If you haven't got a place at university following the application deadline of June 30, or if your results don't match expectations on Results Day (August 17), don't panic. You can apply for a course through Ucas Clearing.
What is Clearing?
Ucas' Clearing process lets you apply for courses that still have places available. This service is for those students who have not received any offers, rejected all their offers, or didn't make the grades for their offers.
There were 41,000 courses with vacancies listed on the Ucas clearing website on July 27 – up from 37,000 at the same time last year. Empty spaces were listed at almost every institution, including a number of top universities.
Who can use it?
You can use Clearing if your Track status says ‘You are in clearing’ or ‘clearing has started’.
If your status has not been updated, your application may still be under consideration by your university even if your results aren't quite what you expected. Get in touch with the universities/colleges so you know what steps to take next.
Who can't use it?
You won't be able to use clearing if a previous offer has already been confirmed because you have met the entry requirements or if you have already accepted a place.
When can I start the Clearing process?
You can use clearing from 8am on results day, which is Thursday 17th August and will remain open until late September. Use your Ucas personal ID number to log into your Track page. You will find your clearing number on the Track home page in the top left hand coner, under the My Status section. Keep this number to hand, you will need it throughout the clearing process.
How to apply
Course vacancies will be listed on the UCAS website.
You will also find the full list of vacanices in the Telegraph paper on results day. The Telegraph will also list them on it's website and the Telegraph Clearing app, which is available for both Apple and Android devices.
Give them a call
Once you have narrowed down your choices, start calling your chosen universities. You need to contact them directly and it will be you who will need to speak to them. Once you are through to the university you will most likely speak to a member of the Clearing helpline team. They will need your clearing number, which will enable them to open your Track screen and look at your application, results and personal statement.
If you meet the course requirements you will be passed onto the course administrator.
The course administrator will ask you a few questions, essentially a mini interview to see if you are a good fit for the course. You will need to sell yourself and explain why you want to do the course so do y our research before calling.
The course administrator may make you a verbal offer – this offer usually stands for 24 hours, so you will still have time to consider other options afterwards. It’s important that you don’t rush into a decision, and that you choose a course that you will be happy to study for the next three or four years.
Clearing can be an extremely stressful time, but try and stay calm. You will be able to express yourself more confidently if you are in the right frame of mind when talking to universities
Accept an offer
Once you have the offer you want and are 100% sure you want to accept it you should update your Track screen - the university won't update your Track for you.
Remember, just updating your Track screen isn't enough. You will also have to contact the university directly and tell them that you have accepted their offer. Ask how they would like you to do this – some will want you to send a letter; others will accept an email.
Whoop! You're going to University!
Congratulations, you did it.
Finally, when you're there...
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