Clearing: Top tips for securing a university place

If you are searching for a university place through Clearing, you are not alone.

2017 is a great year for prospective students. University applications from UK students are down by 5%, meaning universities are eager to snap up good candidates. In 2015, 64,900 who missed their grades found a Clearing place.  These are all great positives! So for a stress-free Clearing process, read our key tips below:

1. Get up early

You can check on Ucas Track around 8am to see if you have a place, before you receive your results from school. This is because universities have access to results early. If you don’t have a place at your first choice university, this gives you time to consider your options and to make a list of universities to telephone. Do telephone your first choice university first as they may still consider you.

male student on phone

2.   Remember your insurance choice is a contract.

Don’t forget that your insurance choice is a contract. If you decide not to take up your insurance choice, you need to request to be released into clearing. You may need to remind your insurance choice university to do this, otherwise you may be at the bottom of the Clearing list.

3. Do your research

When considering a new course, you will need to look at the class sizes, quality of teaching and the course modules. Don’t ignore the quality of pastoral care at university as this is vital- ask how you will be helped to find suitable accommodation or with the transition from sixth form to university life.

university students graduating

4. Call the universities

Do not be nervous about calling the university.  Although this can feel stressful, universities need to speak with students themselves rather than their parents or carers. If you have just missed your offer, there is still a chance you might be considered for your original choice.  If not, you may be offered the option of another degree course at the same university.  It is possible for academics to make a verbal offer immediately, which is helpful if you want a quick resolution.  Once you have accepted your Clearing offer on Ucas Track, it becomes a contract.  Many universities give students 24 hours to consider before accepting.

5. Be flexible

The more flexible you are about your subject, the more options will be available.  It’s worth noting that joint subjects are often undersubscribed. So if you have missed out a place for English single honours, you may opt for a joint honours degree in English and one of your A level subjects: for example English and History or English and Politics.

If you go through Clearing, keep calm, take the right advice and do your research. Consider how your chosen course will impact your future and enable you to achieve your ambitions. And remember that academics are keen to secure promising candidates.  Good luck!


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