Feel free to approach as many universities and colleges as you wish during Clearing. Don't feel that you have to accept the first offer that you receive: remember that you will be spending at least three years studying the course, so please make sure that the university or college and course are right for you before you accept a place.
Read through the seven points below to help you secure a place in Clearing.
Talk to a careers adviser or Connexions adviser at your school, college or local careers office. They can help you decide which courses and subjects would be most suitable for you.
Find out which courses have vacancies. Official vacancy lists are published on the UCAS website and in The Telegraph newspaper. You don't have to stick to the subject choices you made originally - there may be other areas which might suit you better.
The lists are updated continually, but not all universities, colleges and courses have vacancies in Clearing, and some vacancies may be filled quickly. There is no guarantee that places will be available on any particular course. At the same time, a course that is full may have vacancies later. Check the vacancy list to see the latest information.
Once you have your exam results, you can contact universities and colleges about the possibility of gaining a place through Clearing. If you do not have your exam results, you should wait until you have them before approaching any universities or colleges.
If you declined an offer from a university or college earlier in the year you can contact it again to see if they will accept you in Clearing, either for the same course or any other.
The best way to find out more about a university or college, its accommodation and social life, is to make a visit and have a good look around. Most are happy to make arrangements to meet applicants and show them around.
Your Clearing Number is displayed on the 'welcome' page and 'choices' page in Track. When you contact a university or college they will ask for your Clearing Number to confirm that they can consider you in Clearing. They can then view your complete application immediately on our secure online system.
When you are speaking to different universities and colleges, you may be informally offered several places. You will need to decide which offer you want to accept.
If a university or college provisionally offers you a place in Clearing, they will give you a date by which you must enter their course details on Track.
If you want to be formally considered, you need to click on your 'Add Clearing choice' button and enter the course details. You can only enter details for one choice. Only enter a Clearing choice if the university or college has provisionally offered you a place on the course and you want to accept it. If you enter a Clearing choice without discussing it with the university or college, this may delay the progress of your application.
We will let the university or college know that you have entered their details on Track. If the university or college accepts you, the acceptance will be displayed in the 'choices' section of Track and we will send you a letter to let you know your place is confirmed. This letter - known as a Confirmation letter - will explain whether there is anything you need to do now. Once you receive this letter, you will be pleased to know that you have officially gained a place. If you are not accepted, the 'Add Clearing choice' link in Track will be reactivated so that you can apply to another choice in Clearing.
By taking up this place, you accept the university's or college's terms and conditions, so you must read all about them in their prospectus or other published materials. You cannot apply to another university or college for the same year.