What is Clearing?
Clearing is the process of matching applicants without a university place to one of the university places still available once they have received their results. It runs from July to September and applies to applicants who:
- Have not met the conditions of their offers.
- Have not received any offers.
- Have rejected all their offers.
- Have applied after the 30 June.
Your son or daughter will know whether Clearing is available to them if their UCAS Track status says 'You are in Clearing' or 'Clearing has started'.
If results aren't what was expected
It's important to remind your son or daughter that if they haven't got the grades they were hoping for, it doesn't necessarily mean they won't get the university place they wanted.
Stewart Harper, Associate Registrar at Leeds Beckett University, shares some advice about securing a place at university through Clearing.
A level and BTEC results
Universities will always accept applicants who have been offered a place and get the grades to meet the entry requirements. This process is known as Confirmation.
If they don't get their Firm choice, they may well get their Insurance choice.
If they don't get their Insurance choice either, then they can go into Clearing.
During Clearing many universities, including Leeds Beckett, will look at the possibility of reviewing requirements for applicants who have only just missed out, which means your son or daughter could still get the university place they want.
If they took A levels, they should look online at UCAS Track on A level results day to find out if their place has been confirmed. BTEC results are released as soon as they are available rather than on a specific date as A levels are.
Leeds Beckett University releases the entry requirements and details of courses that are available through Clearing from early July. This is the opportunity for your son or daughter to start looking around at what their options are, if they don't get the grades they hope for. It is important that you also encourage them to do so.
They shouldn’t give up on the course they want – there’s little value in just picking any course to get a place at university. Instead, it’s a case of finding a similar course, at a university where they would be happy to study.
They should be asking the same questions as when they were thinking about their Firm and Insurance choices. Do they want a campus university? Do they want a city university? Do they want a university only so many miles from home? This way, on results day, should they not be accepted at their university of choice, they already have a good idea of where else they would like to apply.
The big message is that Clearing shouldn’t be seen as a negative. Every year thousands of people find a place through Clearing and are very happy with where they go. Encourage your son or daughter to go into it with a positive frame of mind – ‘if I don’t get the grades I’m after, these are my options and this is what I’m going to do.’
Doing some research before results day will save your son or daughter time. If they go through Clearing, they should ring around different universities to find out more about courses that interest them. Based on their grades, they may receive a verbal offer of a place. They may capture a number of verbal offers on the day; however, they cannot confirm an offer before 15:00 on A level results day.
Each university decides how long they leave a verbal offer open – at Leeds Beckett we would usually say midnight on the day we make an offer. The best advice is for your son or daughter not to wait, as universities are unable to guarantee how long places will be available for. If they've done their research in advance, then it should all be about thinking through their decision.
Every year we speak to parents whose son or daughter is on holiday during Clearing. If your son or daughter wants us to talk to you, for whatever the reason, at Leeds Beckett we are happy to do this.
However, due to Data Protection regulations we need their permission to do so. Without permission, we can only talk to them. Also, even if we have their permission to talk to you, it is still them we can only make an offer to.
If your son or daughter is planning a summer break, it’s worth reminding them of this. They can either add your details in the 'Nominated contact' field on their UCAS application or, if they've already applied and didn't do this, they can contact UCAS directly on 0371 468 0468 to nominate you as a contact.