For those of you looking to go to university this year, finding out whether you’ve been successful can be a pretty tense moment. On this day, it’ll become clear if the hours of studying and sleepless nights have paid off. But if things don’t go as planned, that’s OK too.
This post is all about Clearing, a process that can help students who haven’t had an offer from their desired institutions find another course. To help you through it, we’ve created a guide to the Clearing process and how to prepare for it.
Clearing is an opportunity for students who don’t have a confirmed university place to review their options. Whether your first choices didn’t quite work out or you weren’t sure what you wanted to study when applications went in, Clearing is the chance to secure your place when term starts in the autumn.
Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses, so it’s the best way for you to find another course if you were unsuccessful the first time around. Find the courses and vacancies that interest you, contact the universities or colleges that have vacancies directly, and see if they offer you a place.
You should be eligible for Clearing if you fulfil one of the below requirements:
Clearing begins on 1st July and ends on 21st September. However, it gets into full swing around A-level Results Day, which means you can’t start applying without knowing your marks. Most universities wait until 15th August to start listing vacancies.
If you haven’t applied yet, you’ll need to complete a UCAS application, including a personal statement and a reference. Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your Clearing number which can be used to access UCAS Track, where you can keep up to date with your progress. Once you have this information you can begin contacting universities.
You’ll know that you’re in Clearing if your Track status says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’. Alternatively, you can follow the on-screen prompts to decline your firm place, and your Track status should then say ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’.
If Track doesn’t say either of these yet, it might be waiting for your results to update. It’s worth getting in touch with the university if things are taking a while; they might still be considering you, even if your results are a bit lower than required.
If you applied for one course for the reduced fee of £18, you’ll have to pay an additional £6 to apply through Clearing.
If you’re a performing arts student, then it’s worth noting that UCAS Conservatoires do not use Clearing to fill vacancies. You can find available courses and spaces by searching on the UCAS website; you’ll also be required to check with the conservatoire itself if they’re accepting applications before applying to them.
With Clearing, ‘first come, first served’ applies. Therefore, to maximise your chances, there are a few things you can do ahead of time:
Firstly, don’t panic. You’ll have the option to add a Clearing choice if the university doesn’t confirm. If that still doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. You can resit your exams and aim for a different mark, consider a different degree course or take a gap year and apply again next year.
Visit WWW.UCAS.COM for more information and advice on Clearing.
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