but I can now see how the system works as a rule with all of the various explanations smile

iamapushymum Thu 13-Dec-12 10:14:01

so what happens, come teh following autumn, if a course ends up with 3 x as many students as it has places for ?

LondonMother Thu 13-Dec-12 12:44:19

Not really likely, iamapushymum.

1. The best candidates will be getting 4 or 5 offers from 5 applications, in many subjects. They can only firmly accept one and that has to be done by ?Easter time. I suppose it's then that the university might realise that they have 3 times the number of firm acceptances as they have places, but my hunch would be this doesn't often happen.

2. Even if they had massively more acceptances than places, come results day some candidates won't meet the entry criteria and others will change their plans and defer or turn the place down. Universities will know from experience how many they are likely to lose for these reasons and will have factored that in at the offer stage.

3. Insurance offers are a complicating factor as if a candidate doesn't get into her/his firm choice but does meet the conditions of the insurance offer, the insurance place is contractually bound to take the student, if I understand this correctly. My hunch (again) would be that the kind of massively oversubscribed courses we're talking about would mostly be accepted as firm offers rather than insurance offers, so there won't be that many insurance offers to factor in.

I'd be interested to hear from people who know what they're talking about if my hunches are anywhere near the true position!

titchy Thu 13-Dec-12 12:49:05

It is just as you say londonmonther smile

IF a course does over-recruit, the institution just has to suck it up and deal with it.

LondonMother Thu 13-Dec-12 16:08:45

smile Titchy!

FestiveWench Thu 13-Dec-12 16:15:52

Yup. We suck it up.
And the admissions tutor responsible has to hide from the admin staff who have to deal with the increased numbers for the next three years smile

Worst I've done is been 15 students over target for a 140 student course.

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