UCAS Clearing and Adjustment 2018 FAQ Watch

SarcAndSpark
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So, it's got around to that time of year again when lots of people have questions about clearing and adjustment! This thread aims to answer most of the more common questions students have about clearing and adjustment.

As more people go through clearing than adjustment, I'm going to put that FAQ first. If you're specifically interested in adjustment, then you can scroll down to the second post for adjustment specific questions.


FAQ:

Am I eligible for clearing?

Clearing is for students not currently holding an offer.

To be eligible for clearing you need to have created an application in the current cycle and paid the full £24 fee.

I want to do a popular course, surely there won’t be any places in clearing?

There are lots of very popular/competitive courses in clearing, including Courses like law at top unis.

If you’re interested in a particular course or subject, do check the UCAS course search: https://www.ucas.com/clearing-launch

Things are updated all the time so do keep checking if there’s something very specific you’re interested in.

What is a clearing number?

This is an ID number that will appear it track if your firm and insurance choices have confirmed you to be unsuccessful or if you applied after June 30th and went straight into clearing.

Will universities speak to you without a clearing number?

They can do so informally but they may not. It’s unlikely that you will get an offer without having a clearing number.

When can I enter a clearing choice on track?

You can add a choice now if you are eligible with your results already. On results day it will be possible to add a choice from 3pm. So, don’t panic about having to add a choice as soon as you get a verbal offer, take the time to think about all of your options. Once you add that ONE clearing choice onto track, you can’t add anymore. It can take time for a university to reject you if you made a mistake adding them.

Can I call as many universities as I like?

Yes of course you can, you should look at all your options. You can also collect as many verbal offers as you like. You can only add one choice at a time on UCAS track, though.


What should I do when calling universities?

They’ll ask for your clearing number and personal ID so that they can view your UCAS application.

Unis may ask questions about details of your application, so it’s a good idea to have a copy of all your results and your personal statement to hand.

If they have a place they’d like to offer you, they’ll give you a verbal offer and a deadline for when you have to put it on track by. It’s best to keep a pen and paper close by to keep track of verbal offers and who you spoke to. Clearing can be stressful, but you can help yourself by being prepared.

Do I have to attend an interview?

Usually no with some exceptions.
- Some healthcare courses (nursing/midwifery/medicine) might insist on an interview so if you can make sure you are available and have transport around results day. Alternatively they might ask to interview you over skype or over the phone.
- art and design courses wont usually interview you but will normally expect you to send through a web portfolio to assess before they make an informal offer. Researching portfolio guidelines and getting your portfolio prepared before results will save you a lot of time and hassle.
- performing arts courses will often ask you to provide an online video audition (on youtube or similar). If you're expecting to be in clearing for these courses then preparing some audition pieces (monologues, music pieces or choreography) will help you sort out a place quicker.

Can I call a university not in clearing?

It’s unlikely to be successful but very rarely a university will not advertise vacancies on UCAS, as they only have a very small number of spaces available and don’t want their phone lines to be overwhelmed. If there is a particular course you have your heart set on, it could be worth a try, but you will usually be disappointed.

If you do get offered a place in this way, then the uni should give you instructions on how to add it to your UCAS track.

Will universities reduce their entry requirements in Clearing?

Some universities may do but some universities have their regular requirements. There is a possibility that entry requirements will be lowered as it gets further into clearing but there's no guarantees this will happen.

In general, there’s more flexibility on A-level requirements than GCSE requirements.

Can a University reject me after I've entered a Clearing Choice on Track?

The most common reason for this is that you missed the offer deadline you were given. If you add a clearing choice and get rejected, you should phone the uni ASAP to find out why. If you met the conditions you were given over the phone, and the uni has still rejected you, UCAS may be able to help.

I accepted a Clearing offer, but I’ve changed my mind.

Once you've accepted an offer through Clearing, you are not supposed to change your mind and apply elsewhere. However, it has been known for people to be able to persuade their Clearing choice to release them so that another Clearing choice can be entered on Track. They don’t have to do this though, so you should make 100% sure you’re happy with your choice before you add it.

I have been accepted into my firm/insurance but now I’ve seen something I love in clearing, how do I apply?

To apply to a clearing choice, you will now need to be released from the offer you are holding. This is not a priority for unis on results day and getting released can easily take 24-48 hours- by which time the clearing space may have gone.

However, if you really want to do this, I would suggest you first call the uni with the place to find out your chances of being accepted and the uni still having places in a day or two. At this stage, if the places are very likely to be filled, the uni will usually put you off. Then, phone the uni you currently hold an offer for and very politely ask to be released into clearing. Get a timescale for this if you can. It may be good to update the first uni on your situation at this stage. Once you’re released, you can follow the normal clearing process.

This is honestly a really risky way to do things, as if you current offer takes a long time to release you, you could end up with nothing. In general, UCAS aren’t keen on people doing this, so they won’t do anything to help you get released faster.

I have been accepted by my firm but I now want to go to my insurance?

You’ll have to follow the same steps as above, as your insurance place would be gone as soon as you were accepted by your firm. However, as you have a previous relationship with your insurance choice they may be more willing to hold a place for you in clearing for a few days.

Can I change my personal statement?
The universities will see your original UCAS application. However, if you’re applying for a different course, you may be able to send a new PS or explain your reasons for wanting to do this course over the phone.

I’m waiting for a decision from my firm/insurance, but I've found a course I like in clearing, what do I do?

You can call your firm/insurance let them know you no longer want to be considered so that they can record and unsuccessful decision and then you can go through clearing.

Unlike asking to be released when you hold an offer, UCAS will normally be willing to help you out in this situation if your uni is unwilling to quickly record an unsuccessful decision.

Will I get accommodation?

This is a question you should ask universities when calling them, some might still have spaces in university owned accommodation, but some might not.

If your uni can't offer you accommodation in halls, they may still be able to help you find a room in a shared house. Many university cities will have lots of privately run halls too- where you may still be able to find a room and have a very similar experience to uni run halls.
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SarcAndSpark
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Adjustment

Who is eligible for adjustment?

Adjustment is for people who have met all the conditions of their firm offer and exceeded at least one. So, if your offer is ABB and your get AAB you’re eligible. If you get A*A*C you’re not, as you haven’t met all the conditions.

If you hold an unconditional offer before getting your results, regardless of the previous conditions of your offer, you will not be eligible for adjustment.

How does adjustment work?

Adjustment works a bit differently to clearing.

You have 5 days to “trade up” to a different university place.

If you’re eligible for adjustment, then you can click the button on UCAS track and you have 5 days to find a place at another uni. If you don’t find a place you’re happy with, you default back to your original offer, so there is no risk to you.

You find a place by calling unis, like in clearing. However, it is the uni which adds your choice to UCAS track. Most unis will ask you to email them confirmation you want the place before they will amend anything on track, so make sure you follow all the instructions you are given.

How long does adjustment last for?

Adjustment usually lasts for 5 days from when you receive your results, but it finishes strictly on August 31st. If, for some reason, you didn't get your results until August 29th, you'd only have two days to use adjustment.

An adjustment offer has been added to my track, and now I want to change my mind.

As with clearing, any offers you accept via adjustment are meant to be final. If you do change your mind, you may be able to ask the uni who has given you a new offer to release you- but you would now be in clearing and wouldn’t have the back up of your original firm choice.

So, don’t allow a uni to amend your track unless you are sure.

If a uni does amend your track without you agreeing to it, you should contact UCAS ASAP and they will be able to help.

Can I call a university about a course that is not advertised as having clearing spaces?

Yes. Some universities will accept students via adjustment even if a course isn’t advertised in clearing. You may ring up and find they don’t have any vacancies, but it is usually worth a call.
Sometimes unis will state on their website that they are not accepting students via adjustment or that a particular course is 100% full, so it’s worth checking websites before you call.

Help - I clicked the button for adjustment to see what happens but I don't want to go anywhere else!

Don't panic - a lot of applicants do this (the button appears for everyone who has their firm offer changed from conditional to unconditional - even if they didn't meet or exceed their firm offer conditions). Your firm choice will be notified that you've clicked the button but as long as you don't speak to any universities about going elsewhere then you'll stay with your firm choice.
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Doones
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
Help - I clicked the button for adjustment to see what happens but I don't want to go anywhere else!

Don't panic - a lot of applicants do this (the button appears for everyone who has their firm offer changed from conditional to unconditional - even if they didn't meet or exceed their firm offer conditions). Your firm choice will be notified that you've clicked the button but as long as you don't speak to any universities about going elsewhere then you'll stay with your firm choice.
Your firm choice be like:
Name:  Distracted Adjustment.jpg
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
Your firm choice be like:
Name:  Distracted Adjustment.jpg
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PRSOM
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polintan
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What if i have been accepted my firm choice but want to choose another course though clearing from the same university?Would they be more lenient and release me quicker, considering that its from the same uni?
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Doones
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(Original post by polintan)
What if i have been accepted my firm choice but want to choose another course though clearing from the same university?Would they be more lenient and release me quicker, considering that its from the same uni?
No you don't go through clearing - contact your university now and ask if you can transfer to the other course.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by polintan)
What if i have been accepted my firm choice but want to choose another course though clearing from the same university?Would they be more lenient and release me quicker, considering that its from the same uni?
If it's at the same uni you won't need to be released, you can just contact the uni directly and ask to be considered for the other course.
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Liverpool John Moores
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Here's a handy quick tip guide for clearing, with links to other advice and clearing information at LJMU

https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/about-us/news...-clearing-tips

Best of luck to everybody!

Alex (LJMU rep)
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Chantillyxox
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Do the ucas points needed for the course in clearing usually go down after results day?
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wolfmoon88
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(Original post by Chantillyxox)
Do the ucas points needed for the course in clearing usually go down after results day?
Nope, usually they will stay the same. At the discretion of the university some may accept students that have UCAS points lower than the set amount but that could happen in the normal cycle anyways and I wouldn't count on it.

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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Liverpool John Moores)
Here's a handy quick tip guide for clearing, with links to other advice and clearing information at LJMU

https://www.ljmu.ac.uk/about-us/news...-clearing-tips

Best of luck to everybody!

Alex (LJMU rep)
Those are some great tips, thank you for sharing

(Original post by Chantillyxox)
Do the ucas points needed for the course in clearing usually go down after results day?
Most courses will be advertised in clearing with the same entry requirements as the standard offer. Some may be advertised with slightly different/lower entry requirements, but it's unlikely these will change after the course is advertised. It's possible you might get in with slightly lower grades if the uni is desperate to fill places but I wouldn't say it's usual.

Don't forget not every course in clearing has lots of spaces to fill. In the past, when not so many unis went into clearing, unis wouldn't bother advertising courses with only a small number of spaces. Now most unis have a decent clearing infrastructure set up, and it's better for funding if courses start off slightly over full than slightly under full- so some courses in clearing may only be looking to take a very small number of students.
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carrie_burns
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UCAS is showing the Adjustment blurb on track for me but not the actual link to apply for Adjustment even though my conditional firm offer accepted me today. Will the option to apply for it only come up on English results day? (I live in Scotland so I got my results on the 7th)
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by carrie_burns)
UCAS is showing the Adjustment blurb on track for me but not the actual link to apply for Adjustment even though my conditional firm offer accepted me today. Will the option to apply for it only come up on English results day? (I live in Scotland so I got my results on the 7th)
Yes, adjustment opens on 16th August, and you'll have 5 days from then to find another place if you want to.
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SarcAndSpark
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Just in case anyone notices that I've edited the first post, they're mostly very minor changes for formatting- I haven't made any major changes.
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Joelakande
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What if I want to apply for a course at the same uni however the entry requirements are higher than my current offer would I go through adjustment?
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Lemur14
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(Original post by Joelakande)
What if I want to apply for a course at the same uni however the entry requirements are higher than my current offer would I go through adjustment?
Adjustment would be one way of doing it. However, you could also just call up and ask if they'll swap your course for you which they may be able to do if they've got spaces
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by Joelakande)
What if I want to apply for a course at the same uni however the entry requirements are higher than my current offer would I go through adjustment?
If you want to swap to a course at the same uni, you would not normally need to use clearing or adjustment- you can just ring them up on results day and ask if a swap would be possible.

You could approach them about this before results day too- however, the uni may not be able to discuss this with you next week. This is because unis will have your A-level results from Monday, but they are under a strict embargo and are not allowed to tell/imply anything about your results. Saying "yes you can have a place on the other course" would imply something about your results, obviously!

If the course you want is in clearing, they may allow you to make the switch, even if you don't quite have the right grades.

Good luck!
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isiaiah d
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Still struggling to understand - do i need to be in clearing to pursue another option? I want to try for a place at a different university but if I don't get in I want to go back to my original uni.
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SarcAndSpark
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(Original post by isiaiah d)
Still struggling to understand - do i need to be in clearing to pursue another option? I want to try for a place at a different university but if I don't get in I want to go back to my original uni.
If you exceed your offer it is possible to do this via adjustment.

If you don't exceed your offer, the only way to do this is via clearing. Usually, you can't get an offer in clearing without a clearing number, as this lets unis see your application.

You can't get a clearing number without holding an offer, so you'd have to be released from your original offer, and if you didn't get an offer from the other uni it's unlikely you would get your original offer back.

On results day you could try contacting the new uni and seeing what they say but be prepared for them not wanting to give you an offer if you aren't in clearing.

If the new uni will give you an offer, make sure they are willing to give you a long deadline for adding it to track- getting released from your current offer is likely to take at least 24-48 hours.

Switching courses in clearing this way can be possible but there are lots of risks, and you could end up with neither place.
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isiaiah d
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(Original post by SarcAndSpark)
If you exceed your offer it is possible to do this via adjustment.

If you don't exceed your offer, the only way to do this is via clearing. Usually, you can't get an offer in clearing without a clearing number, as this lets unis see your application.

You can't get a clearing number without holding an offer, so you'd have to be released from your original offer, and if you didn't get an offer from the other uni it's unlikely you would get your original offer back.

On results day you could try contacting the new uni and seeing what they say but be prepared for them not wanting to give you an offer if you aren't in clearing.

If the new uni will give you an offer, make sure they are willing to give you a long deadline for adding it to track- getting released from your current offer is likely to take at least 24-48 hours.

Switching courses in clearing this way can be possible but there are lots of risks, and you could end up with neither place.
ahh ok thanks -and for adjustmend does it have to be exceed the offer or can I get on the offer?
And so if I get rejected from both my firm and insurance will I get a clearing number or will I need to ask for one.
Also If I get below the grades and they let me in will I need to ask for a clearing number aswell?

Thanks for all of this by the way! I think I will try to call the new uni the day before anyway as im pretty sure Ill get the entry requirements and see what they say aswell about it
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