University Clearing tips
Malathi Kanapathy, head of prospect experience at Middlesex University London, gives her advice on how to navigate the university Clearing process:
- Don’t panic if you don’t get the grades you were expecting – you can shop around for suitable courses. You can also use UCAS Clearing Plus, which provides you with courses matching your profile.
- Use your time wisely before results day to research, browse websites, view virtual tours, check social media channels, and get a feel for the universities you’d consider.
- Assess your options and don’t discount alternative courses and study levels. You’ll find plenty of information on the course pages and university profiles to help you decide.
- Speak to admissions advisers through their special Clearing phonelines about the alternatives you’re interested in. This is also a good opportunity to discuss availability on their student accommodation.
- Have all your important information ready, which you’ll need when making calls (for instance, your UCAS number, Clearing number, A-level/GCSE grades) when talking to universities. Take notes of the points discussed with the adviser or course leader.
- Be ready to answer questions on your reasons for choosing a specific course (as well as your academic ability), as universities will want to know you’re the right fit. You may even be asked to speak to a programme leader about the course, or be invited for a university interview.
- Be patient – with hundreds of applications to process, it can take up to a day for your chosen university to make a decision and respond. If you haven’t heard back by the following day, give them a call to find out about your place. Even though you applied late, you’ll still receive a welcome pack and your university will make sure you’re all set for freshers’ week.
- Confirm your place – don’t forget to confirm your place through UCAS once you’ve been made an offer that you’re happy with.