Are You Ready For Clearing?

Summertime is finally here meaning the Clearing process is just around the corner. If you are looking to attend university or you are looking to switch degree, you will be hearing a lot of the term ‘Clearing’. But what actually is Clearing and are you ready for it?

What is Clearing?

The term ‘Clearing’ refers to how universities and colleges fill any vacant places they still have on their courses. Essentially, this process is a great opportunity for students to secure a place on a course they wish to pursue. After all, there are many reasons why students will be using the Clearing service this year.

For example, there are many people who:

  • change their minds last minute, whether that change concerns the course or university they initially chose.
  • who did not meet the specific conditions of a course they originally applied for.

For added perspective, 2017 Clearing witnessed more than 63,000 applicants successfully securing places.

Who is Eligible for Clearing?

The clearing process is open to anyone who:

  • Applied for their undergraduate course via UCAS.
  • Applied after the 30th of June.
  • Are looking to switch their degree.
  • Are not holding any offers from universities or colleges.
  • Did not receive an offer.
  • Did not meet the conditions of a course.
  • Does not have a place confirmed after exam results are published.
image of sign saying Plan B
image courtesy of

When is Clearing Open?

Clearing is officially in operation from the 5th of July and runs through to the middle of September.

How do you use Clearing?

The main idea is for you, the applicant, to identify the courses that are of interest to you. Then, you proceed by contacting the university/college directly, to see if they will offer you a place on the course you wish to study.

With that, UCAS have made it clear on their website that applicants, who are intending to apply after the 30th of June, still need to register and make an application via UCAS. This also means that applicants need to complete the application as normal, which includes your personal statement. However, UCAS also make it clear that you ‘’can’t add course choices’’.

Once your application is submitted you will receive an email that will allow you to access the Track service. This is the area where your Clearing Number will be visible and accessible.

Following that, it is recommended that you:

  • Seek advice if you have any questions or concerns
  • Use the search tool on UCAS to find any vacancies
  • Make contact with universities and colleges to see if places are available.

What to Expect During The Clearing Process?

Clearing is a busy and manic day with many universities and colleges doing their utmost to assist you. Specifically, the Clearing process can be particularly busy on Results Day. So, here is what you can expect on the day:

  • Specific to Results Day, it is advised that you ‘’check the UCAS Track site as early as possible to see the status of your applications’’. If you learn that you are eligible for Clearing, you will be given a Clearing number. You use this number when you call universities/colleges.
  • Should you become uncertain about the status of your university/college place then get in touch with the university/college directly, as you will be able to get solid confirmation from them.
  • Remember, Clearing is a very busy day which means your call may not be answered immediately. I can feel frustrating but please be patient. The staff working on the other end of the phone want to help you as best as they can and as quick as they can.
  • Applicants who are eligible for Clearing can begin the process of contacting universities/college through ‘’their special Clearing phone lines’’. It is here where applicants can speak to advisers – or to people who are affiliated with the course department you are intending to study.
  • When you are through to a university adviser, some universities/colleges tend to make a decision based on the grades you issue them with over the phone. Whereas, other universities/colleges like favour the idea of asking you some questions. Some of these questions may revolve around why you’re interested in that particular course. For more information about this telephone conversation, here is a useful guide to calling universities in Clearing.

If you have any more questions about Clearing then take a look here. The UCAS website has provided useful video guides concerned about Clearing.

Alternatively, you can contact UCAS advisers on Facebook or Twitter.

Good luck!