Finding accommodation is never a walk in the park, especially after Clearing. As a student, where you live can significantly impact your overall university experience, so it's essential to approach this task with careful consideration and planning.
Can you get accommodation after Clearing?
Once you have secured your place after Clearing, you can begin to look for accommodation. Of course, not all students who go through Clearing will necessarily require accommodation. Those who live close to the campus or are studying online will not need to sort this out, but others travelling from afar will.
Usually, you can attend a university’s clearing open day. This will allow you to start looking at the kind of accommodation the university offers and decide which one (if you have the choice) you want to apply for.
How do I apply for accommodation after Clearing?
The process for finding accommodation after Clearing will depend on what university you are applying to. Ordinarily, students will have to use a university’s student portal. The portal (or intranet) will include all information about a university’s accommodation and allow students to pick their top three selections.
You will need to speak to universities directly to sort your accommodation out. They will be happy to help and can tell you which accommodation is no longer available.
What types of student accommodation are available after Clearing?
Not all student accommodation will necessarily be available immediately after Clearing. Depending on how late you have applied for university or how popular the course or institution is, some of the best ones go quite quickly.
The most common options are:
- Catered or self-catered.
- City centre.
- Cluster flat.
- Manage your own bills.
- Mixed halls.
- Private accommodation.
- Shared bathroom.
- Shared room or single room.
- Single-sex halls.
- Studio flat.
- University-managed halls.
One very important aspect of student accommodation is the social side. This isn’t just related to making friends or taking part in communal activities, but more from a safety and updates perspective. When you have your accommodation sorted, check for the university’s accommodation Facebook page and keep yourself up to date.
Make sure you do your research
Research is hugely important. Remember, while time can be a factor in many instances, you do not need to rush your decision.
Take the time to really see what is available for you. Within this university accommodation research is private accommodation. You would be surprised just how many private accommodation providers there are and how many rooms they may have available. Keep an eye on these when doing your research.
Things to consider when choosing Clearing accommodation
It’s difficult to tell students what you should be looking for you in your ideal student accommodation. Your mileage and tolerances will vary from others, so only you know what you want to look for and what are must-haves and compromises.
Despite that, we have some areas that we recommend considering when looking for accommodation.
This will depend on you and what you are comfortable with. Typically, students want to go for accommodation closer to the university campus they study on. Not only does this cut down on the amount of travelling you must do, it also keeps travel costs down.
With some universities, this is, frankly, unavoidable. Some universities have multiple campuses spread out over a large area and some courses are taught across multiple campuses.
Cost is not something you can really control. Universities try to make their accommodation as cheap as they can, as do private accommodation vendors. Check your student finance and maintenance loan and see how much you can afford with your loan. Remember that your loan needs to cover more than just your accommodation.
This will only be relevant for some students. Some university students may have special access or support that they need from the university to assist them. This could be anything from nightly support down to wheelchair access. See which accommodations have these features available and make your selection from there.
What else is included in the rent?
Typically, you will find that most accommodation, private or otherwise, is “all-inclusive”. This means that everything you will need to pay for is included in your rent.
However, some things may not be. Some accommodations will have things such as bedding, furnishings and utensils included in the rent, while others may not. It is also worth pointing out that aspects such as the student TV license will not be included in your rent.
Having alternatives planned
Make sure you have an alternative planned. It is guaranteed that you will be able to get the exact accommodation that you want, so having a Plan B is a good idea. Make sure you have a list of the accommodation you wish to apply for and then apply if you cannot get your first choice.
Read the terms and conditions
It’s very common to just skim over terms and conditions. We’re all guilty of it. However, when moving house or moving into student accommodation, you must see what the terms and conditions have outlined.
Questions to ask yourself
Ask yourself what you want from student accommodation. Ask yourself questions such as:
- Do I mind having to share kitchens or bathrooms?
- Do I want to live alone?
- Do you want fun activities at the accommodation, or do you just want a place to stay?
- How important is security to you?
- How long do you need to stay there?
- Would you rather manage your own bills separately or have them included as one big payment?
Remember, your needs matter. Pick the accommodation that best suits your needs.
What to do when you have Clearing accommodation sorted
There are still some important aspects to clear up before you are finished. You need to make sure that you have everything you need before you head to university.
Don’t worry, there will be some things you can sort out when you are there. Things like food and drink will be easy to pick up when you're at university, but some things you will need to sort out or do beforehand, such as:
Insurance is an absolute must-have for university. Some universities or private accommodations may offer insurance as part of the package, but you need to find some if they don't. You won’t need building insurance. However, you will need to have contents insurance to protect your belongings.
Start your shopping
Make sure you make your university accommodation feel like home. You will need to pick up some important books and equipment for university, but it’s also important to get yourself some things to brighten the place up a bit.
Get yourself some plants. Plants are an excellent means of improving air quality and a good way to keep certain rooms oxygenated, which is highly important, especially if you share rooms or dorms with others.
Here, you can find other things to buy for your university accommodation.