University Clearing – A How To Guide

Missing your offer at a university might seem apocalyptic – but don’t panic yet.
UCAS’s clearing system allows students to find courses that are still up for grabs. In 2015, 19 Russell Group Universities were included, meaning that you still have plenty of choice.

But before you consider clearing be sure to call up your first choice university. It’s possible that they will still accommodate you, or may accept you with a deferred year. Either way, it’s worth finding out your options.

Clearing officially opens on results day, and continues until September. As soon as the program is open, timing is of the essence, as applicants will snap up universities offers quickly. It’s first come first served, so be sure to have your clearing number and personal ID number to the ready, along with UCAS points and grades.

When speaking to the university it’s important you sell yourself to the max to ensure you have the best chance of securing the offer. This is when work experience, your extra curricular activities and interests should make an appearance.

The most important thing is not to panic. 29,000 people were accepted through clearing in 2015, a rise of 6% from the year before, and this continues to grow annually. Whilst clearing can cause anxiety due to the uncertainty in the direction of your future, it can also be seen as a chance for great opportunity. An unplanned gap year could be a fantastic thing, or ending up at a different university could actually end up suiting you much better. University, as in life, is what you make of it.

Steps for clearing:

1.Call up your first choice uni and see if they will still accept you with your lower grades.If not:

2.Go onto your UCAS track and find your Clearing number

3. Applicants make contact with universities directly to talk to them about the courses available and whether their application can be considered. You can contact as many universities as you like, and may receive verbal offers from several.

4.If an offer is made, each university will provide you with a course code, institution code and a time period for which the offer is valid (typically 12-48 hours). When you have decided which offer you want to take up, you must enter the details on UCAS Track within the agreed time period using the ‘Add a Clearing Choice’ button.

You can only enter one choice, and you must have discussed your application with the university first. If you enter a choice without having first spoken to the university you are likely to cause yourself significant delays and may even lose out on a course you were really interested in. 

Additional resources:

Second Oxbridge Application
Backup Plans and Medical School Applications
How to Overcome Failure

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