A Complete Guide to University Clearing | CityBlock
girl receiving A level results

If you’ve just received your A-level results – congratulations! You made it over the finish line, no matter the outcome, so give yourself a big pat on the back. However, if the results aren’t what you expected, you may be stuck in a sticky situation. If they were worse than predicted and you didn’t get your firm or insurance choices, don’t panic; not all is lost. And, if you achieved better than you thought and now wish to switch universities to one you didn’t think you’d get into, you might just be able to – all with the help of Clearing.

Today we’ll look into what exactly university Clearing is and what you need to consider if you’re considering applying through this process, such as securing last-minute accommodation.

What is University Clearing?

Clearing offers prospective students a second chance at getting a place at university for the upcoming academic year. It’s run by UCAS and attempts to match students looking for a spot at university with unfilled places. It’s a valuable system that helps many people in different situations, such as those who:

  • Didn’t get into their firm or insurance choice universities.
  • Didn’t get any offers when they initially applied.
  • No longer want the places they’ve already been offered.
  • Were on the fence about going to university and have decided they want to go.
  • Achieved better than expected results and wish to change to a different university.
  • No longer wish to study the subject they initially applied for.

In 2022, 33,280 UK students were accepted onto university courses through Clearing.

man happy with a level results on his phone

Preparing for University Clearing

Although places get snapped up quickly, don’t be rash or make knee-jerk decisions. Choosing a university is a major decision that can impact your academic and personal life. It’s crucial not to rush into a decision to avoid potential regrets. So, take time to research and consider factors like course offerings, reputation, location, campus culture, and support services. Making an informed choice ensures a better fit for your educational and career goals, leading to a fulfilling university experience and greater chances of success in the long run. You’ll spend the next three to four years in whichever university city you’re accepted to, so make sure it’s somewhere you want to be, on a course you want to study.

It’s important to note UCAS Clearing is open from 5th July until 17th October 2023, so you have plenty of time to consider your options, make an informed choice, and prepare for university over summer.

The Importance of Lists and Research

When you’re ready, make a list of your clearing choices and the grade requirements, your UCAS number, and revisit your personal statement as some universities may ask to see it. Research the cities and accommodations available in your chosen Clearing universities, such as purpose-built compared to multiple occupancy student housing. Where could you see yourself living for three years?

girl sat in cityblock student accommodation

Start Calling Universities

Starting with the first choice on the list of universities you’ve made, get calling! You might get through to a clearing advisor or admissions tutor; it varies, but in all circumstances, be prepared to wait, as the universities are always very busy at the beginning of the clearing process.

You should also be ready to answer questions from the university, kind of like a mini-interview. They want to make sure you’re a good fit for that particular course. You can get as many offers through Clearing as you like; you don’t need to stop once you’ve received your first offer – but you can ultimately only accept one, so choose wisely!

You’ve Been Accepted! What now?

Congratulations, you’re going to university! Once you’ve accepted an offer into university, it’s important to take certain steps to ensure a smooth transition.

  • Confirm your place through UCAS, then celebrate!
  • Turn your attention to sorting out your student finance and arranging your student accommodation.
  • Familiarise yourself with the university campus.
  • Review your course curriculum and make a note of any recommended readings.

It’s understandable that you may feel a little overwhelmed at this stage. Accepting an offer through Clearing is stressful, and it makes the process of moving to university slightly more last-minute, but it’s not impossible. As well as all the practical tips, we must also point out that taking care of your mental well-being is crucial. Take time to mentally prepare yourself for this huge change and do what you need to do to ensure the transition is comfortable and as stress-free as possible.

students walking to university

University Clearing Accommodation

Where you live during your time at university can make or break your student experience, and besides choosing your course, it is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Many universities make every effort to house first-year students on-campus or in university-owned halls, but it isn’t always possible.

Even if your university guarantees accommodation for all students entering through Clearing – you may find that rooms still available through the university don’t come with all the amenities you were hoping for. You might not get that ensuite, the halls may be poorly located, or the rent may exceed your budget. Therefore, it’s important to consider all your options, such as our:

Exploring housing options outside the remaining university-owned rooms often means you’ll find high-quality, purpose-built rooms with great social spaces and excellent amenities. Renting in the private sector can be daunting, especially when leaving home for the first time. Still, if you choose a reputable student accommodation provider who is accredited by your university, you’ll be on the right track to finding your perfect home away from home.

cityblock student accommodation communal space

If you’re entering university through Clearing and are looking for last-minute student accommodation, get in touch with CityBlock today to be added to our waiting lists. We have a wide variety of all-inclusive, ensuite student accommodation available to suit all budgets, with onsite communal and outdoor spaces and facilities.

Posted on August 30th, 2023