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What is Clearing?

Once your son/daughter has applied to university there are a number of processes that take place. If they achieve the results they need for their first choice course they will automatically go to that university / college. However, things get a little more complicated when a student doesn't quite achieve high enough grades for their first choice.


Clearing is the UCAS service that allows students to find suitable courses if they:

  • failed to secure any offers during the application stage
  • applied late (after 30th June)
  • didn't get the grades for their firm or insurance offers.

Clearing is available from July to middle of October

For students who apply late to University, they still have to register and fill out an application form as normal. Students who have already applied but who have not secured a place at university do not need to register for clearing - their application will automatically enter the clearing process.

UCAS will send information to students about the clearing process. The aim is for students to find suitable vacancies at institutions that interest them by contacting them directly. This is usually done either on A level results day or in the first few days following receipt of results. 

It is important that students do their research and seek advice before application, rather than panicking and potentially choosing the wrong course / institution for them.

Clearing Plus

UCAS has a course matching service that is designed to help sudents find a university or college place if things don't go to plan.

If your son / daughter failed to secure any offers in their application or if they are eligible for clearing, when they log into their application they will see a a button 'see matches' which they can view up to 50 best clearing course matches based on their original application and choose up to four.  Universities and colleges will then contact them to ask a few questions and make a decision if they are going to offer a place.  

Please note - not all universities and colleges will use this service

See more information on Clearing Plus

For more information:

UCAS has a lot of information on Clearing and Clearing Plus

Go to the relevant Careerpilot section in Higher Education at 18+

You've got your results, now what? (WON Video) - A short video to show the options available to students on A level results day

A site for adults wanting to get back into learning

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