Much like last week, this is a super long article, so we've made it easy for you with some quick links for all the relevant info!
Hear from our students
Making that clearing call
What happens in the hotline room
From Clearing to enrolment
We asked some of our student ambassadors who went through Clearing to create some short videos about their experience and about the Clearing process.
Paige's top tips for Clearing:
If you're applying to Clearing because you didn't get the results you were expecting, watch this video from Paige, who talks about her experience and her top tips when applying.
Emily's advice for applying as an adult learner through Clearing:
If you’re an adult learner, check out Emily’s video where she talks about the process of applying through Clearing as a mature student, having not studied her chosen course before.
Your results day is coming up. They can be a super stressful time and you're probably starting to feel a little bit anxious. No one likes waiting!
We’re going to be covering coping with some results day nerves in more depth later in 52 Things (week 48), but here are three top tips from our friends in student services at Solent University who look after our students' wellbeing:
1. Get active
Exercise can help with clearing your thoughts and reduce the physical effects of stress or anxiety. You don't have to go hard at the gym, just go fo a nice long walk, pop in some headphones and clear those negative thoughts.
2. Have some 'me time'
When we’re stressed or anxious, it can be easy to forget about self-care. Take some time to do things for yourself. Have a relaxing bath, do something creative or just get some rest.
3. Learn some mindfulness or relaxation techniques
Mindfulness can help us to relax, step back from noisy thoughts and be in the present moment. Learn some breathing exercises, go for a walk and take note of the things you notice in your environment. Or use mindfulness apps such as Calm, Headspace or Stop, Think & Breathe.
Mental health charity Mind has some more great tips for relaxation here.
And if you've got a spare 10 minutes, check out this video from a TED Talk:
Making that Clearing call
Once you’ve researched the universities you want to study at you’re going to need to get in contact with them.
In the older days of Clearing, this would be with a phone call, which is still a popular way. But most universities are also happy to talk to you by WhatsApp, live chat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram AND Snapchat.
So whatever method you feel comfortable with, you can chat to the university that way.
Before contacting the university
Make sure you’ve done your research. Have you had a proper look at the course and is it what you want to study? If you have any questions about the course, make a note of them because you can ask as many questions as you like!
If you’re using your mobile to contact the university, make sure you’re fully charged and in a quiet place with a pen and paper next to you. You may need to jot down your next steps or any offers that the universities you call are making and the quiet will help you concentrate.
You will need these things before making the call:
- Your UCAS track number
- Your results and what they equal in tariff points (here's a handy calculator)
- The name of the course you want to study
- All the questions you want to ask about the course, university, accommodation, finance, facilities ... whatever you like!
During the conversation
Whether you’re chatting on the phone or typing on a keyboard make sure you ask all the questions you want. While it’s a busy day, the Clearing staff are on hand to make sure that you’re being given all the correct information. And there’s no such thing as a stupid question!
Make sure you note down all the important information, names, email addresses, next steps etc. so that when you come off the call you feel confident with what you have to do next.
Remember, if you’re made a verbal offer on the call, you don’t have to accept it; this is just confirmation that you will have a place if you select that uni on UCAS. Remember, you’re spending the next few years of your life at the university and studying the course so feel free to shop around. You never know, you could be spoilt for choice!
After your conversation has ended
So, once you’ve contacted all of your chosen universities and asked all the questions you wanted to, hopefully you’ve had a verbal offer from the one you reeeeeally like the sound of. Now it’s time to add that university as your Clearing choice.
If you're struggling with your options, check out our week 42 article about UCAS Extra. Even though it's about UCAS Extra closing, there's some handy info on making a choice!
Now, you’re going to need to log back into your UCAS Track and select ‘Add a Clearing Choice’. If you're currently holding offers but want to change to a different university (and have been made a verbal offer by them), you'll need to call the university you hold a place with and ask them to ‘release you into Clearing’. Once this is done you can then add your Clearing choice!
Make sure they have made you an offer though. If you add a Clearing choice without speaking to the university first, they won't accept it.
What happens in the hotline room
We figured we’d give you a sneak peek into our hotline rooms at Solent so you know that you’re in good (and well fed) hands.
So, before anyone gets their hands on a jazzy headset, you have to complete the Clearing training. Depending on how comfortable you are with the process, this training can range from a week to a morning (depending on how comfortable the operators are with the process).
Operators will be taught how to use all the software and systems, common Clearing questions, the Clearing process and you practice out different scenarios so that you’re comfortable on the phone.
All of the operators in the room are fully trained so whoever you talk to will be super informed and trained to process your call.
There will also be a handy guide, checklist and on floor support to help on the day.
The floor is filled with a mixture of hotline operators who are either staff or students. There are also a couple of teams who walk the floor and help the operators out:
- The admissions team - know literally everything about the application process, UCAS, tariff points, etc. They'll be confirming the offers made.
- The events and enquiries team - pros at Clearing and know pretty much everything about what the university offers in terms of courses, finance and accommodation as well as the whole Clearing business.
If you’re a lucky caller too, often we have visits from the course leaders, heads of subject and even our Vice-Chancellor, who will happily jump on phones and help answer any questions.
There's also a nice break-out room full of teas, coffees, water and snacks! As A-level results day starts at 7am, breakfast is provided for all the operators, just to make sure they're on form with the most important meal of the day.
Check out our pictures from the hotline room last year, you may even get to speak to one of these amazing guys too:
From Clearing to enrolment
So you’ve got your place and you’re going to need to get ready to enrol. Now, this will differ for each university, so if you’re not applying to Solent you’ll have to await your instructions. But we’re going to tell you about what happens at Solent to give you an idea.
Before you even set foot on campus, you’ll receive an email towards the end of August to get you ready to enrol on your course. This will be a user name, password and a link. Simply follow the link and instructions and voila! You’ve pre-registered.
You will also get your welcome week timetable, so you know what you’ll be doing when you arrive.
It’s also worth checking to see if there are any Facebook groups to join so you can find people in your halls. You can find ours here.
When you get to your uni
When you arrive, make sure you check your welcome week timetable. This will give you the times you need to complete your enrolment.
This process will ensure that you’re fully enrolled and will be able to get your student loan, as the admissions team will be able to inform Student Finance that you are who you say you are, and that you’re enrolled on your course.
You will also have all your inductions like your IT induction, course induction and student services induction. This will give you all the info you need for all those extra things at uni you need to know.
While we’ve given you (hopefully) all the information you need for applying to university through Clearing, we’re going to do you one final favour, and summarise all the content into some bitesize chunks.
But if you have any more questions, you can contact our super helpful team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or if you’d like to register your interest in Clearing fill in this super simple form.
What is Clearing?
Clearing is part of the UCAS application process and will help you find a place at university if you’ve not had any offers, you’ve declined all your offers, you didn’t meet the conditions of your offer, or you’ve changed your mind and want to apply for university late.
What is the best way to contact the universities?
There should be lots of different ways to contact your selected university. A phone call tends to be the most popular, but many universities will deal with your queries by WhatsApp, live chat, Snapchat or other social media.
What if I’m on holiday on results day?
It’s kind of a good idea to stay close to home on results day, just in case. But, if you are away, make sure you have access to your results on results day. You may need to talk to your college or sixth form to access them. Make sure you don’t leave it until after your holiday to apply through Clearing though!
What is adjustment?
Adjustment is when your exam results were better than expected and you want to change your university options.
How do I apply for adjustment?
You will have to contact your other universities to see if they have spaces on the new course you’ve chosen. If they have places, you'll have to register for adjustment on UCAS Track and place them as your new choice.
Tasks for this week
- If you're thinking you might need to go through Clearing, start researching other university options.
- Get ready for results day with our quick guide and check out week 48.
- See if all your Clearing questions have been answered. If not, give us a call!