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Gap year: do you get your place at Uni first, or apply to Uni later?!

(18 Posts)
LemonMousse Sat 07-Sep-13 22:34:22

DS did the gap year and then applied but that was because he was undecided about what to do.

I would say if you know which course you want to do then apply and defer as DS found it quite challenging to complete the application process and personal statement without the support of his 6th form with only his mother to help grin

SlowlorisIncognito Sat 07-Sep-13 21:13:13

It is very likely the school will be happy to support his application in autumn after y13. He will only just have left, so his teachers will still remember him and be able to write a good reference.

There may be some pressure from the school to apply this autumn, particularly if he is a top student, as they may want to list his chosen university as a "leaver's destination".

He could, of course, apply this year, and see if he gets a place he wants, and then, if not, reapply next year, getting 2 shots, so to speak. Most universities are happy to accept reapplicants, especially if they do better than predicted at A2.

creamteas Fri 06-Sep-13 17:04:45

As an admissions tutor I would say apply after A levels every time. When you have your results you know exactly which university to apply to so you don't need to waste a choice or two on insurance places. You are also much more likely to get offers. Applicants with their A levels are always offered places before those with predicted grades!

The only caveat to this is if you are applying to a course which interviews and you won't be in the country!

HorryIsUpduffed Fri 06-Sep-13 16:28:41

I applied for direct entry and was offered a deferred place (I would have been a very young and immature 18 matriculating so it was a brilliant and generous call by the college). I had a working gap year knowing precisely what I was doing afterwards.

My best friend applied and didn't get in, so reapplied with actual results and some relevant work experience during her gap year, and was accepted second time round.

I think there's no harm applying in Y13 with all the support available through college. If you don't get what you want and apply the next year, your earlier application doesn't count against you.

eatyourveg Fri 06-Sep-13 16:05:55

ds1 deferred on the day of his results - took the gap year during which he changed his mind about where he wanted to go. Withdrew from his first place and started the whole thing again with minor adjustments to his personal statement to include his gap year stuff. School were more than happy to help him do it and easily able to re-jig his reference as he had spent a term there as a learning mentor. He goes off in 2 weeks.

OneStepCloser Fri 06-Sep-13 14:08:46

I agree with titchy, gao year and then apply, you know the grades and a year change give different insights as to where and what you are applying for. Your personal statement might be a lot stronger a year later as well.

If a dc has a good relationship with the school or college that they were studying at then they would probably help a year later anyway, you can always ask?

teabagpleb Fri 06-Sep-13 14:07:56

If you know what you want to do, apply and defer, if unsure what course or where to apply, apply after A-level.

titchy Fri 06-Sep-13 13:57:43

I'm going to go against the grain and say do the gap year then apply!

That way when you apply you have your grades which makes you a much better prospect for universities - if your predictions are a bit borderline you may get rejected in favour of a stronger applicant. Which is a bummer if you then go and get the required grades.

Applying a year later with the required grades means they're much more likely to offer you a place as there's no guesswork involved.

Indith Fri 06-Sep-13 13:40:55

You don't need a gap year to get that though smile

HmmmIwonder Fri 06-Sep-13 13:40:55

Indith - that's a key piece of information, thank you very much!

Indith Fri 06-Sep-13 13:40:28

Acceptance is not always jsut about the grades. It depends on what you are applying for of course but universities often want well rounded students. You don't necessarily need to strengthen your application unless applying for something vocational or competitive but having extracurricular activities and other interests is usually a good thing.

Indith Fri 06-Sep-13 13:38:42

There is a box to tick on the form that says you are applying for deferred entry. It is completely accepted.

HmmmIwonder Fri 06-Sep-13 13:38:35

Indith, i like the bit about putting your gap year stuff in your application... but that implies that your course acceptance isn't only on your exam grades, so now i'm worried that applying from school WITHOUT gap year experience is a bad idea because the application needs 'strengthening' !!
But I like the others comments too about school holding your hand through the process and having the place in the bag before you go off .

HmmmIwonder Fri 06-Sep-13 13:33:43

Thanks! blagging involved, then? I mean when you apply, do you say upfront that you don't actually want a place till a year from now? Wouldn't UCAS be in a pickle if everyone did that?
Is it applying under false pretences?

Indith Fri 06-Sep-13 13:32:50

I think there are pluses and minuses for both. If oyu apply at school then you get support and you also have the peace of mind of (hopefully) having a uni place for when you get back from the gap year. It can be a good incentive to come back for some people.

But if you choose to apply after or during the autumn of your gap year then you get to put things you have been doing on your application which may strengthen it depending on your gap year choices. You are also applying with your grades in hand so no guessing, you know which courses you have the grades for so you can narrow your choices and focus which means you can focus your personal statement more too which may increase your chances of getting in.

mumblechum1 Fri 06-Sep-13 13:26:14

Do the former. You can do it later but if you do it while still in 6th form it's easier as the school pretty much guide you through and do a reference etc.

noddyholder Fri 06-Sep-13 13:25:32

Yes apply first and defer

HmmmIwonder Fri 06-Sep-13 13:23:18

Wise MNers, someone out there will know about this!
If you want to take a year out of education but then come back and go to Uni, do you apply to Uni first, for a deferred place, is that possible? Or do you go off and do your gap thing and then have the whole rigmarole of applying for Uni when you get back?
If both are possible, which is better?
Any advice out there?

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