DS2 has applied for the same 4 yr International course at 4 unis. He liked all 4 very much but after a great deal of thought, chose the 2 that were 1. not his local uni and 2. not the uni his brother attends.
It's likely that his firm and insurance unis will make him offers for the 3 year course if he just misses the grades for the 4 year course.
However, we can see today that the uni his brother attends has the 4 yr international course on its Clearing list for 3 Bs, instead of the AAA or AAB DS2 is being asked for at his firm anf insurance unis.
Firm choice uni isn't releasing its Clearing list until tomorrow morning and the 4 yr international isn't on the Clearing list of the insurance uni.
So ... if he is only offered altenative 3 yr courses at his firm/insurance choice, can the other uni which only wants 3 Bs speak to DS without DS having declined his firm/insurance offers to get a Clearing number?
He'd hate to lose out on 3 yr courses by declining, then chasing the 4 yr course unsuccessfully.
I don't think it will be a problem. I considered going through clearing last year, despite having not actually applied for uni last year, and was offered a place by Warwick without having a number, or even a UCAS form. I think you can call and discuss whether you'd be offered a place without needing to refuse other offers. Obviously he won't be able to go through clearing if he meets his firm or insurance offer though.
Actually he can go through clearing even if he meets his offers (although I assume he won't want to). He just has to ask those unis to "release" him. He can talk to other unis without a clearing number and they can offer him the place but it won't be signed and sealed until he has the number.
Thanks so much for your replies. Unfortunately, his school doesn't open till 8.30, half an hour after the clearing hotline for that uni opens. It has a masssive 6th form too so there'll be a queue for help. I think he'll just have to turn up early and crack on with it if the news on track is bad. I'm just hoping he'll get the 4 yr international course at his firm or insurance but it's good to know there's a back up so thanks again for your help.