Clearing 2024: What to Say When Calling Universities

Clearing is the UCAS process of matching students without university places to universities with course vacancies. You’ll find yourself entered for Clearing if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You applied for university after 30th June 2024
  • You didn’t meet the requirements of your offer
  • You weren’t made any offers
  • You haven’t yet applied for university

Clearing 2024 officially opens on A Level results day, 15th August 2024, and ends on 17th October 2024. Competition for university places is fierce and vacancies are usually filled on A Level results day, or within a week afterwards.

This means you’ll need to be organised, in control of your emotions, and know what you’re going to say before you pick up the phone. Here are some top tips for a successful phone call to the university admissions department:

  • Be prepared, confident, and positive
  • Make sure you phone yourself – universities won’t be impressed if you get your Mum or Dad to call for you
  • Research each university you’re interested in before you call – they’ll want to know why you’ve chosen them
  • Know which subject area you want to study – even if you don’t know exactly which course
  • Make sure you sound interested and knowledgeable about the subject area you’re calling about
  • Have all of the information you need, including UCAS ID, personal statement, and GCSE grades, in front of you before you call
  • Don’t just say “What course can I get onto with 200 UCAS points?” – You’re meant to be passionate about a subject, not desperate!
  • Note the names, email, and direct telephone numbers of everyone you speak to
  • If the phone is engaged, hang up, phone another university, and come back to it later
  • Don’t be shy – you need to make that university want you, especially if you’re talking to an admissions tutor
  • If you aren’t accepting an offer from a university, be polite and phone them back, they might be holding your place for you
  • Keep your computer close – it’s useful for last minute research and making your choices when you have an offer