Clearing is a process to help applicants who have not secured a place at university or college find vacancies on full-time undergraduate higher education courses.
Applicants are usually eligible for Clearing if they applied through UCAS during the normal application period and are not holding offers of places once they have received decisions from all of the institutions they applied to. Applicants who apply after the 30 June UCAS deadline are also automatically entered into Clearing.
If you applied to UCAS by 30 June and are not holding any offers once you have received decisions from all of the institutions you applied to, and are eligible for Clearing, your Clearing Number will be displayed in UCAS Track.
Any applications made to UCAS after 30 June are automatically held for Clearing. Once in the Clearing system, you can contact universities you are interested in to see if you can be considered for a course. Applications to UCAS are made through the UCAS website.
Once in Clearing, your Clearing Number is displayed on the 'welcome' page and 'choices' page in UCAS 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 the UCAS secure online system.
A Clearing Number demonstrates to universities you approach during the Clearing period that you are eligible to be considered as a Clearing applicant and are not already holding an offer of a place at another institution.
Your acceptance is a serious contractual agreement, and you cannot simply decline the place at this stage. If you're already holding an offer, you'd need to contact the university or college to discuss your options. If they agree to withdraw your offer, you'll be entered into Clearing. Think about why you've changed your mind about your original offer and any associated factors such as accommodation, fee, scholarship before making any decisions, because if they agree to withdraw your offer, the place will then be available to someone else. There's also no guarantee that you'll be accepted at the place in Clearing.