UCAS Clearing and Adjustment 2019
Adjustment– if you’ve done better than expected
Adjustment is a chance for you to reconsider where and what to study. If you've had a firm conditional choice accepted – and therefore made into an unconditional firm choice – you could potentially swap your place for one on another course you prefer.
Clearing– If a student ends up on A level results day with no university place, they can then enter ‘clearing’. There is no stigma about this: tens of thousands of students get a place via clearing every year (almost 60,000 last year!).
If you think you might be in that situation, this is a good guide to clearing: https://university.which.co.uk/advice/clearing-results-day/the-survivors-guide-to-clearing
The alternative to clearing, incidentally, is to withdraw from UCAS, take a gap year and re-apply in the autumn. You would do that through us, by popping in to see our UCAS team in September or October.
Further information can be found by clicking on the following: UCAS Adjustment and Clearing. A hard copy of this will be provided in students' results envelopes.
Clearing 2019 by Rachel Hall, The Guardian August 10th2019
However confident students feel about A-level predictions and course choices, in this buyers’ market it’s good to know when to check the UCAS website
This year two factors are set to shape the clearing process: a birth rate dip in the early 2000s means there are fewer 18 year-olds in the UK than in previous years; and universities are looking to recruit more students. This means it’s an ideal time for savvy students to shop around, even if they’ve already accepted an offer. Perhaps they feel differently about their course or institution choice now that summer’s rolled around, or maybe they think they could have aimed higher. Either way, the choice is theirs.
Last year, a record 60,000 students entered university via clearing. Lots of universities run open days and start advertising their vacancies well before A-level results day on 15 August, knowing that many students use this as a second application window. This year, clearing opened on 5 July.
“There will be lots of availability in clearing, even on very selective courses at Russell Group institutions, though I do think those top courses will go quite quickly,” says Mary Curnock-Cook, former chief executive of UCAS. “It’s more like universities scrambling for applicants than applicants for places, so applicants can afford to be quite choosy.”
This is particularly the case for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Cambridge has entered clearing for the first time this year, but applications are only open to students from the poorest areas of the country. Edinburgh is also awarding all its places in clearing to students from the most deprived parts of Scotland.
For students who’ve missed out on their grades, there are plenty of quality courses on offer. Hope Clay Belshamgota place at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) through clearing last year to study animal science, after missing out on a place at its neighbour, Nottingham.
“When I spoke to NTU I was greeted with a friendly and helpful staff member who assured me everything would work out,” she recalls.
While she had only considered universities in the research-intensive Russell Group prior to applying, she’s now finding she’s better suited to NTU’s assessment style. “I love that I have assignments rather than loads of exams.”
The secret is to start your preparations early. Emma Leech, director of marketing at Loughborough University, says that in recent years “the speed of folks hitting the phone lines has got quicker”. She advises students to have a list of the unis and courses they meet the grade requirements for, and to start ringing the moment they have their results.
If students are confident about their decisions, Leech says, they’re less likely to fall prey to “aggressive marketing”, such as offers of free laptops from unisl ooking to fill places. “Don’t get pushed by an institution to say yes on the spot.”
Curnock-Cookadds that students who have read about the government’s review of tuition fees might be tempted to wait a year, in the hope of paying £7,500 in fees rather than £9,250. But, she cautions: “The timing has quite a big question mark over it, because of the political shenanigans going on at the moment, so you could be waiting a long time.”
Instead, students should take the opportunity to work out which subjects most inspire them. “Don’t just look at course headlines,” says Curnock-Cook. “Read about all the modules and make sure you feel comfortable with them – you’re going to spend three years studying this subject in depth. If the modules or choices available on a particular course don’t make you feel ‘Yes, I could stay up all night reading that’, then it’s probably not the right one to go for.”
A-level results day. While students without any offers will already have been browsing for courses, today is the day when students who missed their grades are able to enter clearing. Adjustment also opens for students who received better results than expected. To find out which route you’re eligible for, check UCAS Track.
The deadline for providing extra information on your application, such as other achievements, to enable you to meet offer conditions. Adjustment closes today.
For students who want to take a gap year and defer entry to 2020 rather than go through clearing, applications open for UCAS courses starting next year.
All applications to UCAS courses starting in 2019 must be received by 6pm today.
The deadline for 2020 applications to Oxford and Cambridge, and most courses in medicine, veterinary medicine/science and dentistry.
The final date for applications to courses starting in 2019 via clearing. After this date, universities and colleges can no longer accept students via clearing.
The final deadline for all applications to undergraduate courses starting in 2020.
How to make the process of clearing easier
Before the day
If you suspect you haven’t made your grades, anything you can do beforehand will ease the rush on results day. Clearing opened on 5 July, although universities can’t make an offer until you have your results. You can check which courses have vacancies – university websites and UCAS give some details before results. Ring around to register your interest in advance.
Now is a good time to look at the universities and subjects you shortlisted back in your original UCAS application and consider what appealed. Are these the same things you want now? Gather module marks and GCSE results, and reread your personal statement. Then make a list of possible courses – take notes about what appeals.
3 Take notes
Shortlist potential courses and note contacts and names. While you’re thinking clearly, note specific details of what interests you on each course – teaching methods, content, internships etc.
4 Sign up for alerts
The UCAS direct contact service allows universities to get in touch directly about courses from 15 August. It’s open to students without an offer.
6 Explore campuses
Social media, city guides and student portals are great for figuring out what it’s like to live and study somewhere you don’t yet know. Think again about campus versus city sites, accommodation and the relative cost of living.
On the day
1 Seek support
If you’re feeling emotional, remember that’s a normal response. Don’t feel like you have to go through clearing alone – a parent or teacher will be happy to help.
2 Stay calm and follow the steps
At 8am you can check UCAS Track to see if you’ve been accepted by your firm or insurance choice. Some universities accept students even if they are off by a grade and you can ring to check. Track will show whether you are in clearing.
Once you’ve collected your results, which universities will need before they can offer you a place, and you have your UCAS Track login details to hand, you can look at the live list of vacancies on UCAS and individual university websites.
After browsing availability, you can start ringing university hotlines and using social media to ask questions. If possible, have a spare phone for call backs while you ring around. Write down details, names and contacts from calls.
3 Take your time
You can’t formally accept a place until 3pm, and normally you’ll have two or three days to decide. Once you’ve decided, enter your single choice in Track. When a uni has verified your grades, you’re in.
Don’t feel like you have to accept a place as soon as you’re offered it. Ask how long the university will give you to reflect on your decision and make sure that it’s the right one for you.