In 2016, UCAS stated that just under 65,000 students obtained university places through the Clearing process. That means that over a tenth of all students which started university that year had gained places during Clearing.

In fact, the number of students gaining places during uni Clearing is rising steadily year on year, proving that it’s not just an option for students who didn’t make the grade.

Here’s a closer look at why record numbers of students are obtaining places through Clearing:

Universities mean business

One reason for this increase in students embracing the Clearing process, and why thousands will enter uni Clearing 2018, is that student number controls were lifted in 2015. Universities are now able to recruit as many undergraduate students as they can find places for.

In order to recruit these students, universities are acting in a more business like capacity, with some offering incentives to students attending their institutions. Cash bonuses, gym memberships, laptops, and even free flights are on offer to potential students of certain universities.

Even Russell Group universities are getting in on the action, with several lowering their offers in order to ensure that they aren’t left with vacancies come September. Courses which usually require A* or A grades are being opened to students applying through uni Clearing.

Although uni Clearing has previously had a stigma attached to it, students are now able to use the process to explore places at multiple top universities. Competition between universities to attract the maximum number of students has meant that attitudes towards Clearing have changed.

With far more choice available, including Russell Group universities (which was previously unheard of), Clearing is now a desirable process to be involved in as it gives a second chance to secure a place at a top university.

Goodbye uncertainty, hello university

Another reason for the record numbers of students entering university via the Clearing process is that waiting until Clearing means you’ll have your A level results already, so you won’t have the uncertainty of not knowing if you’ve met the conditions of your offer or not.

This also means you have the opportunity to “trade up” if you find your results are better than you expected. No longer is uni Clearing a “last chance saloon” for desperate students, but a perfectly viable route into university for students looking for their ideal course.

Economics, Law, Nursing, Business, and Psychology are usually the most popular courses, so if any of these appeal to you, be prepared to move fast to secure a place.

Clearing 2018

You’ll be entered into uni Clearing 2018 if; you applied for university after 30th June 2018, you haven’t applied for university, you weren’t made any offers, you declined all of your offers, or you didn’t meet the requirements of your offer.

Students that are eligible for uni Clearing will be able to see on their UCAS Track page as their Clearing number will be displayed. Don’t forget, you’ll need to give this number to universities when you apply so that they can access your application.