Lisa, Marie, Ceri and Karen are part of the Cardiff Met Admissions Team who will be taking Clearing calls on A-Level results day. Here are their answers to some common questions parents, guardians and teachers ask during the Clearing process.
What can we do before results day to get ready?
Lisa: Be prepared. Read through the information on the UCAS website so you know how the process works, and research other universities that offer similar courses. Also, be realistic – if there’s a good chance of lower grades than expected, be ready. Remember to let UCAS know if any of contact details have changed too.
What happens if my son/daughter/pupil doesn’t get the grades they need?
Ceri: Don’t panic! Their first choice may still accept them if it’s a close call – check this on UCAS Track first. If they’ve definitely missed out it’s time to start looking for universities that offer suitable courses through Clearing. There’s also the option of re-sits or a year out, which can work really well for some people.
Where can we go for advice on what to do next?
Karen: There will be someone at school or college on results day who can talk through the options, and some helpful information on the UCAS website. Then it’s time to start speaking to universities. Most will have Clearing hotlines running from 8am on the day – Cardiff Met’s is on 0300 330 0755. Clearing open days can also help in making a decision – ours are on 19th, 20th and 22nd August.
Should I call the university for them?
Lisa: We know it can be an emotional time, but it’s best for the applicant to call us themselves. They may need to speak directly to a tutor to check they’re suitable for the course.
This year applicants can get in touch through Twitter and Facebook too, or pop in to talk to us at our Llandaff Campus.
What information will you need?
Karen: It’ll save some stress if they can have their results in front of them – including their GCSEs – and their UCAS number. It’s a simple thing, but a pen and paper will be handy for making notes too.
How else can I help?
Marie: The most important thing is to be supportive. Give them some time to reflect, but be there when they need you. In practical terms, you can help with researching the uni they’re considering – look at things like course content, the local area, accommodation options and the rate of graduates in employment.
Do they have to accept an offer straight away?
Karen: They shouldn’t rush into anything, but be aware that the longer they leave it, the less options will be open. It’s a bit of a balancing act. They need to be ready to be flexible.
What about accommodation and loans?
Ceri: Students who join us through clearing may not get their first choice accommodation, but there’s still a good chance of a place on campus. We’ve also got a list of approved private accommodation, so they’ll definitely find somewhere to live.
Lisa: As long as they inform Student Finance Wales (or Student Finance England depending where you’re coming from) when they confirm their place, they should still receive their loan as normal.
For more information about Cardiff Metropolitan University and for details about Clearing, visit cardiffmet.ac.uk or call the clearing hotline on 0300 330 0755.