“Clearing” and “Adjustment” are two terms you may have heard being thrown around when discussing university applications. They can also be accompanied with a sense of uncertainty and hesitation. If you’re not 100% sure about the intricacies of Clearing, let us clear up the process to ensure you are well prepared for all eventualities.
Aren’t Clearing and Adjustment just the same thing?
A quick way to check if you are in Clearing is by checking your UCAS Tracked status. It will say “Clearing has started” or “You are in Clearing”. Clearing is an option for those who have applied to University after 30th June, or if you didn’t quite get the grades you expected.
On the other hand, Adjustment is open to those who wish to change their course or their university choice because they have done better than they expected. So if you went with a course that had lower grade requirements, and you have exceeded that then you may wish to opt for a different course at the same university, or look into a different university all together!
Who can apply for Clearing?
Contrary to popular belief, Clearing isn’t just about scrambling to find a new university if you failed your exams. Of course, if you open the envelope and find that the grades are lower than anticipated, Clearing is a great option to find yourself a different course or a different university. However don’t be tricked into thinking Clearing courses are just those that nobody wants. There are lots of great options available as universities will want to fill up their courses. This means lots of desirable courses are available via Clearing.
Clearing is also a perfect option if you were undecided about going to university and didn’t apply before the deadline. If you receive your results and you decide you do want to go to university, you can go through Clearing to find the right course for you.
If you have just missed out on the grade requirements for your course - this doesn’t automatically mean you will have to go through Clearing. Always check with your university after you have received your results. If you need AAA and you have AAB, then your university may still accept you onto the course. If in doubt, give them a call. It could save you a world of stress.
When is Clearing 2021?
Clearing is technically open from the beginning of July. However, since A-Level results day isn’t until August 10th 2021, it doesn’t get into full effect until the A-Level results have been released. If you are doing an IB, Scottish Highers or BTECs, you will receive your results slightly before this date. You will still be able to go through Clearing at this earlier stage but be warned there may not be a huge variety to choose from. If you don’t see the course you want, it may be worth waiting until A-Level Results are released since more places will be made available.
The deadline for adding Clearing choices is 19 October 2021. It is strongly recommended that you try to go through the Clearing process as quickly as you can and don’t wait until this deadline date, as lots of the covetable spots tend to quickly fill up!
Do I need to do anything beforehand?
It is worth getting prepared for Clearing in case you are unsure about your course or you aren’t confident in your grades. Since spots fill up quickly, you will want to have all of the necessary information at your fingertips. Check out our Webinar Wednesday Video to get a more detailed look into the Clearing Admissions process and our Clearing, Admissions and Deferrals Video with advice from several universities.
Most importantly, don’t rush into a choice! Although you may not have a place guaranteed, you should take your time to research the university and course you are considering through Clearing before confirming your place. Saying that, make sure you go into Clearing with an open mind - there may be a great course that is perfect for you that you simply hadn’t even considered beforehand. Lots of students get into university through Clearing and can’t imagine life any other way.
It could be the best decision you make!