Few decisions you make are likely to be more important than the university you choose. The school you go to can have an immense impact on your life both now and well into the future. But what if you don’t get your first, second, or even third choice of a school? No one wants to contemplate that, of course, but the fact remains that with competition for entry into universities in the United Kingdom at an all-time high, the possibility that you may not get into your first few universities is greater than ever, even if you have a sterling academic, extracurricular, and social record.
Enter the Clearing process. If you find yourself still without a school after the first round of admissions, you’ll be ready to enter Clearing. That much you probably know. What might be more unclear, however, is what you’re supposed to do about it.
This quick guide can help you prepare yourself for Clearing 2019.
The first and most important piece of advice to consider when it comes to Clearing is as simple as it is notoriously difficult to follow – don’t panic. It can be easy to lose your head and think your university career is over before it even began when you don’t get into your first few choices of schools. That being said, nothing could be further from the truth. With Clearing, you have an excellent shot of getting placed in a university that still ticks off many of the boxes you might have desired in your first-choice schools.
Be Aware of Deadlines
Without question, one of the most important things of which you’ll want to be aware of come Clearing time is the deadlines. These are slightly different from year to year, so you can’t just check what they were in 2018 or past years. You’ll want to log on to the UCAS website regularly to both check the deadlines as well as see if there are any updates on your situation. If a school contacts you, it naturally behooves you to get in touch with them as soon as possible. Clearing can go by in a rush, so be sure that you’re on top of things – and that begins by making sure you’re on top of your deadlines.
Clearing or a Gap Year?
It’s also worth considering whether or not university is the right call for you at all this year. If you do not get into your first choice of schools, do not want to commit to the universities offered during Clearing, and feel that you can afford it, a gap year may be a great way to fill the time before you can reapply for your universities of choice next term. Many British students take gap years to help them get a bit of world experience, get work experience, see the world, and strengthen their CV. This can be a wholly enriching experience for you, and can likewise help you fill your time with unique experiences which you might not get to experience at any other point in your life, turning this potential negative into a hidden plus.
All this and more can help you clear the Clearing schedule this year with ease.