How to apply to university through clearing

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applying to university through clearing

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A-level results day is fast approaching in the UK (results are out on 16 August), students will be eager to find out whether they have achieved their first (or second) choice of university. Results day in Scotland is slightly earlier, on 7 August.

For students that didn’t achieve the results they needed to get into their chosen universities – or did better than anticipated and want to change university typically go through clearing. If you are thinking of making a switch, now is a good time to check it out.

When is Clearing 2019?

Clearing opens on Friday 5 July. If you apply to university for 2019 entry after 30 June 2019, you will be entered automatically into Clearing.

Clearing only becomes available once results have been released for students that haven’t met the entry criteria for previously chosen courses. Results days in 2019 are:

  • International Baccalaureate: Friday 5 July.
  • BTEC and other vocational courses: during July – check with your school/college.
  • Scottish Highers: Tuesday 6 August.
  • A Levels: Thursday 15 August.

Clearing is also available for students who have their results already and are not holding an offer at a UK university.

How to use clearing

It is up to the student to find a University that is willing to accept them. Check UCAS or the university website, ring them and tell them what you want to do. If the University has a vacancy, they will usually take your details and give you a decision straightaway, or soon afterwards.

Things to remember if you need to use Clearing:

  • Don’t wait. If you’re studying a different qualification to A Levels, Clearing starts in July. Many international, mature and EU students may have their results as soon as Clearing opens.
  • Prepare for every possible outcome. Even if you’re positive that you have the results you need, do some contingency planning before Results Day. Make a list of potential courses and universities you’re interested in. This will help when looking at the Clearing listings after they are published.
  • Stay here. Don’t go away on holiday at this critical time!
  • Take some time out to look at the official Clearing listings. You’ll find these on UCAS or university websites.
  • Be optimistic. Most of the top Universities use clearing, so don’t be put off using clearing.
  • Contemplate alternative courses. Maximise your choice by considering a joint course with another subject, instead of a single subject course.
  • Always call the university yourself.Universities are less impressed when someone rings on your behalf and are unlikely to be able to offer a place unless they are speaking to the candidate directly.
  • Start ringing possible universities straight away. Vacancies at higher ranked universities can be filled quickly, so be the early bird that catches the worm! Remember to have your Clearing number to hand.
  • Constantly check UCAS Track. If you become eligible to use Clearing, an ‘Add Clearing choice’ option will appear on your Track Choices screen. You can also check directly with your firm and insurance choices.

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