University Clearing 2012
If your results weren’t quite what you needed to get into university then don’t panic! You still have a chance of getting in to university through clearing.
Clearing is a service managed by UCAS. It lets those who didn’t get the grades they wanted apply for university courses with vacancies. The clearing service is available between July and September so you can make use of it as soon as you get your results. If you are flexible and you have reasonable exam results, there is still a good chance you will find another course.
Getting your results and realising they aren’t what you needed for your first choice can be stressful and disappointing. But you’re not alone, so don’t rush to the pub to drown your sorrows, get applying for clearing! The clearing service successfully places over 30, 000 applicants every year and of all the successful higher education applicants in 2011, 8% of them gained entry through the clearing process. Clearing doesn’t just place you on any old course with a spare place, it is very effective at matching you with a suitable course. You may even be able to get on the course you wanted in the first place!
If you aren’t quite sure what to do with after getting your results, then check out our article on A Level results day 2012. It has all the information on what to do in nearly every situation and how to prepare for university. The A Level helpline is another fantastic free service and runs for ten days over the exam results period. You can reach them on 0808 100 8000.
Who can apply for clearing?
You are eligible for Clearing if you have applied in the current application year and if you have already applied through UCAS and are in one of the following categories:
- You have not received any offers.
- You have declined all your offers or not responded by the due date.
- Your offers have not been confirmed because you have not met the conditions (e.g. you have not achieved the required grades).
- You have declined a changed course, a changed date of entry and/or changed point of entry offer.
- You applied for one course which has been declined/unsuccessful and you have paid the full application fee – £22 for 2012.
- UCAS received your application after 30 June. If you sent your application after this date, it will not have been sent to any universities or colleges.
If you fit in to one of these categories, then you may be able to get in to university through clearing by applying for a vacancy. Clearing vacancies are published from mid-August until late-September, you will find them here, or in The Telegraph newspaper.
How to apply for university through clearing
Even though not getting the results you needed can be disappointing, as long as you are prepared to manage the university clearing process, it will all be a distant memory once you are at uni!
If you think there’s a chance you may go into clearing then be prepared to give yourself the best chance. Have your UCAS admissions number, your Clearing number, and the clearing phone lines of universities.
Just remember to treat university clearing like applying for a job. You need to sell yourself to the universities. Getting into university through clearing is entirely down to you, so try your hardest to get in contact with universities and allow time to do research.
Step by step applying for clearing courses
- Once you’ve identified some subject areas which suit you, get searching for clearing vacancies. Be aware that some vacancies may be filled very quickly so if you’ve made a certain decision then try to apply as soon as possible.
- You then need to contact your chosen university. While some universities have helplines open from 8am on results day, it’s unlikely you will be able to get in touch due to the record numbers of applicants looking for a clearing vacancy. By midday, you may be able to get in touch with universities. If you declined an offer from a university earlier in the year, get in contact with them to see if they will accept you on clearing. They may accept your original course application or one for another course.
- Universities will require your results and your Clearing number which is in the “choices” section in Track in your UCAS form. With the number the university can view your UCAS application and consider your clearing application.
- Once you have found a place you want, and contacted the university they may give you a provisional offer. You then need to add the universities details into your clearing choices on UCAS. The university may then confirm your offer and you will be alerted on the clearing form and by letter. Then congratulations! You’re now officially a uni student!
Choosing university clearing courses
While it may feel like a rushed decision, if you set aside some time then you can do some research about what university to choose. Consider clearing courses in related fields to your original option, and those that appeal to your interests as well as the subjects you’ve studied.
Going to your college careers advisor before or after you get your results is a good idea. This gives you some one to talk to and discuss your options with, and help you choose what alternate clearing courses may be suitable for you.
When you have a course in mind, vital things to consider are the terms and conditions of the course itself. This includes things like required placements, the type of degree the course results in, and any supplies you will need. Important features of the uni itself include accommodation, facilities, and social aspects. Check out your full course description and university website to find out all about these.
When it comes to considering where to live, Savethestudent has comprehensive guides on a number of big university cities, read them here.
Good luck to all of you that are applying for clearing this year!
If you do make it through, congratulations! You can start getting clued up about what’s to come with Save the Student! Check out our guides on freshers week survival, knowing what to take to uni and getting your head around university life.Last updated 16th August, 2012