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What is Clearing?

“Clearing” is a term you may have heard being thrown around when discussing university applications. It can often be accompanied with a sense of uncertainty and hesitation. If you’re not 100% sure about the intricacies of Clearing, let us help clear up the process to ensure you are well prepared for all eventualities.

What exactly is Clearing? 

You can check if you are in Clearing by checking your UCAS Tracked status. It will say “Clearing has started” or “You are in Clearing”. Clearing is an option for those who have applied to University after 5th July, or if you didn’t quite get the grades you expected. 

Clearing is there as a safety net for all students applying to university, to ensure no one is left without a place after Results Day. It offers students the chance to find an alternative course or an alternative university if they have missed out on the grade requirements for their firm and insurance choices. 

Is Clearing for me? 

Did you know that Clearing isn’t just about scrambling to find a new university if you didn’t meet the grade requirements? Of course, if you open the envelope and find that the grades are lower than anticipated, Clearing is a great option to find yourself a different course or a different university. However don’t be tricked into thinking Clearing courses are just those that nobody wants. There are lots of great options available as universities will want to fill up their courses. This means lots of desirable courses are available via Clearing. 

Clearing is also a perfect option if you were undecided about going to university and didn’t apply before the deadline. If you receive your results and you decide you do want to go to university, you can go through Clearing to find the right course for you.

 If you have just missed out on the grade requirements for your course - this doesn’t automatically mean you will have to go through Clearing. Always check with your university after you have received your results. If you need AAA and you have AAB, then your university may still accept you onto the course. If in doubt, give them a call. It could save you a world of stress.  

When is Clearing 2023?

 Clearing is technically open from the beginning of July. However, since A-Level results day isn’t until August 17th 2023, it doesn’t get into full effect until the A-Level results have been released. If you are doing an IB, Scottish Highers or BTECs, you will receive your results slightly before this date. You will still be able to go through Clearing at this earlier stage but be warned there may not be a huge variety to choose from. If you don’t see the course you want, it may be worth waiting until A-Level Results are released since more places will be made available. 

The deadline for adding Clearing choices is 17th October 2023. It is strongly recommended that you try to go through the Clearing process as quickly as you can and don’t wait until this deadline date, as lots of the covetable spots tend to quickly fill up! 

What do I need to do beforehand?

 It is worth getting prepared for Clearing in case you are unsure about your course or you aren’t confident in your grades. Since spots fill up quickly, you will want to have all of the necessary information at your fingertips. Check out our Clearing & Adjustment guide to get a more detailed look into the Clearing Admissions process and our Clearing, Admissions and Deferrals Video with advice from several universities. Most importantly, don’t rush into a choice! Although you may not have a place guaranteed, you should take your time to research the university and course you are considering through Clearing before confirming your place. You will be able to find all of the Hotline Numbers and Clearing Website Links to lots of UK Universities with our Clearing Directory. Saying that, make sure you go into Clearing with an open mind - there may be a great course that is perfect for you that you simply hadn’t even considered beforehand. Lots of students get into university through Clearing and can’t imagine life any other way. It could be the best decision you make!

Posted in Advice, Clearing Advice & Success Stories, UCAS & Application on Jul 16, 2021 by

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