Debunking the myths over the UCAS Clearing scheme ahead of A-level results day

Finding student accommodation should not be an issue even if you are using the clearing system

Finding student accommodation should not be an issue even if you are using the clearing system - Credit: Archant

There are many misconceptions about the UCAS clearing system, and here we try to dispel some of the mistruths and reassure those using the system that it will not affect their future employment, their chance of finding suitable student accommodation or their ability to keep up with their peers.

Myth: I won’t be able to get accommodation with other first year students and I’ll find it harder to make friends.

Truth: Make sure you speak to universities about the accommodation options available to you, as you could find that you can still get access to first year accommodation.

At UCS, we have on-campus accommodation available which is the accommodation that we recommend to all of our first year students.

We also have accommodation available within a couple of minutes of the campus, and across the town centre, so you may even have a choice.

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Myth: Clearing is a rushed process and I won’t be able to make an informed choice about where I want to go or what I want to study.

Truth: You do still have time to make an informed decision but we understand that this will be a relatively quick decision for you – and we are here to help.

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University websites offer a wealth of information in terms of course content, and academics are often available for you to speak with directly.

If possible, try to visit the universities you are interested in, as it is important that it feels right for you.

Check the information shared on applicant portals for details about your course and how to prepare for getting started, and ask as many questions as you need to.

It can be possible to change courses/university if you are really not happy.

Myth: I’m going to be the only student in the whole university who has been through clearing and everyone will treat me differently.

Truth: Lots of students go through clearing - you certainly won’t be the only one.

In 2014, approximately 61,000 students were placed at universities through clearing.

When you arrive you will have a lot to talk about with your new friends and noone will be bothered whether you were one of the first people to apply, or the last.

Myth: Having to go through clearing means that I’m stupid and that all my future prospects are going to be affected. Truth: You’re not stupid!

Don’t worry, lots of students aim high with their exam results and not achieving the grades you hoped for means you are perfectly normal.

Most universities will have some spaces available during clearing and we find that we always get very good students through the clearing process.

Clearing students will do just as well as students who applied earlier in the cycle – but it is important that you do your research and ensure the course and university is absolutely right for you.

Myth: I’m going to find it harder to find work after graduating as I can’t go to my first choice university and take the course I wanted.

Truth: All universities are very aware that students are concerned about employability, and we work hard to ensure that you have the information and support throughout your degree to plan for your future.

Employers like graduates because of the skills, maturity and experience that you bring to their business – and you can develop key transferable skills in any degree.

It is important to keep your goals in sight throughout university, and to take advantage of the many opportunities that are available to you.

Apply for internships and placements; speak to employers about the range of opportunities available and learn from your academic tutors.

They can give you lots of good advice about your future options.

Don’t forget, you have another three years to think about your future prospects and it is likely that lots will change. You may decide on a completely different career path during your time at university.

See our guide to clearing here

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