ucas clearing 2021
Students at Newham Collegiate Sixth Form react after receiving their A-Level results in east London on Aug. 13, 2020. Source: Tolga Akmen/AFP

Everyone is talking about university now that A Level results are out. If you are not appealing grades, then you’re ready for placement via UCAS Clearing 2021. Clearing for UK universities opened July 5 and will go on till October 19.

Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has detailed guidelines on applying for Clearing, including tips and recommendations to suit your situation. It also has the only official search tool for clearing vacancies, which you can access here. Using this tool allows you to browse open university courses before getting in touch with the admissions team.

Here are details you should have at your fingertips if you’re applying for UCAS Clearing 2021.

Do I qualify for UCAS Clearing 2021?

You qualify for university Clearing 2021 if you:

  • apply after 30 June
  • didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
  • didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
  • paid the multiple-choice application fee of 26 pounds
  • declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in Track

Clearing Plus

With this latest feature, you stand a better chance of being matched to suitable courses that align with your university ambitions. First, UCAS analyses your original choices, qualifications, and grades. It then compares these against the courses university and colleges have made available and their entry requirements. Finally, it takes into account what Clearing students like you chose to study in previous years.

Not everyone is eligible for Clearing Plus, though. If you are, you will see the ‘See matches’ button under UCAS Track.

How to apply using UCAS Clearing 2021

Advisors from your school and potential universities are on hand to help with any question you may have. You can also reach out to UCAS at 0371 468 0468.

In the meantime, here are some pointers to keep in mind as you try to land a spot in your course and university of choice.

  • Identify what you want — Prepare a shortlist of potential courses and universities
  • Align your expectations — Once you have your A level results, use that to gauge reasonable expectations for university and course admissions
  • Move fast — Keep calm and clear-headed, but apply as soon as you can; now that results are out, Clearing will move quickly as places are snatched up.
  • Check UCAS Track — All eligible students will have the ‘Add Clearing choice’ option under Track Choices. Make full use by regularly checking UCAS Track and using the new Clearing Plus feature.
  • Diversify your choices — Increase your chance for admission by considering joint courses, not just single-subject courses. Additionally, look for lesser-known universities that may have the course you are vying for.

When you’ve found a course, it’s time to call the uni, give your Clearing number (find this in Track) and Personal ID, and fingers crossed, you’re on your way to getting an informal offer. Once the university or college authorises your Clearing choice, click “Add Clearing choice,” and fill in the course details. Then, you wait for the university to confirm your place.