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Clearing opens today – Plan A for 17,500 people

Anyone thinking of starting university this September can apply now as Clearing opens today. Between 5 July and A level results day in 2018, 7,730 people had already used Clearing to secure a place on their chosen course.

Clearing is the recognised post-qualification application route for undergraduate courses. Last year, a record 17,520 people got their place after applying with their results in hand. In total in 2018, 66,770 people, including those who had applied earlier in the year, were accepted through Clearing.

Students are beginning to receive their exam results and final grades, depending on the qualifications they studied at school or college. Anyone with a confirmed place who has now decided they want to switch courses can use UCAS Track to release themselves into Clearing – previously they had to phone the university and wait to be released from their place. Typically, fewer than 2% of accepted applicants choose to change course after having their place confirmed.

If students holding a conditional place didn’t get the grades that they were initially hoping for to secure their firm (first) or insurance (second) choice, they can use , to find the latest, official information on other courses with places still available. Students without a place who sign up to UCAS’ direct contact service  could also be phoned by universities offering a similar and suitable course.

Over 30,000 courses are being shown on the UCAS website as having vacancies as almost all universities and colleges continue to welcome applications from interested students. Some universities may make more places available once all applicants’ exam results are known in August. 

Applying directly into Clearing with results in hand is particularly popular with mature students. With almost 2% fewer 18 year olds in the UK population this year, it is expected that there will be many opportunities available.

Clare Marchant, UCAS’ Chief Executive says,

‘Clearing is plan A for many people off to university this year who are choosing to apply with their results in hand. With thousands of opportunities available across the country, students who might have missed out on their first choice university have plenty of options to choose from too.

‘Students are in the driving seat, as UCAS has streamlined the process of using Clearing for those reconsidering their original choices. They’ll have more control throughout the Clearing process than ever, though it’s still important to ask teachers, parents, and universities for help and advice to make a fully informed decision.

‘The UCAS website has all the details students need about Clearing, as well as information about apprenticeship routes, which we know around a quarter of young applicants are thinking about in parallel to applying to start a degree.’

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