Suhail Wajid, LLB Law.
Clearing can be a daunting endeavour which can see you making snap decisions that you may come to regret later if you’re not diligent. Having gone through Clearing myself and having worked during the Clearing period as a calling ambassador, I am aware of the tough dilemmas prospective students can find themselves in.
My Clearing story
I initially accepted an offer at a different university and having spent Freshers week there, I quickly realised that the university and the city certainly wasn’t for me. I needed to act fast to make sure I didn’t miss out on too much but not recklessly to ensure I made the correct decision.
Luckily for me, I secured my place at the University of Bradford through Clearing and was welcomed and provided with exceptional support to help me settle in and catch up on lost time – it truly was as if I had been there all along!
Pros of Clearing
Having Clearing as an option is undoubtedly reassuring as it ensures that your options are not limited solely to the universities you applied for initially.
People often think Clearing is only used for people who didn’t meet the grade requirements of their initial choices; so have no alternative except to go through Clearing.
However, in my case, the reason for me going through Clearing was not because I didn’t meet the grade requirements for any of my initial choices. Rather it was that after attending Freshers week at my firm choice, I realised this wasn’t the place I would want to spend my university years at and the University of Bradford most certainly was.
Going through Clearing was nice and simple as I had already met the grade requirements for my course at the University of Bradford. So I simply had to contact the university I was currently at, letting them know I intended to transfer universities, so that I could get released into Clearing and accept my new offer that the University of Bradford gave me on UCAS.
Since last year, students have been given even more control over their applications through ‘online self-release’. You can now choose to decline your offer even once it has become unconditional which will then release you into Clearing.
It is also a way for students who didn’t quite meet the grade requirements of their initial choices to still find a suitable university for them. Clearing remains open for many degrees even after the inception of the teaching term, but make sure to get applying sooner rather than later because the spaces on many courses do run out quickly!
Advice to students going through Clearing:
It’s very important that you research the universities that you wish to apply for through Clearing and don’t just ‘panic apply’. A large proportion of people get accepted through Clearing and there are many reasons for it, you shouldn’t ever feel like it’s anything to be ashamed of!
You still have plenty of time during the Clearing period to research the courses that different institutions are offering. Find out which course you are most interested in to make an informed decision about your future.
Be prepared for Clearing beforehand
Be prepared for the scenario of Clearing even if you have your heart set on your firm choice. Having worked as a calling ambassador during Clearing, it’s clear many people are unaware of various aspects of the Clearing process as they never envisioned themselves having to go through it.
Even if you don’t intend to go through Clearing, being informed about the process and what it entails is always useful, just in case the need may arise for you to go through it.
Have an open mind
Remaining open minded is a valuable asset to maintain in all walks of life. During the Clearing process this is especially true. When researching courses of interest, don’t limit yourself; you may come across a course you find interesting that you never thought you would have initially as a result of maintaining an open minded approach.
Having an open mind may lead you to choosing a course which you thoroughly enjoy and is something your future self will thank you for!