For those of you looking to go to university this year, 13th August 2015 will probably be one of the most intense moments of your lives. On this day you’ll find out if the hours of studying and sleepless nights paid off.
To help you through it, we’ve created a short guide to the process and how to prepare for it.
What is Clearing?
First things first. What is Clearing? It’s an opportunity for students who don’t have a confirmed university place to review their options. Whether your first choices didn’t quite work out, or you weren’t sure what you wanted to study when applications went in, Clearing is the chance to secure your place this autumn.
Who is eligible to apply through Clearing?
You should be up for Clearing if you fulfil one of the below requirements:
I. You’ve applied this year and received no offers.
II. You have missed the conditions of your university offers.
III. You’ve turned down all the offers and you haven’t withdrawn from UCAS.
IV. UCAS received your application after 30th June.
When does Clearing take place?
Clearing actually begins on 1st July and ends on 21st September. However, it really gets into full swing around A-level Results Day which means you can't start applying without knowing your marks. Most universities wait until 13thAugust to start listing vacancies.
What is the process?
If you haven’t applied yet, you’ll need to complete a UCAS APPLICATION including a personal statement and a reference. Once you’ve done that, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your Clearing number and to access the UCAS track to keep up-to-date with your progress. Once you have this information you can begin contacting universities.
How do you know if your eligible?
Check if the UCAS track status says ‘You are in Clearing’ or ‘Clearing has Started’. If this isn’t the case you need to get in touch with the university. It’s possible that they’re still considering your application.
How can you prepare?
With Clearing ‘first come, first served’ applies. Therefore, to maximise your chances there are a few things you can do ahead of time:
I. List all the universities and courses you’re interested in.
II. Make sure you’ve collected all the necessary information (e.g. A-level grades, Clearing number, etc.) that you might require for either you application or communications with the university/ies.
III. Prepare yourself for a mini-interview over the phone. It isn’t a dead cert that you’ll be interviewed, but it’s better to be prepared in case you are.
What happens if you don’t get through Clearing?
Firstly, don’t panic. You’ll have the option to add a Clearing choice if the university doesn’t confirm. If that still doesn’t work out it’s not the end of the world. You can resit your exams and aim for a different mark, consider a different degree course or take a gap year and apply again next year.
Lastly, good luck on 13th August.
Visit www.ucas.com for more information and advice on Clearing.