Need Of The Hour: Frequently Asked Questions About Clearing

clearing faqs

Written by Pareeshti Rao

It all started with an impulsive urge to befriend Enid Blyton and be a part of the famous five! Writing since then has been my magic wand and I've used it to sprinkle words like fairy dust and express myself thereat.

July 22, 2021

Hello! Did you miss the 30 June 2021 deadline for enrolling in a university or college? That’s alright because all is not lost…yet! If you’re still hoping to get into university for the 2021/22 academic year, you have until October 19 to select a programme through the University and Colleges Admissions Service’s (UCAS) Clearing procedure. However, there are certain terms and conditions that you’ll have to adhere to and that’s what this article is all about. Read along to get all the answers to the frequently asked questions about clearing.

Before we proceed, let’s do a quick check on the conditions required for applying to universities through clearing. You can apply to uni through clearing as long as:

  • You have not received an offer from a university in the UK or don’t plan on accepting any offer you currently have. 
  • You apply after 30 June.
  • You didn’t meet the conditions of your offer.
  • You have paid £26 as a part of the multiple-choice application fee. 
  • You have declined your firm place using the UCAS Track.

Common Clearing FAQs Every College Student Asks


Some of the most popular frequently asked questions about clearing are as follows:

  • What is clearing?
  • When does Clearing 2021 open?
  • How does Clearing work?
  • How do I apply through Clearing?
  • University clearing tips

What Is Clearing?


Clearing is a UCAS service that makes way for institutions to fill vacant seats on courses, while students without offers are given a second chance to pursue their higher education goals. So if you’re a student who has missed the 30th June deadline, kindly note that you’re in the midst of the clearing period, and this is like your final call for enrolling into a particular uni, all thanks to UCAS.

frequently asked questions on clearing

When Does Clearing 2021 Open?


The service is accessible from July to September each year, which means you may start using Clearing as soon as your A-level results are out. Vacancies are updated on a regular basis, with the majority being posted on the day after the results. You can call the university’s toll-free lines. As the opening timings vary, it is best to check with the individual university for details.

For those who have missed out on the application deadlines, one of the most frequently asked questions about clearing is regarding the opening dates. Clearing openings for 2021 admission will be displayed in UCAS’s search tool beginning Monday, July 5, 2021. Applications will be accepted until Tuesday, September 21, with the deadline for adding your choices and for institutions to make their final decisions on Tuesday, October 19.

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How Does Clearing Work?


While certain universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge, do not participate in Clearing, on A-level results day, the UCAS Clearing website offers thousands of course openings from major universities. It is up to you, however, to find courses of interest that still have openings. Contact the relevant colleges directly to find out whether they will accept you.

You can also apply for courses in topics you haven’t previously applied for, as well as to institutions that may have rejected you earlier in the year. Trained advisors are on hand to help you through the process, and university hotlines are staffed by expert consultants. Before you may add a course to Track, you must first obtain authorization from the university.

Your seat is secured once you’ve received a verbal offer, it’s been entered into Track, and confirmed by the institution.

Also Read: World University Rankings: All you need to know

How Do I Apply Through Clearing?


Now that you’ve understood the concept of clearing, and know all the necessary mandates and dates available, you must be wondering about the application process. ‘How do I apply through clearing?’ is one of the most important frequently asked questions about clearing by students, in order to proceed with the application.

Any vacancies on courses that universities haven’t been able to fill are published on the UCAS website and may be located using their search tool, which allows you to explore openings by subject, region, or university. To apply, fill out your details as normal including your university personal statement. Once submitted, you’ll be invited to use the Track service and be given a Clearing number. From there, you’ll need to follow the steps and look for a place.

To see your online application, you will need to provide the institution with your Clearing number and personal ID number. Over the phone, you will receive verbal offers; nevertheless, you must accept just one. You can only add one choice at a time. If the institution does not confirm the offer, you will be given the opportunity to search again.

Hope you’ve got all your clearing questions answered. Here are some tips on how to handle the entire Clearing process and navigate your way through your application to uni.

clearing faqs

University Clearing Tips

  • There will be thousands of courses listed on the UCAS website, so even if you did not obtain the grades you were expecting, you have alternatives that may demand a lower GPA.
  • When opting for courses through clearing, it is recommended that you take as much advice as possible from parents, teachers, or older students who have secured a seat in uni via clearing. That’ll give you a broader insight into what course is best for you.
  • Make sure you have a look at the student finance options available for you and follow the procedure of applying for scholarships or loans as per the clearing guidelines laid by your university. 
  • If you’re keen on taking a particular course but your grades come in between, you can have a word with the concerned teachers about a reexamination, or even better, look for other universities that will accept lower grades.
  • Since this is your second chance of applying to university, make sure that you nail your interview by preparing for the possible questions that could be asked – including why you have chosen a particular course or a university.
  • Be on the alert for important dates and times. You can do so with the help of hotlines which will stay open till September, giving you ample time to discuss your options.
  • Lastly, being patient is the key. With hundreds of applications to review, it may take your preferred university up to a day to make a decision and respond. If you haven’t heard back within a day, give them a call to inquire about your place.

Hope you found this blog on the Frequently Asked Questions About Clearing useful. If you’d like to read more, check out these blogs:

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