Finally the day has arrived, your exam results are in the, everyone is patiently waiting andâ€¦. You missed the results that you were aiming for. Now of course you are naturally going to be feeling disappointed in yourself, but don't, its not going to help the situation! The best thing that you can do is get straight onto the computer! Have you ever heard of university clearing?
Entering university through clearing is a perfectly legitimate course of entry, and it should not be viewed as the "easy way". There are many reasons why people fail to reach the grade, and often it is not their own fault; personally I would never judge! In fact clearing is a great way of securing a place at a university that may not have accepted your UCAS application due to more stringent entry requirements, although do not follow this as a strategy to get into Oxford or St Andrews! Due to changes within the university fees, universities have observed a considerable drop in applications within the past two years (2011-2013) university applications dropped an overall 11.68% (BBC, 2013) which equates to a considerable 40203 less applicants. With competition at one of its lowest points in the 21st century, it is an ideal time to get your application in.
The process is quite simple, but bear in mind that you will need to be quick; after the results have came in there is usually a frantic dash! Your first port of call should be the UCAS website, check to see which of the universities have openings available, be prepared to make some compromises; you may have to think outside of the box when it comes to courses and locations. As far as courses go, well, you may want to study marketing, but a business degree may just have to do. Just don't get your heart set on something; it will only lead to disappointment. If you spot a potential opportunity then start getting some research done, because when you get on the phone to the clearing hotline, they will prospect you. Bear in mind that they are still looking for commitment when it comes to applicants.
Areas to Cover
There are a few area that you will want to take some notes on:
- Exam results
- Key area on personal statements
- Relevant work experience
In essence, the process is the same as entry to any other university course; the only difference really is the execution. Sure, the requirements are relaxed slightly, but there are still many high calibre students out there entering into the clearing process - like yourself! Remember, the admissions officer is still looking for candidates that are committed and dedicated, if you can't convey this from the outset, or you have little knowledge of the course/university then you might want to start researching!
Don't just rely on research to get you in, you still want prove your worth, you need to demonstrate that you are actively interested in the selected field of study. Find gaps in the literature, and prepare some questions about fees, bursaries and availability of accommodation for the term. These types of questions all prove that you are actually interested; they show some forward planning and commitment.
If the college or university decide that you are suitable for a placement, they will normally offer you something there and then, but you don't have to accept it straight away. In fact, I would highly advise against accepting the offer straight away; visit the campus first - meet the tutors and see if the university is right for you. The college or university will normally keep your offer in place for a short period of time.