Clearing – Preparation and tips (just in case)

Top tips before applying through clearing!

Most students don’t plan to go through clearing, yet every year tens of thousands of students find their university place this way.

Clearing is a process that matches undergraduate applicants to university places yet to be filled. In these uncertain times the prospect of going through Clearing can seem quite daunting and we would like to share with you our  top tips before going through Clearing (just in case).

Do your research

The best way to think about Clearing is as an opportunity.  An opportunity to find a course you love at a university you want to attend.   In order to take advantage of this opportunity it is important to do your research.

You can apply through Clearing if you match these criteria

  • You are applying after 30th June and didn’t receive any offers (or any that you wanted to accept!)
  • You didn’t meet the conditions of your offer
  • You declined your firm place through track

A easy way to start your research is to make a list of courses you would like to study, research what universities offer these courses on ucas,  what their entry criteria are and and start to think about whether or not you would like to attend these universities.

You can find all this information on university websites or through the UCAS clearing pages.  This means when it comes to results day you already know what kind of courses you are looking for and what universities you would like to look at.  You can register interest on university websites for Clearing, for City’s Clearing information and webform click here. This means that you can register interest for courses and you will be kept up to date directly by the university.

“Remember to think about what you want and need in a course.  You need to be prepared to make decisions quickly but don’t feel pressured to make a decision you are not happy with.  This is why thinking ahead and researching is so important.  Be prepared so you are in control.”

Sarah Wood, WP Outreach Manager, City.

Have all your information

This one is a bit of admin – however it will make going through Clearing a lot easier!  There are a couple of things you will need to hand when you are contacting universities and trying to secure a place through Clearing. If you have these to hand, they will definitely make the process a lot easier and one less thing to stress about. So, what will you need for going through Clearing?

  • Your UCAS ID
  • Your clearing number
  • Your personal statement

Stay calm and ask for help

Don’t panic.  Clearing can seem like a hectic process but it does not need to be.  Make sure during this process you are looking after yourself and try not to over-stress or worry.   In 2018, over 60,000 students found a place through Clearing according to UCAS, so you’re not alone.

Get some help from people around you.  Ask your school or college for support.  Talk to your parents, siblings or friends and ask if they can have a look over your list of courses or universities, seek their advice or ask them to have a cup of tea and take a break with you!  You are making a big decision here so it’s important to have a clear head and access to help you think you’ll need.

Our careers adviser can provide support and help, find out more here

Think everything through

In relation to our previous top tip make sure you do think any decision through before you accept an offer. The university and course you pick is what you will be dedicating the next three to four years of your life to.  Do not make any rash decisions because you are worried you might not get a place anywhere else -speak to a couple of universities if you can and really make sure you are happy with the outcome before you confirm.

Use the UCAS page for help

The UCAS Clearing pages are a great resource. They have all the up to date information, videos, how-to guides and even a course research tool!  This is a great place to start your research for Clearing and to find information about what courses are out there in one place.

So, there you have our top tips for applying through Clearing! Good luck and remember there is plenty of help around whether its universities websites or social media, UCAS, teachers, advisors or family and friends – you just need to ask.

For support on resilience during covid, during clearing or just during life please check out our resilience posts on here and here.


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