Waiting for your BTEC or A-Level results day is always frightening, and when that day arrives, it can feel daunting when you walk up to receive your results. Although for some students the answers they were hoping for may not arrive and find themselves receiving results lower than what they were expecting and what they were predicted. This isn’t the end of the world. The process Clearing allows students to find a different university or course to apply to if they haven’t received an offer from their chosen universities via UCAS due to their results, which can affect their UCAS application. You may know a bit about Clearing already, but some students aren’t sure who to speak to during the process, so we have made a list for you to reference below.
Your first port of call is to speak to your teachers. Most teachers are around on results day and will be to offer advice and help to students who need it. Find out if your favourite or best teachers are around today. You should ask your teachers for advice if you find out you haven’t received the grades to take that university course you wanted, seek other interests or strong points you have that you could pursue academically. Your teacher(s) know you more than you think they do and they can help you as you begin to choose a new path.
Once you have your results, even if they’re not what you wanted them to be, speak to your family and friends about what you can do now and other ideas you want to try. Again, the people closest to you know you very well and can help and advise you through this time, you parents will be helpful throughout your time at university, and you’ll want to know how to stay in touch with friends and family when at university, too.
Well, technically you can’t speak to your UCAS Track account or computer screen, but you know what we mean! Check your UCAS Track to see if you have received any offers from universities. You might find your second or third choice accepted you regardless of your results. You will need to log back into this page if you do decide to apply to another degree course through Clearing.
UCAS and many places from newspapers to online websites will have a least of Clearing courses, which are degree course spots that are available. And many universities may offer these spots to students who have lower grades than the entry requirements. If you are interested in a new university or degree course, you will have to call the institution up and speak to one of their advisors. Most universities have lots of staff to be able to take these calls during this busy time, and if your advisor cannot help you, you can ask to be transferred to the head of the department to talk through your issues. Your lectures may be different if you change classes, as these depend on your course-tier, too (For more on course lectures and seminars, check out our University Terms Glossary).
Once you have found a new university or course, or even decided to not go this year altogether, you will have to call Student Finance England to tell them about any changes to your account. You should do this as soon as possible to receive your loan and grants in time for term starting (nobody wants to start the student year poor!) and to ensure that you aren’t receiving any grants or loans if you’ve decided not to go to university this year. Student Finance can be busy this time of year, but if you are patient and have all of your information at hand, then your call should run smoothly. If you’re looking for more on Student Finance, check out our Student Finance Guide here and our Scottish Student Finance Guide here.
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