I am 100% happy to admit that my UCAS application was submitted two months late and that I hadn’t even considered applying until two weeks before that. After a disastrous AS Results Day, I had sworn off higher education. I shut myself off from any conversation about personal statements, references, and predicted grades, and let the deadline pass.
Over a month later, year 13 parents evening took place. The Director of Sixth Form took the opportunity to suggest that I submitted a late application in the interest of keeping my options open – there was always a possibility that I’d open my envelope in August and wish I’d applied. Even if I didn’t get any offers, having an open UCAS application would make a world of difference in trying to secure a place through clearing. I took the advice, and maintain that it is one of the best decisions I have made to date.
If you find yourself in this position, UCAS Extra is the best tool you’ll have at your disposal. Extra is aimed at applicants who have been rejected by or have declined all five universities on their original UCAS application, but it’s incredibly useful in this situation too. Once I’d decided on my course, I checked which universities were advertising on Extra – this usually indicates that they still have spaces that they are willing to allocate. To be certain, I contacted the admissions departments of my five choices, and all five confirmed that they would consider a late application.
With my choices settled, the hard work began. I’d already waited far too long, so the remainder of the process had to move as quickly as possible. I started working on my personal statement, and my Director of Sixth Form began writing a reference. A couple of friends and relatives let me have a look at their personal statements, allowing me to get a feel for what I should be including. I decided to take the opportunity to showcase my ability to think critically about texts from different periods, linking this to texts found on the A-Level syllabus. I had a total of five drafts – with feedback from two members of staff – and by the time I was happy with it, my Director of Sixth Form had completed my reference. All that was left to do was compile everything and finally submit on March 15th.
I had an offer a day later. I received all five offers, two of which were unconditional despite my late application.
It’s been just over a week since the 2018 deadline. If you’re wishing you’d applied, it’s not too late to give it a go.