Students have been left in the dark after the university offer deadline was extended, despite still having to apply for funding and housing.
People usually know where they have been offered a place before taking their final exams, but UCAS extended its bidding deadlines due to the pandemic.
Some students say they still haven’t received all of their offers, despite the deadline closing next week.
The deadline for the universities to respond and accept or reject applications has been postponed from the end of March to May 20
A Glasgow parent said the UCAS deadline for students to submit applications was originally advertised as January 15th but was postponed to January 31st
But they are still being asked to apply for housing at the university, where they do not yet know if they will take a seat while awaiting their first choice.
Meanwhile, the Scottish funding body SAAS closes for applications in just six weeks.
Universities that have opened their student housing application require students to have accepted an offer before applying.
The situation has left students in the dark and at risk of having less choice about where to live if forced to apply late.
Concerned parents said it is the ‘perfect storm’ that has a ‘negative impact’ on young people.
A Glasgow parent, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said she was concerned about her son applying for a college position this year.
She said the UCAS deadline for students to submit applications was originally advertised as January 15, but was postponed to January 31 after the post-Christmas freeze.
The deadline for the universities to respond and accept or reject applications has been postponed from the end of March to May 20.
The concerned mother said, “It seems this is a perfect storm that is really having a negative impact on young people.
‘As a result, the deadlines for universities returning to applicants have shifted.
‘The unexpected consequences are that many children are still waiting for applications from some universities.
‘They just can’t do anything.
‘We are now at the point where universities are promoting the fact that applications are open for housing.
‘Many of those universities will not accept an application for housing until you have actually accepted their offer, which again makes sense, but it means that you could end up in a situation where all those deadlines mess up each other.
‘My son doesn’t know whether he is going to move or not.
One of his picks was Glasgow, where we live and he’s got a decision on that, but he’s still waiting for Edinburgh so he doesn’t want to make any decisions until we hear from them – the last piece of the puzzle.
‘SAAS have now opened applications for tuition fees, so if my son is going to study in Scotland he will have to apply for his tuition fees from them, but he cannot apply until he has decided which institution to go to – but the SAAS deadline is 30 June, that doesn’t give us much time. ‘
A University of Glasgow spokesperson admitted there had been ‘minor delays’ but said most offers were made on time.
The situation has left students in the dark and at risk of having less choice about where to live if forced to apply late
He added: ‘The university’s admission policy published in 2020 is clear and remains unchanged, although there is some flexibility to take into account personal circumstances.
‘The number of applications in this cycle has risen sharply, complicating and delaying decisions for some Scottish candidates for certain courses. However, the majority of the students have received offers, while others receive theirs. ‘
A spokesperson for the University of Edinburgh said: “As of Thursday, decisions have been made on all but a handful of applications from Scotland, with less than one percent awaiting a decision.”
UCAS said the deadline for universities to respond to offers was not delayed from the end of March to May 20.
A spokeswoman said in previous years that universities were encouraged to respond to students by the end of March, but it was not a deadline – the deadline for this was May 6.
Before Christmas, UCAS announced that the deadline would be moved from May 6 to May 20.
The spokeswoman said: “UCAS has provided continued and extensive support to students throughout the pandemic.
As part of this, we work closely with government departments, regulators and qualifiers and the industry to ensure that students are kept up to date with the latest information about their application and the changing environment.
‘We have continued to push deadlines in response to the pandemic.
‘Over the past 12 months, we have adjusted deadlines in consultation with the sector to give students more time to make decisions.
The majority of students who applied before the January deadline will have received the decisions from the university or college they applied to, and for those who haven’t heard anything yet, we expect all decisions to be made by May 20 be taken.
‘If a student has a question about his or her application, we recommend that they contact either the university or college (s) they applied to or a UCAS client advisor.
‘We look forward to SQA presenting the latest awards to students in Scotland on August 10th and hearing students confirm their university application.
In case a student doesn’t get the expected result, Clearing offers an extensive choice, with more than 30,000 courses expected.
‘We will gradually support those students and have introduced new features such as Clearing Plus to help them make informed choices.’