Clearing: Pride & Prejudice

As we move into the height of summer, whether you are reapplying to another university or course or are close to someone who has just left school, that dreaded day is getting closer – exam result day. As the day looms, an information hub for all things university related, helps clear up the prejudice that ending up in clearing means you are going to end up with a second-choice and second rate university place and instead shows it can simply mean you need to change direction.

A few facts about clearing

Before getting into the emotional and psychological angles explain the practicalities of the clearing process: Clearing is a system of enabling potential students to make applications to university through UCAS after June 30th and before the end of September each year.

It is not just a mad scramble that happens on results day. That said, most students do find themselves in clearing after the news that they have not achieved their predicted grades.

But say be prepared – even if you do not find out your results until mid-August you still have several weeks of summer to think through what your options are ‘if’ clearing turns out to be your route to a university course.

Top tips for the clearing process advise taking some time over the summer to look at alternative courses and universities that have the potential to hold your attention for three years and to lead you into a career pathway.

  • After studying hard for exams, something that you thought would interest you for life may now seem incredibly dull. If you want to consider a different course, clearing may turn out to be an opportunity rather than just a necessity.
  • Spend some time visiting potential universities, even if there aren’t any open days, just to get a feeling for what being there would be like.
  • Research which universities have clearing places and on what courses.
  • Think through your motivation for the choices you are considering. If you do end up applying through clearing, it’s a good idea to have some solid reasons for choosing a completely different course, or for opting for a university in a coastal or remote location rather than a city centre.

So if this is the time for you or someone close to you to focus on the future, remember these tips, forget the prejudice that surrounds clearing and instead think of it as a second chance for students who have so far missed out on a university place to find the course and the university that really suits them!

For more information on clearing, university leadership boards, course information and more check out


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