In a week teenagers across Doncaster will be picking up their A-level results, and they are being reminded that Clearing is an option should they not get the grades they expect.
Three quarters of students who want to go to go on to study in higher education are likely to get into their first choice university, but for those who do not editor of teen magazine Future Mag Ruth Sparkles is reminding them that it is still possible to study the course they wish.
Last year nearly 67,000 students, which is a record number, found university places through Clearing, a system which helps universities match students who don’t have a place to courses which still have space.
Helen Thorne, Ucas director of external relations, said: "This summer we expect most universities and colleges to be offering Clearing places and there will be opportunities across the full range of subject choices."
Most universities use Clearing, and last year’s most popular choices in Clearing were business studies, nursing, sciences, creative arts, engineering and law. Many joint subjects also still have vacancies.
Some universities advertise course vacancies on their websites from July when Clearing opens, but prospective students are reminded that they can only enter Clearing once they have got their results but do not have a confirmed university place.
While universities will not accept students through Clearing until they have their results, Doncaster teens are being advised to do some research this week if they feel they may have missed the grades they need so they can be well prepared – and are also being reminded that their first choice university could still accept them on the day even with slightly lower grades.
Students could research courses in the same subject at different institutions, or look at what similar subjects are offered by the same university.
On the day itself, they can check Ucas Track first thing to see if they have been accepted, or if you’re in Clearing.
Becky Jago, now a journalist and news presenter at ITV Anglia, did not perform as she hoped in her A-levels. She was rejected for her first choice university, but through Clearing she found a place at the University of Bedfordshire to study for a degree in media performance. She went on to work at Capital Radio before becoming a television journalist.
She said: "Coming through Clearing wasn’t an issue at all. I just focused on what I was doing. I dealt with the rejection and just got down to the course – which I honestly loved."
Doncaster teens are also being reminded that if they are in Clearing it is okay to feel emotional and many Ucas volunteers are student volunteers who’ve gone through the whole process themselves.