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This year has been pretty different (slight understatement?) – but you know that already. You’ve lived it, tried to navigate your way through it. And now, with results day approaching, it’s hard for you to know what to expect. In fact, it’s probably hard to know if you still want the same thing.

Which is why, this year more than ever, it’s okay to look at all your options again, whatever the reason may be. Clearing is an opportunity to do just that. What matters is your future and if going to university is still something you’d like to do, make sure that you’ll be starting September at the right university for you.

With that in mind, if you’re keeping your options open, here are some key things to know about Clearing, and a bit of information about Clearing at Chester.

People apply through Clearing for all kinds of reasons.

During Clearing, we see people applying to us for a range of reasons. It could be having a change of heart, getting higher grades than expected, not quite meeting the requirements of a Firm or Insurance offer, or being out of education for a little while and wanting to get back into it. Whatever the reason, Clearing is for people with a range of different circumstances. This year, Clearing is also for people who have re-considered what’s best for them in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which could have led to thoughts about a change of location, university or course. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on everyone, but even more so for those intending to start university in September. It’s come at a time when you’re beginning the next step in your lives, so it’s natural that it may have  made you look at your university choices again. 

Clearing is open 6th July – 20th October 2020.

That’s right – Clearing isn’t just for one or two days, it’s open for quite a while. Of course, you can only apply through Clearing once you have your results, but perhaps you took a year out after your A Levels last year and now you’re ready for university. If so, you can apply from 6th July, you don’t need to wait until Results Day. If you are getting your results this year and you’re already thinking of going through Clearing or you’re looking at Clearing as a backup, it isn’t the end of the world if when Results Day is over you haven’t got a place at university. Clearing doesn’t close until 20th October, so while of course we would suggest you secure your place at university sooner rather than later, it doesn’t all come down to one or two days in August – the extra time is there if you need it.

Our lines are open 9:00 – 17:30 Monday to Thursday, and 9:00 – 16:30 on a Friday during the Clearing period. However, on 13th August our lines will be open 7:00 – 19:00, and on 14th August our lines will be open 8:00 – 19:00.

Lower grades don’t always mean you’re in Clearing.

If when Results Day comes around you didn’t quite hit the grade requirements for your Firm or Insurance choices, don’t reach for your phone and start calling other universities straight away. The first thing you should do is check UCAS Track, as your Firm or Insurance universities may have still given you a place. Or, you may see that they haven’t made a decision yet. If that’s the case, we recommend that you give them a call. Our Admissions team at Chester is on hand to answer queries exactly like this on Results Day, so don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Be ready to tell them (or us) exactly why you should have a place at that university – it’s your chance to secure it. If you do find yourself in that situation, but your application is declined, don’t give up. It’s tough, but try not to feel disheartened. That’s the time to get on UCAS and have a good look around at what’s available in Clearing. Which brings us on to our next point.

UCAS have a new feature this year – Clearing Plus.

There are so many courses and universities out there it can be quite overwhelming to search through them during Clearing. Clearing Plus is a new feature that matches unplaced applicants with relevant courses that have vacancies; so, if you’re in Clearing you’ll be able to see a list of these courses by clicking ‘view matches’. Pretty nifty. If you see a course you’re interested in, you simply click a button and your details are passed along to the institution, who will be in touch if places are still available. But, just be aware that this list isn’t exhaustive and it is only a system. No one knows what matters to you in your search for a university or course better than you do. So, you should still carry out a search yourself to make sure you have all the info before you make a decision. But who knows, Clearing Plus could show you a university or course that you’d never even considered before that turns out to be just what you’re after.

It's time to get September sorted.

So, a round up – people apply to universities through Clearing for loads of different reasons, it’s open for over three months, you may not automatically be in Clearing if you don’t meet your grades, and this year there’s a handy tool to help you in your Clearing search. Lastly (and importantly), it’s natural to feel unsure about your results this summer and September. After all the upheaval COVID-19 has brought on these last few months, who wouldn’t? Our advice – take control of the situation. If you’re unsure what September will look like at your Firm or insurance choices, find out. If they haven’t yet explained what will be happening in September, ask them. Their answers will either put your mind at rest, or give you an indication that looking at another university may be the best choice for you. Either way, it’s important for you to get September sorted. We’ve got a plan for September and for the coming academic year, which you can read in full here. We know that now more than ever, you’ve got questions, which is why we’ve got answers.

Clearing at the University of Chester

You can find lots more information about applying to the University of Chester via Clearing on our dedicated Clearing page. Here, you’ll be able to learn a bit more about us, get a step-by-step guide to the Clearing process and watch the stories of students who applied to us through Clearing. You’ll also be to register for Clearing updates, so you can get useful information about Clearing delivered straight to your inbox. 

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