UCAS Extra vs Clearing – What’s the difference?

Happy students at University of Stirling

The UCAS deadline for September 2024 entry has now passed, but don’t worry! If you want to start your studies this September, then two potential routes are still open to you: UCAS Extra and Clearing. But what are they? And what’s the difference between the two?

What is UCAS Extra?

UCAS Extra is an extra chance to apply to University. Even though the UCAS deadline has passed, you can still apply until 30 June – but you might not get the same consideration as those who applied before the deadline.

If you have used all five of your choices and don’t hold any offers, you can use UCAS Extra at no extra cost. Contact your chosen University to check if they will consider your application, then add them as an Extra choice in UCAS Hub. If you are still waiting to hear back after 21 days or your application is declined, you can add another Extra choice.

The important things to remember about UCAS Extra are:

  • It’s open between 28 February and 4 July.
  • It’s free to use.
  • You can only apply for one Extra choice at a time.

Check out the UCAS Extra guide on our website to find out more.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is like a matchmaking process: it matches up students who don’t have any offers with universities who have course places to fill.

Clearing opens on 5 July, but most applicants will be entered into Clearing on results day. This is when you will know whether you got the results you need to secure any conditional University offers. If you didn’t get the results you needed – don’t panic! This is exactly what Clearing is for.

Browse the list of Clearing courses on our website (these will be published when Clearing opens in July), and if you see a course that you want to apply for, give us a phone. We can normally tell you if we can offer you a place after a short chat. Once you have an offer, update your choice in UCAS Hub to secure your place.

The process can be really quick once you get into it, so it is important to do your research and be prepared.

The important things to remember about Clearing are:

  • It’s open from 5 July and during results day in August.
  • It’s free to use.
  • You can only add one Clearing choice to UCAS Hub.

If you would like to know more about Clearing, our website has a whole section that goes through the Clearing process step-by-step.

What’s the difference between UCAS Extra and Clearing?

UCAS Extra and Clearing can be easily confused. But there are some big differences between the two.

The main difference is timing. UCAS Extra opens earlier in the application process and closes on 4 July. Once UCAS Extra closes, Clearing opens the day after on the 5 July.

UCAS Extra is generally a slower process, as universities can take up to 21 days to get back to you. However, many Clearing places are offered after just a quick phone call.

With UCAS Extra, you apply for the university place through UCAS Hub. For Clearing, all it takes is a phone call – but remember to add your Clearing place in UCAS Hub to confirm it!

Should I apply through UCAS Extra or Clearing?

So which process is best for you? It depends on what situation you are in. If you don’t hold any offers (conditional or firm) and it is before 4 July, you should apply through UCAS Extra as soon as you can. The sooner you apply, the more places are likely to still be available.

If you have one or more conditional offers, you should wait patiently for results day. Hopefully, you will get the results you need to secure your place. But if not, don’t worry. This is when Clearing kicks in, and our friendly Clearing team will be on hand to help.

No matter how you apply, we can’t wait to hear from you and hope we can welcome you to Stirling in September!

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