What you need to do
Here we have for you a step-by-step guide to the clearing process to put your mind at rest on the day and make sure that you haven’t missed out any important steps in the process. Remember you can contact as many universities as you like to investigate their courses available on clearing, you are not just limited to one.
1. Seek advice
This step can be done weeks before you get your results. If you are worried that your results may not be what you were hoping for, it is a good idea to make an appointment with a careers advisor at college or school or local services like Connexions. The advisor will – well it’s in the name really -advise you on what course may be best suited to you.
2. Check the vacancies list
After choosing a course that’s right for you it is important you check the vacancies list and ensure it’s on there for the University of your choice. This list is continually updated on the UCAS website and is also published in The Telegraph. Remember, not all universities offer courses through clearing and places may also fill up quickly. No need to panic though – which course at what uni is an important decision (as I’m sure you don’t need us to tell you!).
3. Contact the university
Once you have your results and have chosen a course at a university that is on the vacancies list, you should contact the university on their clearing phone number. Conveniently, here at Getting-in we have compiled a list of contact numbers just for you – see the other clearing posts to access it. At this stage it may still be a good idea to contact more than one university if you are not 100% sure where you would like to attend. When you call them you will need your clearing number which can be found on your UCAS Track page on their website. The university will then be able to view your application online and once they have had a conversation with you they may give you an informal offer to study the course at that uni.
4. Decide between offers
When you ring the universities, it is possible to be given informal offers by more than one uni or for more than one course. It is then down to you to decide which course at what uni will be best for you. This could be the most important decision of your adult lives so far so think carefully and don’t be too hasty!
5. Accept the offer on UCAS
When a university offers you a place on the telephone, they will give you a date by which you need to formally accept it. Ensure that you do this via the UCAS website before this date or you will lose the place, and all that effort would have been for nothing! This can be done via the Track part of your UCAS account, click on Add Clearing Choice and then enter the course details. You can only accept one offer at this point so make sure you have addressed step 4 above! Remember, you should only add a clearing choice on UCAS once you have contacted that university and been informally offered a place on that course. If you have not done so, your application will be delayed and it is not guaranteed you will be accepted in the end anyway.
6. Confirm your place
Once you have completed step 5, UCAS will inform the university that you have applied through clearing. They will then check your application and if they decide to accept you this can be seen on your Track section of your UCAS account. In addition, UCAS will send you a confirmation letter of your offer which includes the steps you need to take next. This letter is formal confirmation that you have been accepted onto the course – congratulations! If the application has not been successful, you can then apply to another university or course through your UCAS account and repeat steps 3 to 5 – keep going, it will be worth it in the end!