Clearing is the UCAS process of matching students without university places to universities with course vacancies. If you apply for university after 30th June 2017 then you will be automatically entered for Clearing.
You are also eligible for Clearing if you don’t receive any offers from universities, if you don’t get the grades required for your chosen universities, or if you’ve changed your mind about going to your chosen university.
Clearing properly starts on A Level results day, 17th August 2017, and you’ll need to move quickly to secure a place at university. Most places fill up on results day or within the first week afterwards, so be prepared to get on the phone and state your case to universities.
You can use UCAS Track to search for course vacancies and enter your application details when you’re given a place. You can also find a full list of Clearing course vacancies in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.
The best way to ensure you get a place is to create list of potential courses and universities and keep phoning until you get offered a place. Be polite, keep a note of who you’ve spoken to, and if you can’t get through send an email to the admissions department with your details. The university may give you a decision immediately over the phone or they may call you back soon afterwards.
You can phone as many universities as you like but you can only apply for one Clearing choice on UCAS Track at a time. If you apply and are unsuccessful or change your mind then you’ll be able to apply for a new choice soon afterwards.
Because you can only apply for one Clearing choice at a time it’s important not to accept the first offer you’re made unless you’re sure it’s the right decision. It’s worth phoning potential universities in order of the ones you’re most interested in. That way you should get a decision from their admissions department before you accept an offer from a university you aren’t that keen on.