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What to do if you miss the UCAS deadline

Missed the UCAS deadline? Once you’ve been told off by your teachers and got an “I’m not angry, just disappointed” speech from your parents, here’s what to do next.

Eleanor Foulds
by Eleanor Foulds
Last Updated:
19 Dec 2022

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So you missed the UCAS deadline huh? Despite all the nagging and reminding at school, at home, on social media, by us and your dedicated phone reminders, you realise you didn't send your uni application and the 25 January has passed. Here’s what you need to do.

Don't panic

Although the UCAS deadline has passed, it’s not actually too late to send in your application. The universities haven’t locked their admissions doors shut to applications just yet, in fact, they only stop accepting applications completely in June. So you can still send in your application now and be considered for a uni place.

Of course just because you have until June doesn’t mean you should wait until June to send it, (have you learnt nothing from missing the January deadline!)? The sooner you send your application the better. It's worth noting that applications sent after 30 June will then be entered for Clearing  and the competition for places is real during this time. 

Finish your application

If your application isn’t finished, it’s time to get it done. Not thinking about getting it done, not talking about getting it done, actually getting it done.

If you’re currently looking at a completely blank page with no clue where to start, then we’ve got a range of tips especially for you. These include how to write a winning personal statement and common mistakes to avoid. Although granted, you may need to speed up the last one slightly!

If you’re in the drafts stage, we’d recommend heading towards our checklist and making sure you delete anything that might raise the admissions teams' eyebrows.

Talk to someone

If you’ve fallen behind on your application, then it might be a good idea to talk to your school careers advisor, your form tutor or a teacher you feel you can talk to the best. They’ll be able to give you advice on the next steps and ensure you’re keeping up with your uni prep.

It’s also a good idea to show them your uni application as even though you’re running late, a quick proofread doesn’t take long and could mean the difference between getting accepted and "we’ll get back to you".

We’d also recommend you talk to the university you’re thinking of applying for. They might be able to give you some useful advice and steer you on the right track.

Send your application

Once you’ve written your application, checked it, had someone else look over it and you’re happy with it, it’s time to send it. Immediately.

Not after the next Netflix episode, not after you’ve finished chatting on the phone, straight away.

Breathe a sigh of relief

You’ve sent your uni application. It’s fine. Your dreams of university aren’t over like you thought they were. Everything is fine.

Be better organised next time

Everyone makes mistakes, and we can guarantee there are thousands of other students who missed the UCAS deadline and spent hours panicking about it.

But now you know what to do, and are (hopefully) closer to sending your application at this point. So try and use this as a lesson to help you get organised for uni. Just think of the reduced amount of nagging and disapproved looks you’ll get at home and in school if this didn’t happen again.


Top tips for filling in your UCAS form

How to write a winning personal statement

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