As part of my work with the ‘Clearing Experts’ I’ve been responding to people on The Student Room who have questions about Clearing, and have noticed that there is a trend in the questions that tend to be asked. I thought it might be helpful to write a post with the questions and the answers to those questions in one place, rather than searching for them and asking again and again.
If my course is in Clearing is it a good or a bad thing?
If you see the course for either your firm or insurance choice is in Clearing don’t panic. It just means that there are still places available, but don’t assume that you have definitely got a place on a course just because it’s in Clearing; nothing is set in stone until results day! The universities themselves don’t know exactly how many places will be filled until results day either, and more Clearing spaces could become available and others taken off. Do your research into what courses are in Clearing but make sure to double check on the day! More and more courses are going into Clearing because more university spaces are being created, which also affects what courses and universities are advertising themselves as in Clearing.
My course isn’t in Clearing – does that mean I’ll be rejected if I miss a grade?
All this means is that the university is currently expecting to fill all of their spaces with students who have chosen them as their firm or insurance. This could mean that they have accepted students who have a grade or two lower also.
Can I change my mind and my firm but then go back?
If you change your mind about your firm or insurance university choice for any reason, then it tends to be final. You can change your mind and apply to a different university or course through Clearing but you will no longer be guaranteed a place at university once you have rejected your firm offer. You could call up on results day and ask for your place again, but this is only if the course has been put into Clearing, if not then this won’t be possible.
Can I get a Clearing place now?
Most universities can’t offer Clearing spaces until you have your results through, as they themselves won’t know how many spaces need filling until results day, as they are waiting on the results just as much as you guys! However you can call up and ask to speak to a lecturer to get more information on the course, or to sort out a campus/accommodation tour to get a feel for the university if you were ever to go there. Also as I said before Clearing spaces are subject to change, so it is really unlikely that you will be told you have a confirmed place before A Level results day.
How do I accept a Clearing place?
Once you’ve made a call to the university you are interested in applying for through Clearing, they will be able to tell you if they can offer you a place on the day or not. Then this should appear in your UCAS Track, and all you have to do is accept and head off to the university of your choice!
What do I do on results day?
On results day, usually you can see if you’ve been accepted into either your firm or insurance choice before you’ve collected your results. So if you have, brilliant – go and celebrate! However if you haven’t then once you’ve collected your results from your school/college start calling up universities in Clearing and see if they have any available spaces on their course, and if they can take you with the grades that you achieved.
What information will I need to give when I call?
When you call up any university on results day you will need to have your GCSE results written down along with your A Levels to give to them. I would also recommend writing down a little bit of information about each uni before you call so you have pointers as you are speaking to them.
To check what courses are in Clearing, and to view the universities’ profiles for student happiness, expenses etc, The Telegraph and The Guardian all have useful links, along with The Student Room which helps keep you up to date on all things clearing along with being able to answer your questions!
Hopefully this post will be of some use to someone out there!