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Increasing financial support/fee discounts during the application cycle

What is OFFA’s view on institutions offering fee discounts, or increases in support, late in the application cycle?

Ultimately, it is up to institutions to decide whether they wish to discount their fees or increase their financial support late in the application cycle as a way of filling undersubscribed courses (for example during Clearing). However, we expect you to consider the potential impact carefully.

In particular, bear in mind that discounting late in the application cycle is unfair to applicants who chose not to apply to your institution because of the fee and support package you advertised earlier. There is also a risk that late fee discounts may encourage applicants in future cycles to apply late in the hope of paying reduced fees. This would reduce their chances of being admitted to their preferred course, or even at all. We are concerned that such risks are more likely to be taken by applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Therefore, in the interest of fairness, if you decide to offer a late fee discount or increase the financial support for a course, we would expect you to offer the same improved financial package to all eligible applicants, including those who have already accepted an offer from you, not just those who apply late.

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