How the Clearing process works
Clearing may seem like a confusing process, but in reality the process is really quite simple if you understand what you need to do and by when.
Clearing is traditionally seen as an opportunity to find a place at university if you haven’t performed as well as expected. However clearing should be seen as an opportunity if you are thinking of changing your mind on your university choice or perform better than expected.
We’ve created a simple ten step process to help you understand clearing:
Step 1: Check your Eligibility
If you’ve applied for a course via the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), you’ll be eligible for their Clearing process if:
You applied before 30 June 2019.
You’ve paid the full application fee of £18 for a single choice or £24 for multiple courses.
You don’t hold any offers because you didn’t receive any, you didn’t meet the conditions, you declined the offers, you applied too late or you didn’t apply for any but after receiving your results, you now want to apply.
Step 2: Build your application
If you haven't already applied, you need to register and make an application for 2019 entry. Once you've sent your application and received your welcome email from UCAS, you can see how it's progressing by signing in to Track, the online application system. If you didn’t meet expectations and you fulfil the eligibility requirements after A-level Results Day on August 15 or SQA Results Day in Scotland on August 6, your application will be automatically entered into Clearing and your Clearing number will be displayed in Track.You can also apply for Clearing if you changed your mind after Results Day and decide that you now want to attend university.
Step 3: Monitor the Clearing vacancies on UCAS
This summer, Clearing vacancies - otherwise known as course openings - will go live on the UCAS website. You will be able to monitor vacancy updates via the website, as well as browse potential courses and universities you plan to apply for before these vacancies go live.
Step 4: Note down the Clearing contact details
Once you have your exam results, you can contact your chosen universities about vacancies. Contact numbers for Clearing will be available via the UCAS search tool and on university websites if they have spaces during Clearing. UEA’s hotline will be live from the July 5, where the enquiry team will be on hand to answer any questions. Live chat will also be available if you prefer.
Step 5: Prepare questions and answers
It’s best to prepare any questions you have about the process, such as securing accommodation or any key dates, before getting through to the university’s Clearing advisor. Have your results ready and practice engaging answers in response to potential questions they might ask, such as: Why are you interested in applying to our course?
Step 6: The consideration stage
If you receive verbal permission to be considered for the course via Clearing, you can then add the Clearing choice in Track. Be sure to fill in the course details by the date the university or college gave you on the phone. They will then decide if they can offer you a place through Clearing and will let UCAS know.
Step 7: Decisions will be displayed in Track
If you’re accepted, UCAS will send you an email to tell you that the status has changed and that you need to check Track. You can then view and print your acceptance letter - a handy document to have when opening a student bank account. However, if the university or college can’t offer you a place. You can still contact other education providers to see whether there are other vacancies of interest.
Step 8: Don't Forget the time limit
It’s true that there’s no limit to how many universities you can contact or hold verbal offers with via Clearing, but please remember that each one will have a deadline and you’ll only be able to accept one through UCAS. Also, note that your accommodation choices may be limited due to the rush of Clearing and previous applications.
Step 9: Consider the Direct Contact Service
UCAS also provides the optional Direct Contact Service in case things don’t go to plan. Even if you didn’t apply for them, universities and colleges can contact you from July to mid-September through this service if they have places on courses they think might be suitable, based on your application. You’ll only be eligible for this service if you are not waiting for any university decisions, you aren't holding any offers, you submitted your application by June 30, paid the full fee and you’re eligible for Clearing.
Step 10: Set your Clearing goals now
Clearing choices are yours to make. If you already know which university you want to choose in the UCAS Clearing process, don’t be afraid to reach out and learn more about your potential university by booking a campus tour, speaking to a current student or member of staff. And if you like the sound of UEA, visit their advice page to see how their trusted school advisors can assist, as well as how current students are enjoying their university experience. You can also contact UEA via firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0)1603 591515 for further information.