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Key Dates 2014 Ucas Personal Statement

1. How long does it take for my welcome letter to come?

It really depends on where you're applying from. Once the application has been sent to Ucas, it can take around 24-48 hours to process. Once processed, the letter will be generated and sent. This can take two to three working days to be received if being sent in the UK, but up to 21 days if being sent overseas

2. How much does the application cost?

The application fee is £12 for a single choice and £23 for two to five choices.

3. When is the best time to apply?

In short, the best time to apply is by the deadline for your course! For most courses, the deadline will be January 15, 2013. However courses such as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine/science had a deadline of October 15, 2012, as did all applications for the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge. There are also some art and design courses which have a deadline of March 24, 2013.

4. How many times should I redraft my personal statement?

There isn't going to be a magic number with this but the key will be getting other people to read it and have their input as part of the redrafting process. Don't forget that your personal statement will be seen by a number of admissions staff during the application process, so it's a good idea to get teachers, parents and friends to have a look over it and offer their thoughts on what you've written.

5. When is the soonest/latest I will receive an offer?

This really will vary depending on the university/college and individual courses. Some universities may make all their decisions at the same time and others may stagger them throughout the year. Or it can be the case that individual faculties within a university may make decisions at different times.

The way in which universities make their decisions is explained in more depth in the UCAS Advisers' blog.

However, if you apply by the January 15 deadline, the latest a university can make a decision is May 9, 2013.

6. When will I hear from courses I applied to before the October 15 deadline? Shouldn't I have already heard?

As above, a decision can be made at any time up until May 9, 2013. In terms of hearing back about an interview, this will vary depending on the university and course. If you're worried that you've not heard back then get in touch with your university for an update on the status of the application.

7. What are the best times/dates to check my Ucas Track for updates? (i.e. When is it most often updated – ever in the middle of the night?)

Track will update throughout the day as and when universities process their decisions. In the majority of cases, Track will update immediately following a university decision. However, depending on the internal systems being used by some universities, the update may happen overnight.

8. Are there any subjects or universities which are particularly fast/slow to respond?

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9. Many of my friends already have offers – does that mean there are fewer places left for me?

No. Universities may make decisions at different points throughout the year, so if some friends have already had offers it doesn't mean that an offer wouldn't be made to you at a later date. Also, it's important not to think that one offer being made represents one university place no longer available. Many universities will make more offers than there are places available because they know that not all offers will result in a confirmed place. This can be for various reasons such as not meeting the conditions of the offer, only being accepted as an insurance choice or the offer being declined by an applicant.

10. Can I still change my choices if I've applied?

Yes. You can substitute a university choice within seven days of the date on your original Welcome letter by going to the Choices section of Track and clicking on 'Substitute Choice'. Outside of the seven days, it's not possible to do this.

If you wish to change a course choice but remain with the same university, you should speak to them directly about whether they'd be willing to change this for you. There's no seven-day window in this case but any change would be at the university's discretion.

University application: students' top 10 questions

Ucas expert: university application dos and don'ts

Ucas guide to the personal statement

Try the Telegraph's interactive University Course Finder

Mid-September 2017 - University applications can be submitted through UCAS.

You should already be thinking about your personal statement - check out our writing guide and personal statement examples if you're stuck.

15th October 2017 - Deadline for applications for Oxbridge and Medical, Veterinary Medicine/Science and Dentistry applications (including non UK/EU applicants).

15th January 2018 - Deadline for receipt at UCAS of all applications, including the UCAS reference, for all courses except those with a 15 October deadline, and Art & Design courses with a 24 March deadline. 

25th February 2018 - UCAS Extra opens. If you are eligible to use Extra, you can refer yourself to another choice. Find out more about UCAS Extra.

24th March 2018 - Deadline for receipt at UCAS of all applications, including the reference, for some Art & Design courses except those listed with a 15 January deadline.

31st March 2018 - Date universities will usually have made a decision about your application if you sent it before the 15th January deadline (although this may take longer in some cases.)

2nd May 2018 - The date you need to make a decision on your firm and insurance choice if all your universities responded by the 31st March deadline. If UCAS do not receive your responses, they will decline offers on your behalf.

3rd May 2018 - If you applied by 15th January, universities and colleges need to send their decisions by this date. If they don't, UCAS will make any outstanding choices unsuccessful on their behalf.

7th June 2018 - The date you need to make a decision on your firm and insurance choice if all your decisions are received by 3rd May 2018.

21st June 2018 - If UCAS receive all decisions from your universities or colleges by 7th June, you need to reply to any offers by this date (unless you are applying through Extra). If UCAS don't receive your replies, they will decline the offers on your behalf.

30th June 2018 - Applications received after 30 June are entered in to Clearing.

4th July 2018 - UCAS Extra closes.

5th July 2018 - UCAS Clearing Opens.

5th July 2018 - International Baccalaureate results are published.

12th July 2018 - If you applied by 30th June and are waiting for decisions, universities and colleges need to send UCAS their decisions by this date. If they don't, UCAS will make any outstanding choices unsuccessful on their behalf.

19th July 2018 - If UCAS receive all decisions from your universities/colleges by 12 July, you need to reply to any offers by this date (this includes if you are applying through Extra).  If UCAS don't receive your replies, they will decline your offers on your behalf.

7th August 2018 - SQA Results Day. Start of Scottish Clearing vacancy information service.

16th August 2018 - A Level Results Day; full Clearing vacancy information available. Adjustment opens.

31st August 2018 - Adjustment closes.

20th September 2018 - The last date UCAS will accept applications for courses starting in 2017.

30th September 2018 - The Clearing vacancy search is closed after this date. You should contact universities direct to discuss vacancies. Clearing choices can still be added in UCAS Track.

23rd October 2018 - This is the last date to add a Clearing choice. This is also the last date a university or college can accept an applicant in Clearing.

If you've got the place you hoped for it's a good time to sort out your accommodation, finances and other things you might want to take to university.

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