If you haven't got the A-level results you expected, you may be going through Clearing to try and get into university.
It can be stressful, but UCAS has plenty of advice and support online. Here's its basic guide to Clearing.
- What is Clearing? Clearing runs from 3 July to 21 October and is an opportunity for anyone who hasn’t been accepted by a university or college to find a place on another course.
- How do I know if I can use Clearing? When you log in to Track, you’ll see if you’re in Clearing. In the ‘Next Steps’ section, there’ll be an option to ‘Add a Clearing choice.' If you applied after 30 June, you’ll automatically be entered into Clearing.
- Where can I find vacancies? The first place to start is the UCAS search tool. When you select where you normally live along with ‘Clearing 2015’, you’ll be shown all the available courses. The Telegraph will also publish all Clearing vacancies on Thursday 13 August and Saturday 15 August.
- How do I apply to a course in Clearing? When you’ve found the course want to apply to, give the uni a call to ask if they can consider you for a place. If they confirm that they’ll accept you, add the choice in Track in the ‘Your Choices’ section. You can speak to as many universities and colleges as you like in Clearing, but you can only add one Clearing choice at a time. This must be the place you want to accept.
- What happens after I’ve added a Clearing choice? If the uni has offered you a place, they will update your status in Track to show you’ve been accepted. Once this has happened, your Confirmation letter will appear in Track within a week.
UCAS has more advice here, on keeping calm when making that call.
It also suggests making a free call to the Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000, for independent advice about your options.
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Overall, top grades are slightly down but, as our Education Correspondent Richard Payne reports, there are still plenty of success stories...
The MP David Willetts is the Minister for Universities and Skills and spoke to ITV News West Country during a visit to UCAS in Cheltenham on Thursday:
Dom Anderson, Vice President of the National Union of Students, said students were reaping the benefits of going to university despite average debts of £26,000 and reports of student "poverty".
"It's completely worth it. University is a life-changing thing," Anderson told ITV News as many students found out today whether they had gained university places.
This is a very important day for all these young people and I would like to congratulate everyone on their achievements and wish them luck in whatever path they take.
I am delighted that, once again, many young people in Cornwall have done so well.”
It is important for the future of both our young people and for the future of Cornwall that all students have access to the highest possible quality of education.
While the majority of our schools are achieving high standards, we need to ensure that all are enabling students to achieve the maximum progress possible."
The chief executive of Ucas said students who applied late or got lower A-level grades than expected could still choose from a large selection of courses.
Mary Curnock Cook said:
We have nearly 30,000 courses which are advertising vacancies in clearing.
A lot of those will only be for people who have the very highest grades because the Government arrangements for funding mean that universities aren't limited as to how many of those they can recruit.
The reality is that there are vacancies across all sorts of courses and institutions.
So anybody who is applying late after they got their results or who didn't quite get what they wanted today, there are loads of opportunities for them to find out about what is available through our website.