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UCAS Extra is a service which is designed to help students who do not receive any offers from any of the five universities they have applied to, or for those students who have decided to change their course after sending off their UCAS form. Through UCAS Extra, you can apply to study another course at any university that still has vacancies between February and June. Although UCAS Extra is there as a fallback option, we strongly encourage students to apply before January 15th as this gives you the best chance of securing a place at your first choice university. If you do apply through UCAS Extra, here is how it works:
- UCAS Extra begins at the end of February and continues until the end of June
- If you have received no offers or have decline all your offers, you are able to search for any remaining courses and universities using UCAS Track
- While it is a second chance to apply, be aware that there will be a reduced number of courses available as many universities will have already made their offers
- You can either apply for the same course at different universities, or you can make minor adjustments to your course, such as changing from a BA to a BSc, or changing from joint to single honours
- If you want to change your course completely, you will need to write a new personal statement on your new subject, but bear in mind that universities will be able to see your previous application form, so make sure you justify your reasons for changing
- When using UCAS Extra, you can only make one application to a university at a time and you cannot apply to another university until you have received a response
- There is no limit for the number of times you can apply using Extra, just as long as it is before the closing date in June
- Students who do not receive an offer through UCAS Extra, or choose to not accept any offers, may be able to secure a place in August using UCAS Clearing
Over 30,000 students in 2009 did not secure a place at their firm or insurance universities but went on to secure a place through Clearing. Clearing is a process designed to help students secure a place at university. On results day, The Independent Newspaper publish a list of available places at all universities for the various courses. Students are then expected to contact university admission tutors to secure a place. Although the thought of Clearing can be a little daunting, there is a great deal of help available to guide you through this route so do not feel you are alone. The following criteria will help determine if you are eligible to apply through Clearing:
- If you have not received any offers from any universities
- If you have declined all offers
- If you did not meet the conditions of their offer (grade requirements)
- If you applied after the UCAS Extra deadline in June
Once your grades are released, you can log on to UCAS Track to check if you are eligible for Clearing. If the ‘Add Clearing Choice’ button appears on your results page, this indicates that you are eligible to apply through Clearing.
Although the Clearing process can be stressful, it is important to stay calm and think clearly about what needs to be done. Making hasty decisions such as accepting the first offer that comes along is one of many common mistakes made by students. To help you through the Clearing process, read our step-by-step guide:
1. If you have a feeling that you might need to go through Clearing, it is a good idea to research universities before results day to give yourself a head start. Just as you researched your first choice university and course thoroughly when making your initial application, it is important to do so again using university websites and prospectuses
2. On the morning of results day, buy a copy of The Independent Newspaper as it will have a list of all available course at various universities. Create a shortlist of universities and courses using the newspaper and remember to keep a copy of your personal statement close by to remind yourself of exactly why you want to study the course and what evidence you have to support your reasons
3. It is possible that if you just missed your grades by a few marks, your university may offer you a place, so contact them first before speaking to other universities
4. Now it’s time to start making those all-important phone calls. Try and think of this process as a telephone interview; you will need to sell yourself and articulate exactly why universities should pick you. Remember that it is up to you to call up the people responsible for admissions at the university and use your natural charm to convince them of your commitment
5. Don’t be disheartened if the first university you call does not offer you a place, the rule is to not give up, so keep trying until you find a university that will
6. Do not feel you need to accept the first offer that comes along, remember that you will be studying and possibly living at that university for three or more years so take your time when deciding
7. Once you receive your offer from a university which you are happy with, accept their offer and ask to be sent a ‘Clearing Entry Form’ so you can officially accept your place. When the ‘Clearing Entry Form’ arrives, complete the form, and post it to UCAS as soon as possible. You will receive a letter of acceptance from your university shortly after this form has been sent
One way to reduce the potential for panic is to make sure that you collect your results in person. This is so you can make the necessary arrangements for applying through Clearing. Talk to your teachers and careers service at school or contact the UCAS helpline: 0871 468 0468 or the Exam Results Helpline: 0808 100 8000. There are many experts out there ready to help, and lots of people in the same position as you, so do not think you are alone. There is definitely a course and university out there, you just need to find the right one for you.
Careers Group London have compiled a document packed with Clearing advice for students. Click here to open the online document.
If you need any advice on UCAS Extra or Clearing, please contact Binda on 020 7122 1223.
Need help with your personal statement? Why not visit the Personal Statement Homepage where you can get top tips on how to fill out your UCAS form and browse through our library of over 350 personal statements.