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For many students, the prospect of entering university through the traditional UCAS application process can be both exciting and rather nerve-wracking at the same time. But what happens if your results aren't what you hoped for or you have a change of heart about your course choices? This is where UCAS Clearing comes in and it offers another way of securing a place at university. In this blog, we'll explore what UCAS Clearing is, how it works, and provide essential tips to help you make the most of Clearing opportunities to achieve your goals.
What is UCAS Clearing?
Lots of students have heard of “Clearing”, but sometimes the process isn’t fully understood. Clearing is an annual process and this year it opened on 5th July and it will remain open until 17th October 2023.
It is designed to provide additional opportunities for students to find a university course and for universities to fill their places. It can offer a lifeline to students who either missed the main deadline (end of June), or who didn't meet the conditions of their original university course offers and those who want to change their course choices after exam results. For universities, Clearing offers a way to advertise courses that still have vacancies - it is worth bearing mind that universities will be very keen to fill every spot.
Who can use UCAS Clearing?
If you are not sure whether Clearing is for you, here is a breakdown of who could use it.
Students who have paid the £27 multiple choice application fee
Students applying for a university place after the 30th June 2023 deadline
Students without any offers from the universities that they applied to
Students who gain higher final grades than predicted and who now want to apply to other courses (where vacancies still exist)
Students who didn’t meet the conditions of their conditional offers
Students who change their mind and now wish to apply to other courses.
We recommend that every student should take a look at the courses in Clearing ahead of results day to identify a possible Plan B just in case things don’t work out as planned. Here is what you should do:
What can you do before results day?