How to Make the Most of the UCAS Extra Period

Applied to start university in September? Maybe you’re not sure about your current situation and feel like a second chance at making a different decision could be great right now. The January deadline has passed, but that isn’t necessarily the end of the story.

UCAS Extra, which runs from 25 February to 4 July, is the official process for those applicants made five initial choices, but have not received any offers from universities, or for those who have declined the offers they have received. It allows a second chance at gaining a university offer by adding an extra choice, but there are some conditions to how UCAS Extra works which you should be aware of.

  • Universities have until May to make an offer, so don’t give up on your current options too quickly if you haven’t received a reply just yet.

  • Which? University advise that the best thing to do is head to UCAS Track. “If you’re eligible for UCAS Extra, an ‘Add an Extra Choice’ option will appear on your screen which you can use to apply for a course. You’ll be able to see available courses in UCAS’ course search.

  • UCAS Extra does not require any additional charge.

  • You could, if you wish, cancel any outstanding applications in Track which will make you eligible for Extra. But remember, if you decline your offers and add an Extra choice, you cannot accept any of your initial choices after this or reinstate those options later on.

  • Always do your research. UCAS Extra allows only one extra choice at a time, so do some digging and look at different universities and courses on offer.

  • Universities have 21 days to reply to your UCAS Extra application, then after this deadline you can add a different choice. After this deadline, universities are still able to give you an offer, but it’s up to you if you decide to apply elsewhere at this point.

  • Not all universities have UCAS Extra places. If the course has places available through UCAS Extra, there will be a grey ‘X’ next to the subject in the UCAS Course Search.

  • You cannot change your personal statement, so if you feel that you want to apply to a different type of course through Extra, it is best to contact the university and speak with their admissions team to talk through your decision. You can, if you think it would be beneficial, offer to send an updated personal statement relevant to your new subject choice and to strengthen your application.

  • Accepting a UCAS Extra offer is just as much a commitment to the university as it would be if you accepted an initial offer. You may be offered a place on the course if you meet the conditions of the offer on Results Day in August. If not, you can be entered into Clearing.

  • Consider your subject choice, your qualifications and the university you have applied to. It’s a great time to reconsider and have a serious think about your university career and what you want to achieve and gain from your journey.
  • Speaking to a career advisors at your school, a personal tutor, family member or carer may be a good way of talking through your options. Find the person who you can trust to give you honest advice.
  • Many universities offer open days, campus days or course taster days during this period so you can gain a real understanding of what your university experience could be like.

If you don’t manage to find the course for you through UCAS Extra, don’t panic – there’s still time and lots of universities offer places through the Clearing process which opens on 5 July.