Has anyone used UCAS for applying to UK universities? Can someone please explain how it works? Do you have to pay the application fee for each university to apply to or is it a one-time payment?
One time payment. Every student can apply to maximum five universities, including University of Cambridge or Oxford.
Main differences from our admissions:
Upload only ONE personal statement for all universities. (even if you’re applying for different courses)
Most students get conditional offers from universities with a benchmark grade to meet in final / public exams like GCSE A-level.
from Oct to May/June, on UCAS site, student can select 2 offers, mark one as confirmed offer and the other as insurance.
By July/August, once the student’s final / public exams is announced and reaching the benchmark, on UCAS site, his/her confirmed university’s offer shall automatically become unconditional.
In August, there’s a “clearing” for students to apply for still-available courses
UCAS is great- easy to do, one payment, one essay, one LoR.
As @sylsri said, you can apply to up to 5 courses. That can be the same course (say, English Literature) at 5 different universities, or more than one course at the same university (such as English Lit and Philosophy & English Lit at Durham). The only catch is that you have to write one Personal Statement (essay), which talks about why you want to study the subject(s) you are applying to study. Be sure to read the course descriptions carefully!
IF you have enough AP scores in hand when you apply it is possible to get an ‘unconditional’ offer; if you get an ‘conditional’ on APs you will take in May you will want to have a back up just in case- either a deposit on a US college, or ‘insuring’ a UK uni where you have an unconditional or easier offer.
How much is the application fee?
" the application fee for 2022 applications will be £22.00 for one choice, or £26.50 for two – five choices " according to UCAS’s webpage:
Please note that the UCAS deadline for Oxford or Cambridge (you have to pick one) is much earlier than other UCAS deadlines and earlier even that US ED deadlines. If you plan to apply to either of those schools you need to get everything done over summer and explain to your guidance person and recs that documents have to be in early.