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Your Clearing questions answered

Your Clearing questions answered

by Amy Cousins

Got a query about Clearing? Read on for the answers to some frequently asked questions about what happens during Clearing.



When does UCAS Clearing start?

UCAS Clearing 2024 opens on Friday 5 July, so if you’ve got your exam results you can start contacting universities about possible vacancies. If you haven’t, you’ll have to wait until your Results Day. Clearing closes mid-October.

Is Clearing just about filling courses no one wants?

No. There are lots of reasons why there are vacancies on a degree course, including other students having a last-minute change of heart and declining their offer, or not getting the grades they need to secure their place.

Although some of the most competitive courses aren’t available, Clearing can be a real opportunity to find the university and degree that’s the right fit for you.


Do I have to pay to go through Clearing?

No - the service is covered by the one-off fee of £27.50 that you pay when you submit your application through UCAS. There's no extra charge to use Clearing.



I’m an international student, can I apply through Clearing?

As soon as you have your results, you can use Clearing if:

  • you didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
  • you didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
  • you declined a firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button
  • you applied after 30 June 2024

If you are using Clearing to apply for the first time to study at university in the UK you must register with UCAS and submit an application. 

Where can I find Clearing vacancies?

You can find Clearing vacancies on individual university websites and UCAS has a searchable database of degree vacancies.


Do universities lower their grades in Clearing?

Universities want you to succeed at degree level, so entry requirements are set to reflect how demanding a course is and the key subjects you’ll need to be strong in to learn and thrive on that course.

Some universities will accept lower entry requirements for certain courses in Clearing, but you’ll still have to show you’re passionate about the course, committed to working hard and the right person for that degree.


How long do I have to accept a Clearing offer?

After you’ve received a verbal offer over the phone, the university will send you a confirmation email setting out your next steps and the deadline for accepting your offer.


I’ve got a place through Clearing – can I defer?

If you want to take a year out before you start your degree, some universities will consider this for some courses. You’ll need to discuss this with the Clearing adviser or Admissions office when you contact the university.


Will going through Clearing put me at a disadvantage on my course?

No. When you contact a university through Clearing, as well as checking your results, they may conduct a mini-interview with you over the phone. This is all part of making sure you’re right for the degree course and won’t be at a disadvantage.

Once you’ve received an offer, the admissions process is the same as if you’d applied and been accepted prior to Results Day. When you start your course, it won’t matter if you got your place through Clearing.


Will going through Clearing affect my student finance?

If you’ve already applied for student finance, you'll need to update your details – but don’t worry, it’s easy to do through your online account. Your application will be reassessed, but you should find out very quickly if there are any changes in the amount of student finance you'll get.

If you get a place through Clearing and haven’t applied for student finance, you need to do that next as applications can take six weeks to process. For advice, read our blog on applying for student finance late.


I’ve accepted a course in Clearing, can I still apply for uni accommodation?

Yes, you can – and you’ll get all the information you need about how to apply for your accommodation once your place is confirmed.

To find out more about our residences, including whether you could be eligible for our Clearing and Insurance Accommodation Guarantee go to our website.


I can’t find a course I want to accept in Clearing, what should I do?

This is not the end of the world. Instead, think about it as an opportunity to plan your next move.

If you’ve still got your heart set on going to university, you can re-apply for entry next year. This gives you time to re-sit any exams if you need to, or perhaps take some time out.

A gap year spent working or travelling can give you new skills and experience to add to your personal statement next time around. Read our guide to applying to university after a gap year.