What If My Plans Change

Many things can affect your higher education plans, including your examination results, financial arrangements and study interests. It could be that even though you know what you want to do, you decide to postpone your plans for a while.

Remember that there are many opportunities available to you, and that full-time study is only one route to a degree-level qualification. The most important aspect of any change in your circumstances or plans is to find out as much as you can about your options!

Unexpected Examination Results

You may be surprised by your results (both pleasantly and otherwise!), and need to reconsider your options. Remember that you still have choices available to you, so begin by considering all of them. Contact any department which made you an offer to see if they will still consider you, or take you on another course. You may want to:

  • Apply for Clearing or Adjustment through UCAS, or contact universities direct for vacancy information
  • Re-sit your examinations at school, college, through private study or tutoring, part-time, full-time or via a correspondence course
  • Consider a Foundation degree, HND, DipHE or Foundation course in a related subject area
  • Re-apply next year

Financial arrangements change

Higher Education is an expensive undertaking. More and more students are finding that they can't manage easily. Before you apply for courses, try to find out about sponsorship and awards (you need to apply well in advance of starting your course). If you find yourself in financial difficulty, you can:

    • Contact the university/college direct and ask if they offer any hardship awards
    • Consider working part-time (universities often have a job-shop on campus)
    • Consider living at home
    • Find out if your course is offered part-time or through distance learning. You may be able to work your way through part of it and study full-time through some of it. Don't automatically give up the idea.

Health changes

  • Any temporary change in your health can be viewed as an interruption to your plans. Make sure you contact the universities/colleges of your choice and ask for a deferment until next year. If the change in your health affects your choice of course, you will need to re-start your course selection process.

Study Interests Change

There may be several months between completing your Course Finder and entering Higher Education, when you find that your interest has been sparked in another direction. Perhaps work experience has persuaded you that acquiring specific skills would be useful before entering university or college. If you are uncertain about taking up a place offered to you, you may want to consider the following options:

  • Contact the university or college and ask for a deferment. Make sure you give details of how you plan to spend the year and how you feel it would be useful.
  • Consider re-applying through Clearing. Remember that your choices are limited at this time, and that the full range of options will not be available.
  • Remember that you have options but you should discuss these fully and frankly with your advisors and any institutions that have made you an offer.