Top Five Factors From Applicants: Choosing a Course

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By this point in time, you would’ve picked the courses that you might probably choose to study. The itty-bitty problem now is trimming that list down even more. Now, how would you do that? We gathered some info from a source and they asked applicants from all over on what factors they considered while choosing their top course choices. Here are the five factors that applicants have used to come up with their chosen course:

  1. Course Content
  • Frankly, course content is the top factor that’s considered by most applicants. At least 73 percent of them said that this was their main concern. They said that the course content must be reviewed at all costs, so that you know if what you’re planning to take up is exactly what you hoped for. If the course content of that subject interests you, then there’s a high amount of chance that you’ll be studying that, for sure.
  1. Overall Academic Reputation
  • It’s fair to say that a lot of the applicants made this matter number two. You wouldn’t want to study in a low-class university, would you? Most of them said that it helps to actually pick a course in a university that is well-known and has built their prestige over a few decades or so. Also, this is an advantage because after graduating, employers give a little more effort on accepting students from these well-known universities. But remember, the university isn’t enough. You must love the subject more than the school.
  1. Employment Rates after Graduation
  • Some applicants already know what they want to aim for after they graduate, so it’s no surprise that almost 66 percent of applicants considered that pursuing a specific vocation because of its employment rate as one of the top factors. For those people who are practical, this is one of the best factors to consider. Graduate employment rates are percentages that tells us how graduates are doing six months after graduating, so it’s a pretty neat factor to bear in mind.
  1. Quality of Academic Facilities
  • 58 percent of applicants said that they must be made available to quality facilities, and that’s why they made it one of the top considerations in choosing their course. Make sure that you check whether your course of choice is provided the quality equipment that you’re aiming for, besides, what’s to learn if you can’t do it practically?
  1. Links between University and Employers
  • The last remaining factor that applicants ever truly gave a care about, is if there’s a connection between their future employers and their university. Again, practicality at its finest. You would want to have an easier way in once you go out of university. And that’s making sure if your university can help you find a job just as easily. Also, universities that are linked to some employers tend to make vocational job students more work-ready. They are training them to be able to stand on their feet, because they’ll be aligning to work already to that particular employer. Oh, and almost 50 percent of the applicants said that this was important.

So, there you have it! Remember, these are from a wide variety of applicants, but you can still find your own considerations. We just hope that we’re able to give you a little insight, and hopefully be able to narrow your list down to two or three priority courses!

University Clearing: When You Didn’t Get Any Offer

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You weren’t able to get an offer from any university or college you applied for? That sucks. It’s maddening to not have been able to get the offer you wanted from the schools you picked for yourself. It might be harsh and a bit disappointing, but there’s still hope! That’s where Clearing comes in!

What is Clearing, anyway? If you were not able to get an offer from any college or university within the application period given, you are then entered to Clearing. This process runs from mid-July to September every year. Clearing helps you get a second chance in your college life (I might be overstating this). It allows you to find another course if: you are flexible enough about the course you want to study, and if you have reasonable exam results.

You can apply through Clearing if: you’ve completed a UCAS application, didn’t get any offers, your offers aren’t confirmed, or you’ve turned down all the offers you got (some are too picky, just joking!). You will automatically be applied into Clearing if you apply late for your course. That is if you applied after June 30.

You can contact universities and colleges regarding courses that still have slots once you’ve got your exam results. Take note: you can only accept one (1) offer. If your place is confirmed by the college or university, you have to accept it and you aren’t able look for another place.

Now that you have a brief idea about Clearing, we’ll guide you through the process on how to do it! First, you need to log in to www.ucas.com (Of course, everyone knows that.).

Once you are able to login, check your ‘Track’ status. You will know if Clearing has started if your Track status says, ‘You’re in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started.’ If your Track status doesn’t say either of the two just yet, the universities/colleges that you applied for might still be considering you. Get in touch with them so that they can update your results.

  1. If you are officially entered to Clearing, here’s what you need to do:
    1. Ask for advice
    – Talk to an adviser at your school, college, or careers office—they can brief you about things regarding Clearing.
  2. See what courses are available
    UCAS.com has the official vacancy list online, and The Telegraph newspaper shows this list too. When browsing through available courses, remember this: consider different subjects, you don’t need to stick with what you had in mind. Also, this list is updated continuously. Just keep coming back to this list, so you get to see what course is full and what course is not!
  3. Talk to any university you’re interested in
    – Contact any university or college you want to go into and give them your Clearing number (which is located on the welcome and choices pages in Track at ucas.com) and also your Personal ID number. That will let them see your application online.
    – Ask if they would accept you once they have seen your application—they might reconsider (maybe even for the exact same course!) even if you applied to that specific university for an offer earlier this year.
    – You may get informal offers over the phone. You can then decide which one you want to accept.
    – It’s best if you can go and look at the university or college that you’re eyeing for, so you’ll get a glimpse of what it’s like to be in there. Most universities and colleges are happy to show you around!
  4. Add a Clearing choice in Track
    – After doing all this, and once you’ve made contact to universities and such, you need to log in again to www.ucas.com, and add a Clearing choice in Track.
    – Once there, click ‘Add Clearing Choice’ and type in the details of the course given to you over the phone by the university/college you called.
    – Doing this would mean that you have accepted the offer, so if that university/college confirmed it, it will show as an acceptance on the choices page of Track and then UCAS.com will send you a confirmation letter.
    – Remember: you can only add one choice at a time. If that choice isn’t confirmed by the university/college, then you may be able to add another.

If you are still unsure yet of what you are going to do, here are some tips and things to remember from Universities about Clearing:

  • Time is on your side
    – Do not rush yourself. Clearing lasts for almost three months, you have plenty of time to decide and re-evaluate choices. Make sure that everything is considered before you make a final decision.
  • Be prepared
    – You only have one chance to make a good impression. So, when you contact those universities, make sure you have the things needed to provide the university once you make the call. Some may only ask for grades, but some are more challenging. The only best thing to do is to not take any chance for mistakes.
  • Get organized
    – Be sure to take note of every name, email, and direct phone numbers just in case you need to do follow-ups. Have everything stacked into place for reference and quick look. You can never be too sure.
  • Remember the Four R’s
    Research: The university, the content of the course, and if you’re eligible for it. There’s absolutely no point in checking a course if you don’t meet its GSCE requirement, right?
    Reasons: As to why you chose that course. What’s the edge of this degree to another? What do you like the sound of in particular? What do you have that can put you ahead of other candidates?
    Rationalize: Be prepared to explain why your grades didn’t meet the mark. Be honest. Be sure to tell them that it won’t happen again.
    Rehearse: What are they likely to ask you, and what are you going to say? Make sure to rehearse almost every possible question that they might throw at you to avoid huge mistakes.

So, there you have it! I hope this quick and easy guide helped you sort out your Clearing problem! Don’t worry, a lot of students are accepted into Clearing. Do not fret if you are in this position, since it is a way to help you find a place for college! Hooray for Clearing!

This or That? Learning to Weigh Offers From Colleges

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Getting accepted in one of your dream schools is a good thing, but what if you’re accepted in all of them? This is the hardest decision that an applicant could ever have during the whole college application process. For some, this is considered a blessing. There isn’t really a bad thing about having too much offers from universities. But what if you become undecided during the very last minute? Then that itself is a problem.

You must first make sure that the schools you applied for are the schools that really got your attention from the very beginning. If you do not know how to pick the right university and/or degree program, feel free to read our previous article: (insert university and program article link here)

College offers are definitely a tricky bunch, and once you get to know them, they won’t bite. What are these offers and how will you prioritize them?

  • Unconditional Offer

Unconditional offers mean that you have already met the requirements for that specific university. See if there’s anything else you need to do to ensure your offer. Getting an unconditional offer means that you are most likely accepted to that particular university. By accepting this offer, you are committing to go to that university or college, thus you cannot make any insurance choices (will explain further later) or be entered into Clearing.

  • Conditional Offer

Conditional offers mean that you need to meet a certain set of requirements to have a confirmed place in that university. These requirements may vary depending on schools, and is usually a combination of grades, scores, or subjects.

  • Unsuccessful or Withdrawn

Unsuccessful applications are applications that were not taken into consideration by the university because you might have missed a deadline, an interview, or you didn’t respond to their emails or letters they sent.

Withdrawn applications means that you or the university has decided to withdraw the offer on that particular course.

 

It’s pretty clear that the first two offers are the only offers that should ever matter to you during the entire application process.

You have three kinds of reply that you can give to universities once you have received a certain offer. These are Firm Acceptance, Insurance Acceptance, and Decline.

  • Firm Acceptance

Firm Acceptance means that the course you tagged it on is your first choice. If you tagged it on your unconditional offer, then the reply becomes Unconditional Firm (UF) which basically means that you committed yourself in this offer and has no plans on taking any other offers. If tagged on a conditional offer, then it becomes Conditional Firm (CF). Also, if this reply is tagged on a conditional offer, you get to pick a second offer—which is your Insurance Acceptance.

 

  • Insurance Acceptance

Insurance Acceptance is your backup plan. This only works if your Firm Acceptance goes to a conditional offer. Usually, when putting Firm Acceptance on conditional offers, you expect that offer to have high offer conditions. Make sure that your second choice has lower offer conditions than your first. Tagging Insurance Acceptance to a conditional offer makes it Conditional Insurance (CI) meaning that if you don’t pass your conditional firm choice and you get to meet the requirements for your CI, you’re in on your second choice. Tagging this reply to an unconditional offer means that if you don’t pass your conditional firm choice, then you’re accepted to your second choice, needing no requirement whatsoever.

 

Once you have picked any of these two from your set of offers, you’ll arrive to the last type of reply you can give to universities—Decline. It is imperative to decline any other offers once you are settled on your choices.

Just to be clear, if you choose to reply an Unconditional Firm (UF) you do not get to pick a second choice because you have already decided to go to that particular university regardless of any other offers. This means that you need to decline any other offer except the offer that you tagged as your Unconditional Firm.

At the end of the day, it is up to you, the applicant, to decide what is important to you. Unconditional offers mean the world to some people, so don’t take them lightly. It pays to be sure of your decisions. Putting unconditional offers to your insurance choice is a good idea, but be certain that this course is still somehow your interest, just in case your conditional firm choice didn’t accept you.

Be careful in tagging these replies, people! You might not want to mess up your opportunities! Good luck in replying to those offers!