Confused about clearing? The ultimate Fresh guide to university clearing

  |     |   Student Living

So, you've completed your exams, received your results, and thought you had everything planned for your university journey. But suddenly, you find yourself questioning your plans! Welcome to the world of university clearing!

In this guide, we'll help you navigate the UK’s university clearing process and show you how to tactically use clearing to change universities. Clearing may give you the option to trade up your university choice!


What is Clearing?

Clearing is an admissions process in the UK that helps students secure a place at a university if they haven't received any offers, didn't meet the conditions of their offers, or simply haven't applied before the UCAS deadline. It's also an opportunity for students who have changed their mind about their course or university choice. Clearing is available from July to September, providing a second chance to secure a spot at their perfect university!


Important dates

Clearing opens on the 5th July 2023 and you have until clearing closes on 17th October 2023 to make your application.

Our top 5 tips for applying for Clearing:

  • Research and prepare: Start by researching universities and courses that interest you. Make a list of alternative options and have their contact details and entry requirements at hand. It is a good idea to plan for different outcomes just in case your results surprise you!
  • Check UCAS Track: Log in to your UCAS Track account to see if you are eligible for clearing. If your status says "You are in Clearing" or "Clearing has started," it means you can proceed with the clearing process.
  • Contact Universities: Reach out to universities directly to enquire about available spaces on the courses you’re interested in. They’ll need your personal details, qualifications, and reasons for choosing their university. Each university will have a dedicated clearing hotline to call which you will find on their website. You may be asked for your personal statement so make sure this is up to date and to hand to refer to if you need to.
  • Be proactive: Keep your phone nearby and respond promptly to any calls or emails from universities. They may have limited spaces, so it's crucial to act quickly if you're interested in securing a place.
  • Official clearing confirmation: Once a university offers you a place, you'll receive a verbal confirmation over the phone. However, don't rush to accept immediately. Take the time to consider your choice and make sure it’s right for you!



Using Clearing Tactically to Change Universities:

Clearing isn't just a backup plan, it can also be a great opportunity to reassess your choices and strategically change universities. Here are some tips for using clearing tactically:

  • Reflect on your priorities: Take a step back and reflect on your initial reasons for choosing your previous university. Consider what you value most in a university, such as course content, location, campus facilities, student support, or career opportunities.
  • Research alternatives: Look for universities that offer courses like your initial choice. Explore their websites, student forums, and social media to gather information about their reputation, teaching quality, and student satisfaction.
  • Visit campuses: If possible, attend university open days or virtual tours to get a feel for the environment, facilities, and the overall atmosphere. Can you imagine yourself at this university?
  • Consider future prospects: Evaluate the employability prospects and industry connections offered by the universities you're considering. Look for internships, work placements, and alumni success stories to gauge the university's commitment to your future career.


What to do after clearing:

  • Look into student accommodation in your chosen city.
  • Update your student finance body on where you’ll be studying.
  • Start familiarising yourself with your new university.
  • Celebrate – you’re off to university!


Final thoughts:

University clearing might seem like a daunting process, but it can be a golden opportunity to find the perfect university and course for you. The good news is Fresh has amazing student accommodation all over the UK and Ireland so whatever university you choose, Fresh has a place for you!


 “Year on year, we are seeing an increase in students applying for last-minute accommodation schemes, indicating that current views on the Clearing process have shifted and play an important role in the admissions cycle. At this time of year, students may have to make quick decisions on where they will study and live.


The Fresh Residents' Teams can assist with advice on living options and help students find their perfect room. Our accommodations offer first years a real home away from home, with a packed welcome calendar, friendly on-site accommodation teams, and all-inclusive bills, meaning that moving in is as stress-free as possible.” – Jane Crouch, COO


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