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The Truth Revealed: How Long it ACTUALLY Takes To Get An Offer Letter




So how long does it really takes a university to process your application for overseas studies?


You may have seen things like “offer letter within 48 hours” or “offer letter in a week”, but in reality, this can be quite different.


First of all, what qualifies me to write this blog?


Well, between 2015-2020 I worked for one of the highest recruiting UK universities in India.


I worked in the International Office of a well known UK university, specifically recruiting students from India.


During this time, we recruited upwards of 4000 students from India who wanted to complete their studies abroad. This would have been around 40,000 applications (this doesn’t mean 36,000 students didn’t make it, I’ll explain more about this later on*).


So, I’ve seen my fair share of applications.


Some good, some bad.


But ultimately, I know how long your application will spend with an admissions officer.


I know what they do with your application, how many people read it and why it can be a quick or a long offer!


Right, let’s begin.


“Offer letter within 48 hours”


Don’t buy into this.


The reason this statement cannot be trusted is that every student and application is different.


Just because a consultant for overseas education has had offer letters turned around in 48 hours in the past, it doesn’t always mean it will be the case for you.


If you decide to apply with an education consultant on the basis of a ’48 hour’ offer letter, you may be disappointed.


Now, there are some cheap UK universities for postgraduate studies that will have 20 members of staff processing applications around the clock, and others will have a team of 3 (to process 10,000 applications per intake, yes - that’s right), so naturally, some offers will take longer than others.


If your application is complete, including good quality mark sheet copies, an IELTS, LOR & SOP along with all of the other required documents, your offer WILL be faster than others.


That’s a fact!


No matter what UK university you apply for.


This is because admissions officers can quickly work through these applications.


There’s nothing to consider other than checking off a list and hitting ‘send’ on the offer.


However, if your application is incomplete or isn’t at the required grade, expect it to be much longer.


In fact, even if you’re 1% short for your academic requirements, your offer will take at least an additional 5 days!


This is because applications that don’t reach the required grade are often passed to the course leader to review.


They will look over your other achievements and study your statement of purpose (SOP) to see if you will be a success on their course.


Course leaders are busy people, which is why this will add so much time for you to wait.


In fact, even if you’re 1% short for your academic requirements, your offer will take at least an additional 5 days.


What Does An Admissions Officer Actually Check?

Things like references and SOPs are usually quite similar, so they’ll be looking for any glaring inconsistencies or plagiarism.

The most important details are your grades and your English language.


This is why we put so much importance on students having an IELTS (it makes things so much easier for you in the long run.)


Once these have been assessed against your course, the admissions officer will start to read through your other documents.


Things like references and SOPs are usually quite similar, so they’ll be looking for any glaring inconsistencies or plagiarism.


One other thing to note is gaps.


This is any time from when you last studied to the present day which is not accounted for.


An example of this is that you studied and then worked for 3 years and only now looking to apply for overseas studies. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to provide evidence of what you were doing for those 3 years.


A CV/Resumé is usually fine here or you could get an employment reference for good measure.


So, yes, gaps are acceptable but only if you can show what you were doing.


Seeking employment or taking a break is fine, but show this on your CV/Resumé.


For a good application, an admissions officer will spend around 30 minutes checking everything is in order.



Patience Is Key!


Good things come to those who wait.

― Abe Lincoln, Acts of the Apostles