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Pls explain 'University Clearing' to me

(20 Posts)
Valerion Tue 09-Jan-18 19:31:55

First how do i check to see if a course has previously gone into clearing? is there a Clearing databse somewhere?

Please explain it to me like a 5 year old

How does the clearing process work? is it:
1. Your 5 unis have rejected you so you go back into the pot and those uni's try to find something else for you that matches your grades?
2. Your 5 uni's have rejected you so you go back in the pot and all universities in the U.K help to match you with a course?
3. I've read on MN that you can reject an insurance and go back into clearing to be in with a better chance??? everyone was oohing and aahing about how this is a very good tactic, but didn't have a clue what they were talking about (twas an old thread).

Thank you all

OP’s posts: |
raspberryrippleicecream Tue 09-Jan-18 20:52:44

I'll start off but am sure others will help out with more knowledge as I haven't had to do it personally.

Firstly, if you don't get any offers from your original 5, or you choose not to accept any of the offers you can apply through UCAS extra, which opens at the end of February until the end of June. This is separate to clearing. You can also add unis if you didn't use 5 initially.

2. No, unis don't try and match you. Its up to you to find a fit. Clearing opens at the beginning of July, but mostly people will be talking about it for after A level results day. If you didn't meet the offer for you firm or uni, you can choose to use clearing. The person wanting the place needs to ring the university and ask to be considered for a place. There are lists around, usually the uni website lists courses with spare places and the grades considered. Unis know the weekend before the results how many offers have been met.

There is also Adjustment, which is similar but applies if you exceed your predictions.

Regarding rejecting insurance, as I understand it you have to request to be released by the uni who has given the offer, to clear UCAS .

LIZS Tue 09-Jan-18 21:01:54

No if all 5 reject you / you miss the firm and insurance offers and neither accept a slip in grades (it appears on UCAS tracker or you can call and plead) then it is up to you to check availability of other unis/courses in Clearing and reapply for those for which you have the relevant grades etc. Unis then review whether to accept or decline. Occasionally a uni may look at grades which miss their original offer and offer an alternative course (Comparative Literature instead of English Literature for example) in order to fill spaces and ensure the second course runs.

titchy Wed 10-Jan-18 07:56:11

What they said!

Extra is for those who haven't had any offers from their initial 5. You apply one course at a time.

Assuming you eventually get one or two offers you then hold one as firm and one as insurance if you have a second offer.

If you meet required grades on results day, or miss but they don't mind, for either, you're in.

If results weren't good enough look at ucas clearing lists - early! And get phoning.

There are no central lists of which courses were in clearing the previous year, but most universities list their clearing courses a few days before results are out.

eatyourveg Wed 10-Jan-18 08:08:41

no database for clearing places - pm me if you want to know about a specific course as I have kept copies from previous years.

Valerion Wed 10-Jan-18 12:02:21

Thank you all so very much.

So i've deduced from your replies that:

There is no central clearing database.

Each university has their own clearing list (Where does one find this?)
How does one know when university has published their clearing list? (is there an alert one can setup)

i'm still not sure how early one can start to call unis about clearing as i thought one would have to wait till results are out but it seems this may not be the case?

Eatyourveg- Thank you. i will take you up on that offer and pm you now.

OP’s posts: |
Bekabeech Wed 10-Jan-18 12:18:47

There is a central list via UCAS but things move quickly. So you want to phone the Unis as well as just relying on that.
Clearing opens in July as some people get their results that early eg. Highers or IB. You can also look before results if you think you might have slipped a grade or two (my DC have had pretty good ideas about Maths results for example).
So: you think you've got AAB, with B in Maths, but your offer was AAA. So before results day you can look at clearing and see which Unis are there - maybe you will see that Canford is in clearing for your course and is looking for AAB. So on results day you see what your results are (and often online see whether or not your offers have decided to take you anyway - from about 6 am). However if they have both declined you, then you can get straight on the phone to Canford at 9 am to try to get that clearing place there.

titchy Wed 10-Jan-18 12:43:22

You've misunderstood a little.

UCAS has a clearing list - once clearing has opened in the summer, but only for current vacancies. what I, and others, meant by no central list was that there is no list of what happened last year or the year before.

You cannot go into clearing if you have an offer.

UCAS and Uni websites will list vacancies once results are out in August. There's no point phoning unless you have your results, so you're correct there smile

However if your dc's exams don't go well and they don't think they will achieve their offer, it;s a good idea to do some research before auguist results day. So look at lower ranking universities than the ones an offer is held for - check their entry tariff requirements, check for alternative courses, check if Foundation degree, or degrees with Foundation year are available.

titchy Wed 10-Jan-18 12:45:00

You cannot go into clearing if you have an offer.

Correction: You cannot go into clearing if you have an offer THAT YOU HAVE MET.

AJPTaylor Wed 10-Jan-18 12:58:38

The only thing that i would add cos i had not anticipated this and it happened to dd a few years ago.
She had missed her offer by a good margin. However her first choice and insurance offer had neither accepted or rejected her so she was in limbo. She called first choice and was given the option of them rejecting her so she could go into clearing or wait for the course staff to see if they would accept her although doubtful. Of course this is interspersed with the knowledge that clearing spaces are disapearing. It was the most stressful day of my life.
Long story short, dd emailed the tutor directly (she had her card from open day) and said that she knew she had missed grades, she only wanted to do that course at that place and what could she do to get a place next year?
Readers, the tutor called and offered a place.

Valerion Wed 10-Jan-18 13:27:08

Thanks for the aded comments. I'm clear on the clearing database now (pardon the pun!) and how it works.
AJPTaylor - Well done to your Dd, that's the kind of fighting spirit tutors like.

OP’s posts: |
FreedaDonkey Wed 10-Jan-18 19:30:28

Are you on Facebook?

There is a group for uni mums/students that was v helpful last year on results day. There were several who missed offers and got help with places through clearing.

(What I wish I knew about uni)

Eatyourveg, what a great idea to have saved those. You'd be the most popular member if you have FB grin

LoniceraJaponica Thu 11-Jan-18 10:16:34

It looks like I might be needing this thread. DD is applying for medicine and has not heard back from any universities yet except for a rejection from her fifth (non medicine) choice. She has the right grade predictions, but if she has a near miss she will still have some pretty good grades for university to study something else.

Is there a step by step guide for noddies like me who have never had to do this before?

Should DD be looking at other university courses straight after her exams so she has a short list of which university to approach on results day?

titchy Thu 11-Jan-18 10:27:41

Lonicera - first you (she!) needs to see if any offers from the 4 outstanding are forthcoming. If it's 4 rejections (and medics are often very late to offer so I wouldn't worry just yet), then she can apply, one at a time, via UCAS Extra, as soon as the last rejection is received. There won;t be any med vacancies through Extra (unlikely anyway), but there may well be Biomed and similar.

Cross the Clearing bridge when/if you come to it! (And she may also want to consider taking a year out and re-applying with known grades this Autumn.)

LoniceraJaponica Thu 11-Jan-18 10:59:28

TBH she is being realistic about taking a year out. She doesn't turn 18 until after she leaves school and hasn't been able to gain the kind of medical experience that medical schools require due to her age. She is currently volunteering at a care home but she isn't allowed to handle the residents or even make tea!

She deifinitely doesn't want to do biomed. Her plan B is diagnostic radiography/medical imaging.

LIZS Thu 11-Jan-18 11:15:55

Lonicera, Friends' dd applied for medicine a few years ago and got several rejections until she finally got an interview in July which was successful. Without that it could easily have got to the post results melee as they reject those missing grades. She may just need to hold her nerve.

Valerion Thu 11-Jan-18 12:11:13

Freed- Thanks for recommending FB, I've now joined and it looks great.

OP’s posts: |
LoniceraJaponica Thu 11-Jan-18 13:03:18

I have requested to join it as well. Just waiting for permission.

eatyourveg Thu 11-Jan-18 16:10:49

Should DD be looking at other university courses straight after her exams so she has a short list of which university to approach on results day

IMO it is always best to have a plan B or even C.

EduCated Mon 15-Jan-18 19:08:33

If you think it’s at all likely you’ll need Clearing, it’s a good idea to have a look at other universities you may be interested in - get a feel for those with lower entry tariffs than your firm/insurance, and get an idea of the situation for accommodation.

In general, those who get in through clearing will be at the bottom of the pile for accommodation - how much of an issue that is will depend on how much accommodation the university has. Be aware that many have arrangements with third-party providers, so although it may be allocated through the university, it is privately owned and run. It depends on your view and what you want as to how much of an issue that is.

Definitely see if there are any universities or courses that you would outright rule out.

Also, give serious consideration before the day as to whether a gap year would be preferable than a course/university you’re not sure you want. Even a year spent working in a local shop adds value and experiene (and savings!) and you would be in a better position to reply already knowing what grades you have. Emotions run high on results day, and all the phoning around and waiting can be stressful, so it’s good to think about it calmly in advance!

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