6th form not yet done UCAS reference - normal?

(18 Posts)
BringOnTheScience Thu 06-Dec-18 22:07:19

Is it usual or unusual for the references to not be done yet?

Might DC1 be disadvantaged for a later application? Or do unis wait until after the Jan closing date before making offers?

DC1 is applying to Sheffield, Manchester, Edinburgh, York & Newcastle.


OP’s posts: |
Stopyourhavering64 Fri 07-Dec-18 05:36:27

Don't worry....although some offers will have already been given to those who applied early ( usually as they've also applied to Oxbridge which has earlier closing date ) the majority of offers will not have been made yet
My ds didn't put his form in till very last moment and still got 5 offers....

DangoDays Fri 07-Dec-18 05:58:18

Do you mean she is ready to send but the reference hasn't been done?

If so, I think it should be done within a week of a student being ready to send. I have worked in two sixth forms. In my first it would have been within a day or two following a student sending it but processes were more streamlined there. At my current one no more than a week. Typically references are finalised once personal statements are done so they catch anything the student hasn't mentioned or any gaps.

Longer than a week is unfair. Students get nervous about UCAS and letting it linger is not good enough.

If she has been waiting a while I would get in touch. I wouldn't allow a long wait as it is not good for student mindset.

Hope that helps.

BringOnTheScience Fri 07-Dec-18 08:34:52

Thank you both smile

DC1 has done everything & paid on 21st Nov, so more than 2 weeks ago now. Model student with predictions at & above the typical likely offers. sad

I think I'll draft a "When do you anticipate..." type of email, but i am much reassured that a later application will be OK.

OP’s posts: |
LoniceraJaponica Fri 07-Dec-18 12:22:17

I think a polite reminder to the school would not be uncalled for.

Nettleskeins Fri 07-Dec-18 18:21:01

In ds1's school they did them all at the same time at the end of December, and sent them off in a big batch. tbh although it was a pain, at least by then the predictions slightly improved.. He had offers by the first few days of January so it didn't make any difference in terms of him getting responses.. The head of Sixth form went through them all at once, no mean feat for a school with 150 odd to write references for once the early applications were done in October for Oxbridge and med/vet school.

The only thing was that as an EU student his application to a scottish university was possibly too late, but we will never know whether it would have made a difference. I think the EU quota was "used" up by Dec, and his grades weren't high enough for them to be interested, although I may be wrong. As a UK applicant I think it wouldn't have made a difference to the timing.

Nettleskeins Fri 07-Dec-18 18:25:20

The school did not give us any guidance on this btw, I don't think they realised it would make any difference whether he was EU or UK applicant (he could have been either tbh)


DeltaDelta Fri 07-Dec-18 18:32:32

OP, if it makes you feel any better, DS's school gave a deadline of 1st week in october to submit all PS's. DS submitted on time. UCAS forms for whole school just went off last weekend! in the meantime DS and us all checking UCAS track nearly everyday since october for any update and wondering whats going on when we heard of people getting offers from unis he had applied it. I contacted head of academics to find out why they hadn't submitted and was told, "teachers are busy writing references, so wait". Anyway, finally i was told they all went off last weekend. Within 2 days DS has received 3 offers still awaiting 2.

DH was worried and he too was wondering wether ds would be disadvantaged, "because places must have nearly all gone by now". I don't know how university admissions do it, but it seems they manage to ensure this doesn't happen, so try not to worry too much.

Fantastiqueangel Fri 07-Dec-18 18:39:33

It can be normal. The people writing them are prioritising other jobs as well which may have closer deadlines. It doesn't make any difference to the application and at least the student has it off their back. We may also wait to see if grades can go up a bit.

MarchingFrogs Sat 08-Dec-18 07:53:07

Does having a quota for Scottish / EU students absolve Scottish universities from the UCAS requirement to consider equally all applications received by the relevant deadline?

Stopyourhavering64 Sat 08-Dec-18 09:01:11

We live in Wales and have 2 dcs at Scottish Uni, it has never been an issue regarding deadlines. Both applied by January deadline for UCAS ( dd had applied by October and heard from all Unis by Christmas including 2 in Scotland )
Ds submitted his UCAS form just before Christmas and had heard from all his Unis(including 2 in Scotland) by February
There are some English ( and Welsh and Scottish) Unis who don't send out offers until very late, irrespective of where you live...surely it's more likely to depend on the course and whether it's likely to be popular/oversubscribed

Lemonsole Sat 08-Dec-18 09:09:12

How many students are there in your DD's Sixth Form? If there are more than 300 in each year group, and every student hands in their form in time for the nominal 1 December internal deadline, there will be a longer wait that earlier in the cycle. Each form has to be checked, including qualifications, which takes time. Some will need to be sent back to the student for changes to be made, too.

Expectations need to be managed - although the button says, "Pay and Send", quite a lot needs to happen before the forms leave for Cheltenham. It's not just a case of copying and pasting a reference, and you would be amazed at how many errors can get into a UCAS form, even when students have close guidance throughout. You can lead the horse to water, and all that...

MarchingFrogs Sat 08-Dec-18 09:39:59

Lemonsole, DD and quite a few of her friends were all set to protest en masse to their Head of Sixth Form one day this week that they had 'paid and sent' ages ago and not having their references added etc was causing them stress.

In the event, before they got to him, they discovered that applications had now been completed and sent. However, I did point out to DD that just as she had decided that the date the school had asked them to do their bit by was 'far too early', so, probably had many others. And that that date had probably been set as a time at which the Ho6 had space in his diary for his part in the proceedings and now he was deluged with UCAS things along with everything else that needed to be done now and probably couldn't have been done then instead.

She's pretty grown up in lots of ways, but we still have to remind her, occasionally, to look at things from 'authority's' pov...

Lemonsole Sat 08-Dec-18 10:44:43

The dates are set when they're set, because that is the amount of time that the school/college have calculated they need (plus a buffer) in order to get all the forms checked, processed and sent off in time for the UCAS January deadline. They really shouldn't be stressing about this - if they do, then heaven help them in the summer. Our internal deadline is mid-November, and forms (those not needing any changes, corrections, etc) leave within ten working days of that.

It's a low birth rate year. The universities are fighting for the strong students. She'll get lots of offers, and there is no rhyme or reason to why some departments in some unis give early offers and others do not. They all have their own approaches.

I use the analogy of a plane trip: when they hit "press and send", it's the online check-in. Their form then has to queue for security, before passing into the departure lounge. Check-in to boarding may take time - but that's not a problem in itself.

BringOnTheScience Sat 08-Dec-18 11:28:37

Thank you again everyone.

To answer the Qs - it's small 6th form of ~70 students per year. The individual subject teachers have all written their bits of the reference (I checked at parent consultation), so it's waiting for the reference to be drawn together. The school hadn't set a fixed deadline... maybe they should have!

OP’s posts: |
BringOnTheScience Tue 11-Dec-18 22:35:48

Head of 6th asked DC1 today whether they actually had a certain GCSE. It's the one done a year early. 6th form had no evidence of it - despite DC1 taking the result statement in along with all the others when they registered.
Home, stuck certificate on scanner, emailed to Ho6...
UCAS now says the applications are in! smile

OP’s posts: |
BringOnTheScience Mon 17-Dec-18 20:49:05

Less than a week later - 1st offer received. DC1 says they can now enjoy the run up to Christmas fsmile

OP’s posts: |
Scabetty Mon 17-Dec-18 21:08:07

Well done to dc1 smile

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