The wait is over. The results are in. It should be easy from here on out – but things don’t always go to plan.
If you didn’t get the grades you needed or expected, fear not. Vita Student is here to guide you through the Clearing process, step-by-step.
Step 1: Your A-Level results are in. Don’t panic!
Take a deep breath. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Now is the time you need to generate your own motivation and be proactive.
If you aren’t already registered with UCAS, make sure that’s the very first thing you do. Once you’ve registered, you should receive an email telling you how to begin the Clearing process. Now you’re out of the gate. You’ll have access to the Track service and received your unique Clearing number.
Step 2: Hunting down your perfect course via Clearing
All Clearing vacancies will be listed on the UCAS site and there is an easy search tool you can use. You now have the freedom to be flexible with your course subject and location, you can even change your mind completely from your original application! Also, for what it’s worth, you don’t even need to have applied for any course this academic year to be eligible for clearing.
Vacancies can change at a moment’s notice, so keep checking back. Don’t think your first search results are your only options. Get a real feel for what is available and do multiple searches so you’re comfortable with the universities you decide to target. Don’t wrongly assume that the only universities available through Clearing aren’t prestigious – Russell Group universities including Newcastle, Bristol and Manchester all have courses available.
Step 3: Remember, Universities want to hear from you
Get your Clearing number and your personal ID number from the UCAS website at the ready. Make a list of the universities you’re interested in and pick up that phone!
Don’t be nervous – thousands of students have to go through this process every year and everyone is in the same boat. The only requirement is that you are the one who call – not your parents, teacher or friend. Be confident, sell yourself and don’t be afraid to ask the representative of the university any questions you may have. Don’t accept a place on a course or at a university you don’t really want – make sure you’re as calm and composed as possible when you’re on the phone.
Call every university you have an interest in, even some that you may have applied for earlier. Ask if they will reconsider (it’s always worth a shot). Get a few informal offers over the phone from as many as you can, then decide which is your favourite. Remember – you don’t have to agree to any offer today, or even next week, as Clearing is open until mid-October. However, the quicker you act, the more success you’ll experience in nabbing your spot on a perfect course.
Step 4: It’s a yes from me
Once you’ve had confirmation from your chosen university, get back onto UCAS and fill in the course details. Make sure you do all this by the date the university has given you – we recommend doing it immediately after your place is confirmed, so you can relax and plan the rest of your university experience.
You can only add one choice at a time, so make sure you pick your favourite. The minute you’ve done this, you’ve effectively accepted the university’s offer. Once the university themselves have confirmed, you’ll see on the Track page in UCAS and receive a confirmation letter.
Step 5: Start planning, preparing and packing for your future
Now the fun stuff starts. If you’re studying in a city or town you didn’t anticipate, you can begin researching your new home.
Finding the right accommodation should be paramount on your list of things to do. Some students will have already secured their future digs, but don’t rush into anything. Decide what’s important for you, such as facilities, location, and room size, then start the search. This will be your new home for up to four years, so make sure you are comfortable with your choice.
Now you’re in the clear – all that’s left is getting excited to start your new university adventure!