Firstly, congratulations on being in the mix for a place at University.
For whatever reason you didn't get into your chosen University or course there is a safety net that will hopefully allow you to access another course and enable you to continue in your academic journey.
This process is called Clearing and it allows students to access courses that have not yet been filled by Universities. This will allow you a second shot at securing that dream course. Clearing will be available to you if you have applied after June 30th (of that year), did not receive any offers or any you wanted to accept and also if you did not meet the conditions of your original offers.
How Does It Work?
Applicants applying after the 30th June will need to complete the formal UCAS application format including writing your personal statement, however you will not be allowed to add courses. Once registered you will receive a Clearing number, which will allow you to seek advice, search courses and also contact Universities. Your application status will indicate ‘You are in clearing’ or ‘Clearing has started’. If you receive an offer from a University you can add the course in your Track. It’s important to note the process can take time and updates maybe slow. If in doubt about your application, get in contact with the University or College, they may still be considering your application. The UCAS process is relatively clear and easy to follow and should make the process as stress free and simple as possible.
UCAS Clearing Service
UCAS will allow you to view courses of Universities across the UK that still have places to be filled. The service is available July to September every academic year and is an on-going process as places become available, so take full advantage of the UCAS search tool. More information can be found at www.ucas.com
Clearing Open Days
Clearing Open days are a great opportunity to visit your new University. These open days give new students the opportunity to receive a tour of the campus, speak to academic staff, current students and key faculty staff. In addition you will benefit from meeting other new students in a similar situation to you and also get you acquainted with your new home. The events are usually quite flexible but please be aware that the guided tours usually operate at certain times and these are a must to get the most from the day. Once you have been offered a place, the University will usually send you an invite to the Open Day. Booking is not usually required but it’s best to check before you commute.
Clearing Top Tips
Communication and patience is key to getting the best out of clearing. Some of the best academic experiences will have come from students who have gone through the clearing process and ended up studying something different or at a different University than originally planned. Try and research the courses and institutes on offer and don’t be pressured. Keep a clear head and seek advice and guidance from a former teacher, parent or academic adviser. Don’t be afraid to speak direct to your potential University or course faculty. If unsure don’t force it, a gap year may be an option but trust your instincts and guidance, as this will ultimately be one of the biggest decisions you will make.
Making your Decision
This is your academic journey and although the journey may not have started as originally intended there is much to gain from clearing. It is vital that you are happy with the course and the University, as you will be spending at least three years there. Clearing should be seen as positive change, but you must apply the same research and attention you gave to your original choices. It is highly likely that you will find your ideal course through clearing and go on to obtain a rewarding and valued degree. Pull on all your support networks to help you make the right decision, assess the pros and cons and make an informed decision. Finally we wish you the best of luck with your next stage and hope you manage to find your ideal course in 2016.
For full and detailed information about the Clearing Process CLICK HERE to visit the University and Colleges Admissions Services (UCAS) website.