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					St Nicholas Catholic High

    Parents Information Evening
        Thursday 30th June
  Student Finance         The UCAS Process

       Jo McNiel
University of Liverpool       Mr T Bradley
  Schools and Colleges       Head of Year 13
     Relations Team         UCAS Coordinator
For electronic copies of the

University Challenge
Universities in the UK
What is UCAS?
 ‘UCAS’ stands for the Universities and Colleges
  Admissions Service
 It is an administrative service that deals with
  applications for admission to most courses of
  higher education
 The UCAS procedures are designed to give:
     1. Applicants the ability to make choices of
        course and institution
     2. Universities & colleges (Institutions) the ability
        to select their students using whatever criteria
        and selection methods they favour
UCAS does NOT….
 Recruit on the behalf of institutions

 Advise applicants about their choice of
The Bad News
 Number of Universities?
   304
 Number of Students applying?
   2009 – 633,592
   2010 – 688,310
   2011 – over 700,000

 MASSIVE competition for places
Recent Trends
The competition so far in 2011
Where to start…6 steps to Uni
Step 1: Choosing a course
 Speak to staff here
 What interests the student?
 What qualifications do they have/are
 Are there are any specific
  requirements for career ambition e.g.
UCAS Website
 Covers all courses at all universities
 Several different search filters
 Many universities have “entry profile”
   Where to go?
   What to study?
   What are they looking for?
   When do I start?
   Which is the best University?
Top 10 Queries
Social Media
   UCAStv
   Yougo
   Official UCAS Facebook Page
UCAS on Facebook
If you are a number cruncher
If you are still not sure…
The UCAS Tariff
 Some Institutions make offers based on Points rather
  than Grades

 Grades at AS and A2 are „worth‟ different numbers of

 This system allows more flexibility in the combination
  of subjects and of different levels of study

 However institutions may still require that a minimum
  number of points are derived from A2 and/or from
  particular subjects
AS   A-Level   Double Award   Points
                   AA         240
                   AB         220
                   BB         200
                   BC         180
                   CC         160
                   CD         140
       A           DD         120
       B           DE         100
       C           EE          80
A      D                       60
B                              50
C      E                       40
D                              30
E                              20
Before applying
 Students should ensure that they will have the appropriate
  qualifications for the courses they wish to apply for

     Are they studying the correct subjects at the
      required level?
     Do they need any work experience?

 At the earliest opportunity, they should check with their
  subject teachers whether they are on target to achieve the
  required grades. It is essential that applications are realistic.
Some Courses:
 Have far more applicants than places
 Interview before making a decision
 Require specific work experience
 Require particular combinations of A-
  level subjects
 Do not accept particular types of A-
  level or A-level subjects
“It‟s good to talk”
 Never under-estimate
  the power of a phone
 Universities have been
  known to keep a
  record of who has
  made the effort to
  make an enquiry
 You could talk to
  admissions, or the
  lecturers themselves.
Step 2: The Application Process
 Only source of information is the
  UCAS application form
     Personal Details
     Additional Information
     Choices
     Employment
     Personal Statement
     Reference
Personal Statement
 The personal statement occupies 47 lines (4000 characters)
  on the UCAS form
 It is the student’s opportunity to sell themselves to the
 It tells the institution about the student as a person, rather
  than just outlining academic achievements
 The aim of an impressive personal statement is to make the
  application stand out from the thousands of others received
 Admissions tutors are likely to spend less than 5 minutes per
  application. The personal statement is crucial.
Look for clues in the “entry profile”
The Reference
 This is compiled by the Y13 tutor
 It is based on comments provided by
  subject tutors who have worked with the
  student throughout AS
 The reference includes information about
  the student‟s personal qualities, attendance
  and suitability for the course as well as past
  and potential academic achievement
 Tutors will endeavour to match references
  to personal statements where possible –
  hence internal deadlines.
Predicted Grades
 Subject tutors who have been working with the student at AS
  level will predict the grade that they are most likely to achieve
  at A2

 This information is entered on to the UCAS form by the school

 Y13 form tutors have access to the predicted grades from mid
  September and will discuss these with the student

 Before choosing courses, students must ensure that they are
  on target to achieve the required grades
Predicted Grades
Subject tutors base their predicted grades on:

 The standard of the student‟s classwork, homework,
  coursework and test results throughout AS

 The student‟s level of application and their attendance

 The tutor‟s own knowledge of the demands of the A2
  course and the achievement of previous students
Predicted Grades
 Predicted grades are non negotiable
  and students should not approach
  subject tutors directly with requests
  for change

 In some circumstances the Y13 form
  tutor may be asked to confirm the
  grade with a subject tutor
Submitting The Application
 Once the student has completed their part
  of the form they click on „Send to Referee‟
 The form is then checked carefully and may
  be returned to the student with corrections
 The reference is then added and checked
  before submission to UCAS
 The student should allow time for this
  process. Their application will not go to
  UCAS immediately when they click „send‟
The Application Process
 The application will be made on-line
 Applications can be submitted from mid
  September 2011 – but can be prepared
  much earlier
 Applications involving Cambridge, Oxford,
  Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Science
  must be made before 15th October 2011
In School
 Students may choose up to 5 courses and
  institutions (4 only for Medicine, Dentistry or
  Veterinary Science)
 Institutions are placed on the form in alphabetical
  order (not order of preference)
 Personal details, education and the personal
  statement are entered and sent to the referee
 Checks are done and any correction made
 The referee completes the form & forwards it to
UCAS Administration Fee
 For 2012 entry, the administration
  fee will be £22.00
 This should be paid to school who will
  receive a bill from UCAS
 An application will not be submitted
  to UCAS until payment has been
  made to the school
After Submission
 UCAS acknowledges receiving the form &
  sends the student a personal application
  number and Username that gives access to
 Copies of the form are sent to the 5 chosen

 Institutions cannot see where else a
  student has applied
UCAS Track can be used to …
 Follow the progress of the application
 Change the postal/e-mail address or
  „phone number
 Make additional choices (if a student
  has not already made 5)
 Apply for other courses in ‘Extra’
 Reply to offers
 Withdraw the application
Step 3: Getting Offers
 An admissions tutor will initially make
  one of three decisions:
     Unconditional offer
     Conditional offer
     Unsuccessful
 Or recommend
     A place on an alternative course (CC)
Replying to offers
 With the last decision, UCAS will send:
      A statement of all the decisions
      A reply slip
      An explanatory leaflet

 Track should be used to reply to each offer
  in one of the following ways:
   (F) Firm acceptance
   (I) Insurance acceptance
   (D) Decline
 Operates from February to July
 Course vacancies are listed on the UCAS

 Applicants eligible for Extra must have:
      Used all 5 choices
      All choices unsuccessful, declined or withdrawn
 Through EXTRA, the student contacts
  institutions with vacancies, one at a time

 Institutions have 15 days to consider the
 If the student then accepts a conditional
  offer, it is treated in the same way as
  through the main system
 If the student is unsuccessful repeatedly, they can
  continue to make other applications, time
 Information on vacancies is available on the
  UCAS web site but, after so many rejections…….
 ……..they should reconsider their choice of
  course – are they applying for the right thing?
 The clearing system operates from July to
 It provides an opportunity for applicants without
  an offer to apply for suitable courses where there
  are vacancies

 Students normally enter the Clearing process
  following A-Level Results when they have not
  achieved the grades or points required for either
  their Firm or Insurance conditional offers
 To be placed through the Clearing process, the
  student must this time contact Institutions direct

 Institutions with vacancies can be located via
    The Independent Newspaper

 The student should telephone or e-mail to see
  whether the vacancy still exists and if the
  institution is prepared to accept them
 If a student does significantly better they can keep
  hold of their “Firm” choice for a maximum of 5 days
  whilst looking at other Universities through the
  clearing process.

A student is not eligible to use Adjustment if:

 They are confirmed (UF) at their firm choice but did
  not exceed the conditions of the offer
 They have a confirmed place on a changed course
 Their original offer was unconditional

 You cannot adjust your insurance choice
 If the student does not find a suitable
  place elsewhere they will remain
  accepted at their original choice

 Taking up the opportunity of
  Adjustment does not put their original
  place in jeopardy
Step 4: Results Day
 It is vital that students are at home to
  collect their A-level results in person – they
  may need to take action

 If they achieve the grades required for the
  CF or CI, this will be shown on ‘Track’ and
  they will receive confirmation of the place
  from the institution within a few days
Results Day
 If the student just misses their CF or CI, it is
  important to telephone or e-mail the institution as
  they may still offer them a place

 Contact the CF institution first, as the first choice
  must definitely have rejected them before they
  can negotiate with the second choice
 They should always have their UCAS reference
  number handy in any communication with a
Results Day
 If the student definitely does not have a place,
  they will become eligible for ‘Clearing’

 They should begin the process of checking for
  vacancies and contact institutions

 Be patient, don’t panic – this could take some
  time & lots of phone calls. Some people do not
  find that they have got a place until late
In Summary
 Preparation is the key to success

 The student should be aware of
  opportunities, course requirements
  and of their own probable level of
  achievement before making the
Support in School
   UCAS Convention Liverpool
   UCAS Day
   UCAS Parents‟ Information Evening
   UCAS Guide
   1:1 tutor support throughout the process
   Rigorous application checks
   Reference provision
   Individual support on Results Day and
Who to go to for help
 The Sixth Form Team:
     Mrs Clark, Mr Bradley, Dr Fothergill
     UCAS Coordinator
     Key Stage Leaders
     Form Tutors
 Subject Teachers
 Library staff and resources
 Connexions
Sources of Information
   Family, friends and professionals
   The Stamford Test
   Books and guides
   Open Days
   Taster Courses
   Education Conventions
   Professional Bodies‟ websites
Just in case you missed it at the start

 You can have this presentation sent
  to on request to:
Thank you for listening

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