Some 30,395 people secured university places in 2016 despite applying after UCAS’ October, January and March deadlines, figures from the admissions service show.
The number of successful applicants who chose to apply only by the 30 June ‘late’ deadline which doesn’t guarantee their application will be considered, have increased by 25% over the last five years.
Simon Jones, Coventry University’s Deputy Director of Admissions, said students were ‘more aware of the strength of their positon in a competitive higher education market’, while universities were increasing keen to recruit strong applicants throughout the year.
15 October is the deadline for applying to Oxford and Cambridge, plus all medicine, veterinary and dentistry courses. 15 January is the ‘on time’ deadline for most courses and universities, with 24 March the deadline for some art and design courses.
People are applying later in the year after taking more time to decide what they want to study and research their choices. These students are empowered and know they are making a long-term financial commitment
30 June is the final deadline for making five choices on the UCAS form, and while these will still be sent to universities, there is no guarantee of consideration at this point. Nevertheless, with applicant numbers static, universities are increasingly keen to accept applications sent at all points in the cycle.
Simon Jones added: “We now have thousands of applications coming in after the January deadline but before the final cut off for making five choices comes in mid-June. People are applying later in the year after taking more time to decide what they want to study and research their choices. These students are empowered and know they are making a long-term financial commitment.
“With a falling population of 18-year-olds in the UK, universities are working hard to recruit strong applicants from a pool that isn’t getting bigger. There are also many cases of older people considering a career change, and they won’t necessarily be in line with the same deadlines that schools and colleges work towards.”
Number of accepted students who applied to UK universities by UCAS’ 15 October, 15 January or 24 March deadlines (cumulative total, 2012 to 2016 cycles; figures do not include Clearing acceptances)
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
468,365 465,320 450,285 432,880 411,065
Number of accepted students who applied after October/January/March deadlines but before UCAS’ 30 June ‘final’ deadline for making university choices (cumulative total, 2012 to 2016 cycles; figures do not include Clearing acceptances)