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Quick Question - UCAS

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NotAGolf, 6 Oct 2009.

  1. NotAGolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,448

    Location: Moving...

    Just a quick question on behalf of my brother who's applying to uni.

    I understand the process works by first choosing at most 5 universities to apply to. They will then either accept or reject you. From those that accept you, you can choose 2 offers; a firm offer (i.e. your first choice) and an insurance offer (i.e. your backup).

    That I understand.

    But my question relates to the insurance offer. Is there any disadvantage of picking your most 'likely' university as an insurance offer, and putting a 'bonus' university as your first choice? (If that makes any sense:confused:)

    For example,

    Say he is likely to get 300 ucas points. 1 university requires 340, but 1 requires 280. He would put the 340 uni as his firm, even though he's unlikely to get it, but he puts the 280 as his insurance offer, even though this is the most probably outcome.

    Is there any disadvantage of being accepted by your insurance offer? For example, are you less likely to be chosen because they were only his insurance choice, or perhaps they're over-subscribed so only take those who applied with that uni as a firm choice?

    Obviously there's the risk of mssing out completely but that's ok.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. topgun06


    Joined: 24 Mar 2006

    Posts: 8,904

    My understanding is that it doesn't matter. Surely you get the decision of which uni you would like to go to. So if he is accepted by both unis he can choose, irrespective of which is firm or insurance, if that's what he wishes to do.

  3. Phog


    Joined: 8 Mar 2004

    Posts: 3,187

    Location: Central London

    I believe by putting some universities as the insurance choice, it changes things a little with regards to halls. But most of the time this is where halls places are quite limited (e.g. at Royal Holloway). You can always call them up and ask though.
  4. Kenai


    Joined: 5 Apr 2009

    Posts: 20,287

    This - some universities will not guarantee accomodation to anyone but 'first choice' applicants.
  5. Adrianr


    Joined: 3 Feb 2008

    Posts: 5,452

    No risk if going Route A. All applications are sent to Universities at the same time and none know what choice they were on your list.

    If applying via Route B Ucas will only send your offer to your first choice. If they reject, it will then be sent to your second. With courses such as those at University of the Arts London, by the time the time for second stage applications comes all the places are already gone. In this instance it's wise to put where you think you're likely to actually get into as your first choice. If it's anywhere good they should be able to get rid of all places via first choice route B. If it's not anywhere good, well, why pay £3.3k a year to be there!
  6. NotAGolf

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 22 Oct 2005

    Posts: 2,448

    Location: Moving...

    Thanks for the replies.

    That definetly rings a bell actually, I think they had that when I went to Reading.

    Is that the only case for all universities, or is it just some? Would there be any way to find out beforehand?
  7. Kenai


    Joined: 5 Apr 2009

    Posts: 20,287

    When I applied they were fairly up front about it, but it's worth checking with a phone call really.