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How the UCAS Clearing process works

What is UCAS Clearing?

Clearing is the service that helps students who, when receiving their results, on A-Level results day, find out that they have not achieved the required A level grades to meet the criteria for their offer from their chosen university and course, can seek an alternative course at an alternative university. After the results have been published on A-Level results day, official university vacancy lists are published on the UCAS website and Clearing websites. The Clearing service can also be used by those students who did not accept any of the offers which they received during the UCAS application process or if they applied too late for their application to be processed via UCAS for various reasons. There are other reasons a student may wish to enter into UCAS clearing which can be discussed during the Clearing application process.

The video in this blog gives a brief overview of the contents you can read here. Watch it below:

Tips to get your place at a university during Clearing:

  • Act quickly. It can be difficult to be motivated and enthusiastic at a time when you are experiencing disappointment but the key to success in gaining an alternative course place and therefore something to cheer you up is to get involved in the Clearing process as early as possible.

  • Seek advice from your school careers teacher or an education consultant. Their familiarity with using the Clearing system will give you a head start in using it effectively, as well as assisting you by making suggestions as to which courses might interest you and at which universities. Vacancies do tend to get snapped up very quickly so it can be very useful to have expertise to support you, so that you can be effective and speedy in moving forward with anything you see that interests you.

  • Keep an open mind when viewing the course vacancy lists. You do not need to stick to your original course of study and may find alternative courses which interest you.

  • Keep an eye on the Clearing information on a regular basis. Courses that were full can sometimes have vacancies later on so you always need to be up-to-date with the latest information.

  • Contact the universities with courses that interest you as soon as possible. Make sure that you have your exam results, your UCAS personal ID and Clearing number to hand. You will find your Clearing number will appear automatically in your personal UCAS account. (Track)

Next steps:

If there are still places available when you make contact with your chosen university, they will:

  • put you in touch with the admissions tutor where you will have the opportunity to ask questions about the course and to tell them a bit about yourself and why this course is of interest to you.

  • Be prepared in advance with a few questions to ask before you ring and make sure that you have prepared one or two things to say, through which you can sell yourself.

  • Have a copy of your personal statement to hand just in case there are things in it that might be useful to highlight, in response to questions you are asked by the admissions tutor during this conversation.

  • Be prepared to accept or decline on the spot if you are made an offer at the end of this conversation. It is, therefore, a good idea to telephone the universities in order of your preference for the courses they are offering.

When you are ready to accept an offer:

  • To accept an offer, you need to enter the course details on your personal UCAS account (Track) via the ‘Add a Clearing Choice’ button. The university who made you the offer will give you a deadline by which you must do this.

  • UCAS will then inform the university that you have entered their course details in Track. If they then formally accept you, confirmation will appear in the ‘Choices’ of Track and UCAS will follow this up with an official confirmation letter.

What if I’m not accepted?

  • If you are not formally accepted by the university the ‘Add a Clearing Choice’ button in Track will be re-activated and you can add another course form the Clearing list.

We are here to help you through this process, while we advise you work quickly as vacancies fill up fast – we do understand you may not feel motivated or feel lost and stressed, we are here to help you if this is the case or just to provide support where you need it.

Click the button below to find more information about how we can help you through the Clearing Process.

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