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A-level results 2014: Your guide to university Clearing

Students need not worry if they don't get the grades they were hoping for tomorrow on A-level results day. Picture: David Cheskin Students need not worry if they don't get the grades they were hoping for tomorrow on A-level results day. Picture: David Cheskin

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
2:25 PM

Teenagers are gearing up to find out if they have got into their chosen universities on A-level results day tomorrow - but what happens if students don’t get the grades they need?

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While Clearing may be a daunting prospect for many school-leavers, students can make sure they still leave for university in the autumn by following a few simple steps.

Clearing is the process where colleges and universities fill remaining places left on their courses, and is available for pupils who have rejected all offers, not received any offers, or missed the conditions of their offer.

A student’s status on UCAS Track, an online portal which ‘tracks’ someone’s university offers, must say ‘Clearing has started’ or ‘You are in Clearing’ before they can begin looking for courses through Clearing.

A list of colleges and universities which have courses with vacancies will go live on the UCAS website tomorrow morning, just after midnight, and students should contact institutions as soon as possible after they know they are eligible for clearing.

School-leavers should have their Clearing number to hand, which is available on UCAS Track, as well as their total number of UCAS points and GCSE and A-level grades.

Once students have made their Clearing choice, they can use UCAS Track to accept Clearing offers from 5pm tomorrow.

Clearing is open until September 30, but most places at universities will be snapped up quickly following A-level results day.

Helen Thorne, director of policy and research at UCAS, said: “There’ll be thousands of courses available in Clearing this year – perhaps in subjects students might not have necessarily considered, and the scheme remains open until the end of September.

“Stay positive and remember to prepare thoroughly before calling universities and colleges for an intelligent discussion about the courses you’re interested in. You’ll find all the information you need about Clearing on UCAS.com.”

Last year, 495,595 people secured a place at university or college through UCAS, with a record 57,100 accepted through Clearing.

UCAS advisers will be on hand from 7.30am tomorrow to answer questions from applicants on 0371 4680468.

Expert advice is also available on Twitter @ucas_online and Facebook at: facebook.com/ucasonline.

If you don’t get the results you expected, whether higher or lower, and need advice about future options, students can also contact professional careers advisers on the Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000. The line is open from 8am on results day.

Visit UCAS.com for the full list of courses with vacancies in Clearing tomorrow after midnight.

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