UNFORTUNATELY, this results day some disappointed teenagers will be finding out they’ve just missed out on their choice of uni place – but Ucas clearing is here to help.
We explain what you need to do if you haven’t quite made the grade.
When is A-level results day?
A-level results day for 2019 is Thursday, August 15.
Students are advised to head to their school or college with their Ucas letter.
Also take along any contact details for any firm and insurance university offers you have.
It may also be useful to bring a copy of your personal statement, a copy of your reference and your AS results.
How does clearing work?
Students are able to use clearing if they missed out on a university place, including if:
- their exam results were worse than expected
- their application was at the last minute
- they have changed their mind about the course
- their exam results were better than expected
The process works by helping students find out what university courses still have places remaining.
Hopefuls are able to search for a course against the subject they are interested in, or the university they want to head to.
Clearing is a way for universities to fill any places they still have empty, while applicants who did not receive an offer have another chance at getting into university.
How do I start the clearing process?
People can actually apply through clearing from June 30 – but it is most frequently used after results day by people who have just missed out on their grades.
It remains open until September and the idea is that you identify courses, which still have spaces, that interest you and then you contact them directly.
You still need to register and make an application as you did when you originally applied.
This must be done in the same way and include that dreaded personal statement.
After you’ve done this you should receive an email from Ucas which will give you a “clearing number”.
What happens once you’ve started the clearing process?
Once your Track status switches to “You are in clearing” or “Clearing has started” then you’re good to go on to the next step.
The best thing to do at this stage is to seek some advice from someone.
Go and speak to your school careers adviser, a parent or a friend or relative whose been through the process to get an idea of what you’re in for.
Then you need to check what courses are still available.
Is there a list of courses?
Ucas will have an official vacancy list on its website which is updated regularly.
Some positions may become vacant later so KEEP CHECKING.
What can you do next?
Once you’ve found out the courses and universities you like the look of and have availability pick up the phone and give them a call.
Once you get in contact with someone who can offer you a place give them your Clearing number and Personal ID number which will let them see your application online.
Talk to the person about the course and the university and ask if they’ll accept you.
Once you’ve made up your mind which one you want to accept go back to your UCAS profile and click “Add Clearing choice”.
Then pop in the details of the course by the date they gave you an offer over the phone.
You can only add one at time but if they aren’t confirmed by the uni you will be able to add more.
Once you’ve done all that and you’ve had your offer accepted you are good to go.
Is clearing the end of the world?
Nadim Choudhury, Head of Careers at The London Institute of Banking & Finance, said that while clearing might feel like a disaster, it can be a fantastic opportunity for students.
He said: “Even though it’s an unexpected situation, you’re still very much in control of your own destiny. The most important thing is to keep calm and be proactive about what you do next.
“Being in clearing basically means you have a chance to step back, assess your options and pick the course that’s really right for you.
“Many students in their final year of sixth form choose their university and course before they’ve settled on a career choice.
“A lot can change in the few months between submitting your Ucas form and receiving your results, so make the most of the opportunity to get on a course that’ll really help you with your career.”
But students have been warned to be wary of jumping on a place through Clearing, with Which? University finding around a third of students who found a place through Clearing regretted their course or university choice.