Can You Change Your Mind After Accepting a University Offer?

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A key turning point in your student life is your decision on which university you would like to further your education with. If you have received multiple offers this decision can be made increasingly difficult. You may be wondering can you change your mind once you’ve accepted a university offer?

In short, yes. Universities give you 14 days to change your mind. This also means you could decline one offer and reaccept another. However, in terms of the reacceptance, universities may not always be willing to take you back on, as your spot may have been filled. Refunds are able to be given during the 14 days, that said, after this time has ended, universities do not have to refund you. 

This article will guide you in the ins and outs of changing your mind after responding to a university offer. Let’s begin! 

Can You Change Your Mind After You’ve Accepted a University Offer?

Whether you are unsure on whether you should accept an offer, or are awaiting another offer to be confirmed, there are many reasons why you may want to change your mind. Luckily for anyone who find themselves in this tricky situation, most universities are often willing to cooperate with you as long as you stick to the rules.  

There is a set time period in which a student must have cancelled within to receive a full refund. UCAS states this period is 14 days after your official acceptance (source: UCAS website). If this time has already passed, there is still a chance you can change your response, but the process will become much more challenging after this and is not guaranteed.  

This also applies if you did not reply to an offer and UCAS automatically declined it. You have the ability (starting from the deadline date) to change this. However, the university in question will need to be contacted to ensure this is acceptable with them. This is because the place you were initially offered may be gone. You have 14 days in this circumstance to respond.

Exceptions can be made if events out of your control occur (for example personal issues or changes in family situations). If so, universities will generally be willing to help. Things can be resolved to suit your now altered needs. For anyone else however, it is usually not possible to change your mind after the 14-day time period is up. 

How Long Can You Postpone Your Decision to Change a University Offer?

The date in which UCAS give you until to make your decision is slightly altered each year and depends on when you receive your offer.  

This year (2021 at the time of publishing) the deadline date is 14th July 2021. After this date if no response has been received with regards to accepting and declining offers, UCAS will automatically decline them on your behalf. So always be vigilant in your decision making, or it could cost you a university placement. To find out more about the UCAS deadline click here.

If you have been unfortunate enough to receive your offer up to a day before (13th July in 2021) you still must respond by this deadline date. This is highly unlikely however, always keep in mind the possibility.  

Will Universities Refund You if Change Your Application?

Sometimes universities will require payments after you accept your offer. This may include costs such as a deposit. The time in which you are given to change your mind is 14 days. Within this timeUCAS states that you are eligible for a full refund to whatever costs you have previously paid (see UCAS webpage on subject)After this time, a full refund may still be possible. However, universities are not obliged to pay it back. It all boils down to the university’s individual views.  

What Do the Different University Offers Mean?

Particularly when dealing with undergraduate offers, there are two main types of offers you may come across: a conditional offer and an unconditional offerUnderstanding what both terms mean will greatly aid your overall comprehension of this articles content. 

A conditional offer means there are conditions that have to be met before your place at the university can be solidified, often they are referring to examination results. This means that it is not a definite fact you have received a place. 

An unconditional offer is the more positive of the two! An unconditional offer means you are guaranteed a place at the university, and that no further conditions have to be met before you are admitted. This means it is a definite fact you have been accepted. 

Can You Accept Multiple University Offers at Once? 

If you have been fortunate enough to receive multiple offers from several different universities but are still undecided on which one to accept. You may be wondering whether it is possible to accept multiple offers at once? Technically the answer is yes, but this has to be done in a specific way and is not always an option. 

If you received a conditional and unconditional offer, it is permissible to accept both. However, there is a certain method you must follow to do so. You must choose the conditional offer to be your firm acceptance, and your unconditional offer to be your insurance option 

Your firm acceptance is your first choice, with your insurance acceptance is your second choice, effectively your backup. By doing this, if you do not meet the requirements for the conditional offer, you will be able to accept the unconditional offer.  

If you received more than two offers, any other offers will automatically be declined for you by UCAS and disappear. This means you must be sure of your choice, as there is no going back if you have changed your mind. If you receive multiple of each offer, make sure you pick your most favoured options, as once you have confirmed each option it will be irreversible.  

If you meet the criteria of the conditional offer, you must attend that university. However, if you don’t get in you must attend your insurance offer. You must also keep in mind that if universities find out you have accepted 2 or more offers, they are fully within their rights to remove their offer. So always tread cautiously if this is the route you choose to go down.

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