Following the assessment of each application, there are three possible outcomes:
1) You're made an offer
If you've already gained the qualifications required, you may be made an unconditional offer. If you're still studying, an offer will usually be conditional and dependent on achieving certain grades in the qualifications you're taking.
2) Your application is 'pooled'
Although impressed by your application, your College may not have a place for you or may want to look at other applicants before confirming their last offers. As such, your application may be put in the winter pool and you could be:
- asked to attend another interview in early January at a different College
- offered a place at another College without a further interview
If no College is able to offer you a place, the College you applied to/were allocated to will contact you, normally by the end of January. For more information read our Undergraduate Guide to the Winter Pool.
3) Your application is unsuccessful
On average, we receive around five applications for each place, so every year we have to turn down students with good grade predictions whom we would like to have taken. Disappointing though this is, we hope you'll have found the process a useful experience and valuable preparation for your other university choices.
All Colleges provide, on request, feedback on unsuccessful applicants to the author of the school/college reference (the referee) or the Head or Principal of the school/college, provided that the applicant has given permission under the Data Protection Act. See feedback on admissions decisions for details.
Don't let the prospect of not getting a place put you off applying. We can't offer you a place if you don't apply to us. Wherever you come from, whatever your school or college, if you think you've got something to offer, and we've got something to offer you, we'd encourage you to apply.
Accepting your offer
If you're offered a place, you'll be informed by the College and through UCAS.
- You must reply, observing UCAS requirements and deadlines.
- If you accept Cambridge 'firmly' you must meet the conditions of your offer (if conditions are attached) by the deadline set by UCAS.
- In a few cases, offer holders who haven't quite met the conditions of their original offer may still be offered a place, either at their original College, or at another College following a small 'summer pool'.
Clearing and the adjustment period
The University of Cambridge doesn't enter Clearing, nor will places be available in the August adjustment period. If your examination results are much better than expected and you wish to try for a place at Cambridge, you'll need to apply in the following year's admissions round.