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Can I change my choices when applying to university?

While returning a pair of jeans that looked good in the shop is simple, there’s a little more to changing your university choices when applying...

Though that's not to say it isn't possible.

Ucas and universities understand that choosing the right university course is a massive decision, and are somewhat flexible if you change your mind at some point. There's always a chance that you clicked the wrong option on Ucas Apply; or having slept on your decision, you realise you were a little hot off the mark with responding.

But it's important to act quickly, be clear with what you want to do instead and use your 'polite voice' where necessary. 

Can I change my Ucas choices?

Once you've made your five Ucas choices, you'll receive a welcome letter from Ucas which confirms these. If any of these details (or your personal details for that matter) are incorrect, contact Ucas right away.

To change courses within a university, you can speak to the university directly. There are no guarantees with this but if they agree, they'll let Ucas know, who will update Ucas Track accordingly.

To change a university, you must do this within seven days from the date on your welcome letter. After this, you can only change these under exceptional circumstances, like a family issue.

If you're making multiple changes, ask yourself whether you're approaching these decisions the right way. Perhaps a gap year will give you some more time to think things through?

Can I change my responses to offers?

Can I swap my first and insurance choices around?

When responding to your offers, perhaps you've rethought the logic behind the ones you've chosen, or their order of priority.

Check with your insurance choice to make sure they're happy for you to put them down as your first choice. If the university agrees, you will also need to contact your original first choice university to change this.

Can I get out of my first choice?

Possibly. If you made your decision less than seven days ago, you can change this via Ucas - you'll need to call them up.

If it's been longer than a week but it's before results day, check what it says on Ucas Track. If your firm offer still says conditional, you can't look for an alternative course (via the Clearing system) just yet. Instead, you'll need to ask your firm offer to reject you (sounds a bit harsh, we know), allowing you to move on to your insurance choice. Both universities will need to confirm that they are happy with this.

Can I get out of my insurance choice?

To enter Clearing, you need to ask your insurance choice to 'release' you if your insurance choice is unconditional; if it's conditional, you need them to 'reject' you. To find an alternative course, you will need to enter Clearing or reapply next year.

Can I get out of both my first and insurance choices?

Yes. Start the process by contacting your first choice. You need to be clear with them that you don't want to go with your insurance choice and would prefer to enter Clearing or choose another route.

Can I cancel my Ucas application?

Yes, you can do this at any time if you decide you don't want to apply at all that year. Just contact Ucas and tell them you want to withdraw your application. 

If you want a refund for the Ucas fee you paid, you will need to cancel within 14 days of submitting your application. Ucas recommends that you call or complete its application cancellation request form.

Can I change courses once at university?

Don't go off to uni relying on the possibility of switching - it's not as easy as you might think. Whether you want to switch to another course or another university altogether, see what your options are to change courses once you begin, first.

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