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How does clearing work?
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sayerville · 07/05/2014 17:43

Fingers crossed my DD will get her grades, thing is she doesn't have a back up plan. Refuses to talk about it and I don't want to appear negative.
If she has to do this I can't imagine why/how you'd choose a uni where you don't know what it's like and surely the accommodation has been picked over at that stage? It sounds a huge risk. If you don't go to clearing and you want to go the following year how can you improve grades after sixth form, college?
Feeling fraught already!

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sayerville · 07/05/2014 17:46

Forgot to add, she didn't put an insurance as most of the unis we visited were asking for the same points so there seemed little point putting a second choice..

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gamerwidow · 07/05/2014 17:53

if she doesn't get the grades then she can go to college and resit her a levels. Most colleges are free for all under 19s or free for under 25s with no level 3 qualifications.
Alternatively once the results are out if they are worse than expected you might be able to negotiate with your university of choice or failing that universities will advertise unfilled spaces on courses and you will have to ring the ones you're interested in to see if they'll take you.
I did this 20 odd years ago (i am old) but I think it's still more or less the same .

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sayerville · 07/05/2014 17:59

Thank you....no one tells you much, I understand it's a fraught day of ringing round I just wouldn't know what to advise her other than the ones we've looked at. Hope it won't come to that though!

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Yangsun · 07/05/2014 18:04

There may be places at one of the Unis she had already considered so she could look at those in clearing of.necessary. Otherwise there is a lot of info about unis and courses online so a lot of students will research a potential clearing place before they ring. WRT accommodation the clearing team will put her in touch with student services who will be able to help her find accommodation. It is all very well orchestrated although frustrating as well!

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sayerville · 07/05/2014 18:06

What is WRT please?

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drwitch · 07/05/2014 18:15

So if your dd does not get her grades then she first needs to check with her first choice uni whether they will still accept her- they might if enough students have also failed to make the grade. The cap on student numbers has been removed so the question is one of physical capacity AND whether the shortfall in grades is small enough so they don't feel that they are compromising standards

If they say no then they need to officially release her into clearing and she needs to phone round (the earlier the better) different universities to see if they have places. Many of them will have and the applications teams there will bend over backwards to make it easier for her to come so at this stage I would not worry. The most important thing is for her to do as well as she can in her A levels. During the gap between the exams and the results you may want to start researching other places.

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sayerville · 07/05/2014 18:18

Thanks, that's useful information

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titchy · 07/05/2014 18:28

Point of correction drwitch - the cap is removed from September 2015, not this September.

She might want to look at which universities were in clearing last year - if any of her original five were then there maybe a chance they'd take her on a slightly lower offer.

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TinklyLittleLaugh · 07/05/2014 18:39

I think if you reapply to university next year with your grades already "in the bag" so to speak you sometimes get a lower offer than if you hadn't taken them yet. That has been my experience anyway.

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senua · 07/05/2014 22:26

I think there is research that says that clearing-students tend to do worse - sorry can't link to it, think I read it here on MN. As you say, it is a huge risk to jump into something that you haven't researched properly.
I think that it would be a better idea to back off and let her suffer from her lack of Plan B (assuming that she misses grades, let's hope it doesn't come to that). Going a year later won't kill her and learning from her mistakes will do her good.

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creamteas · 08/05/2014 08:49

So if your dd does not get her grades then she first needs to check with her first choice uni whether they will still accept her

First, please do not phone the university if they have already made a decision on track. It is a waste of your time and mine as an admissions tutor. No amount of pleading that you are special will make any difference. (Please also when you are told the decision is irreversible, do not they get your sister/mother/granny to phone again to ask the same thing!).

As you have no insurance you will automatically be entered into clearing once you have been rejected on track. You can then start to research other places.

If you call us and we are happy for you to have a place we will give you 24 hours to put it through UCAS. If you can, take this opportunity to come and visit us. Although you will not get a full open day service, and the uni will feel very deserted (except in the admissions areas!), it does give you the opportunity to get a sense of what you are committing to.

But if there is any doubt whatsoever about what to do or where to go, just don't use clearing. Take time to decide whether or not to retake A levels or just apply to other universities that want lower entry grades.

If retaking A levels, staying in sixth form (and many schools allow this) is probably better than trying to move as the exam boards will stay the same.

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Noregretsatall · 11/05/2014 22:07

Last summer everything went belly up for my dd and she missed her firm and insurance offers and ended up in clearing. It was all a terrible shock especially as she had only just missed her offers. I found the clearing process confusing and stressful but she did get an offer from a uni not even on her original long list so we knew very little about it. It was a very stressful time! We visited the uni - she liked it although it didn't 'blow her away' like her firm choice did.

Seven months down the line, she's happy, settled, has got a fab set of flat mates and friends, is doing well academically (cautiously optimistic for an overall First this year) and has really thrown herself into uni life joining competitive sports teams and is a student rep.

To say I am relieved is an understatement. Smile

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SlowlorisIncognito · 14/05/2014 18:13

If the university has rejected a student on UCAS, there is no point phoning them. They will have seen your/your child's grades and will have chosen not to take them. Sometimes they will let in students who just missed their grades, but this decision is made before a rejection appears on track. The only exception to this is to let them know you are going for a priority remark or if the course still says "conditional" on track. Ringing up the university will waste valuble time that could be spent ringing other universities- the most sought after places can disappear quickly.

Clearing can be very stressful, and there are disadvantages to going through it. For example, many universities do not commit to providing accomadation in halls for clearing students. It may be better to take a year out and improve your grades and reapply, rather than making a rushed decision within 24 hours.

TSR has a pretty good guide to clearing here: www.thestudentroom.co.uk/content.php?r=843-University-Clearing

If you think you/your child might end up in clearing, it's a good idea for the applicant to research other universities they might be interested in, and re-read their personal statement/application in case they are asked questions about it.

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