Clearing is a process for students who did not receive the grades they were predicted in their AS/A Levels or BTECs. It gives prospective young individuals the opportunity to find a university or degree course still well-suited to them that they are still able to apply to.
This occurs from July to September, when results are released, and students have the chance to find a course and a university, even if they didn’t get the grades they needed for their first set of choices.
Students enter clearing because they didn’t get the grades they were predicted. Students can also be in clearing if they declined their offers from universities, didn’t receive any offers from their universities or decided to change their choices completely. You have the chance to apply via clearing until around the 20th September. You can still apply through UCAS, but if you do so once clearing has begun, you won’t be able to fill in any choices as they appear as they become available.
The busiest day of clearing and when it officially begins is A Level results day. This is when universities release the courses that they have available. You can check if you are eligible for clearing on your UCAS Track page, this is where you will see your clearing number – this is what universities need to see your application – and the option to ‘Add a Clearing Choice’.
You have to directly contact the university about a course yourself and discuss your UCAS Application. Once you have done so, you can accept an offer by inputting the course code and institution code into Track. If you haven’t contacted the university, this can delay your application and result in you not getting a place on your chosen course. You are able to add several clearing choices and to receive offers from all of them but are only allowed to accept one offer.
You can apply for what vacancies are available. Some universities may display their vacancies early so keep your eyes peeled a few days before results day. Check the university’s website or phone them up to see what they have available.
Check the university and what courses they have available. Call the university personally to talk your application through with them. Even though you are going through clearing, you do not need to accept the offer the first university gives you. Still, aim for courses that can get you on your chosen career path or a subject that you enjoy.
If you didn’t have an insurance offer and are now in clearing, you will need to pay an extra fee. If you only paid £11 when applying because you only had one choice through UCAS, you will have to pay again because of the reduced fee you paid the first time round.
In 2016 there was a new instalment in clearing, called Adjustment. Adjustment is the opposite to clearing, if you get higher grades than expected, you are able to change your university choices and apply for a course with higher grade requirements.
You need to have exceeded the requirements of your firm offer and to have paid the full UCAS fee to be eligible.
You can enter adjustment from A Level results day. You should register on UCAS Track as soon as possible as you only get 5 days (including weekends) to find another university and/or course as a firm offer, this is also so universities and colleges can view your application. You can only change your firm offer; your insurance offer will stay the same. The track will let you know when your adjustment period is ending so keep an eye on it. Remember 5 days isn’t a long time to research new courses and universities to see if you would benefit from changing your choice. If you do not find another choice, your original firm offer is kept in place, so you still have a place at university.
Join the 75,000 students that have already found their future career by taking our short 60-second degree quiz. Find out what you're like and what you could do, by discovering your strengths, personality, what you're passionate about, and some jobs and degree subjects that may be perfect for you!Take Uni Degree Quiz