Congratulations! As frantic as organising your place might have been, the exciting part is still to come: you’re going to university! Your next steps are slightly different to students who didn’t use Clearing; we’ve joined forces with the University of Aberdeen to guide you through what to do next.
Once your place is confirmed on UCAS Track, you need to secure your student finance, book your accommodation, and get to know your new university (unless you’ve chosen a new course at the university you applied to initially).
While these are quite big tasks to tackle, you need to get started straight away. You don’t want to show up on your first day to find you have nowhere to stay and your tuition fees are going to the wrong university!
Securing your funding
This will depend on where your university is and if you’ve already applied for student finance. Your finance options are:
- SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland)
- Student Finance England
- Student Finance Wales
- Student Finance Northern Ireland
- Private funding (where you have the funds already and don’t need a tuition or maintenance loan)
If you’re an international student, check out our guide ‘UK Finance: uni students from the rest of the world’—it’s unlikely that you will be able to access government funding in the UK, so check that you have everything you need.
If you hadn’t applied to any universities before you accepted your place through Clearing, you need to contact your student finance body straight away. If you did apply before the UCAS deadline and have already organised your student funding, you must let your provider know that your course and university have changed by calling them or logging into the online portal.
Don’t forget that new universities mean new access to scholarships, bursaries, and other allowances including extra support for disabled students. Use Unifrog’s Special Opportunities tool or check the university’s website to see what’s available to you and how to apply. Be aware though that the deadline may have passed for some opportunities and you may not be able to apply until the next academic year.
If you need accommodation, start by contacting the university directly—or ask them when you speak to them about your offer—to find out if they have any availability or if you need to find an alternative.
Lots of universities and student unions have search tools on their websites to help you find somewhere either owned by them or in the local area. Spend time exploring all the options available to you using galleries and videos online, and check that the accommodation available will be suitable for your needs.
- Accessibility if this is applicable to you (some universities reserve accessible accommodation for disabled students who come through Clearing)
- The number of people you’ll be sharing with
- Support systems in place
- Other facilities like gyms, parking, communal spaces, etc.
- Extra costs or options, like a cleaner or meal-plan.
Once you’ve found somewhere you like, call the provider straight away to book your room or use the online booking form. Don’t rely on sending emails as these can end up in junk mail boxes or get lost in an inbox—it’s a busy time and everyone is trying to get in touch!
You’ll most likely need a deposit when you book which can be anything from one week's to two month’s rent. You’ll normally have to pay this when you book rather than waiting for your student loan to come in so you’ll need a credit or debit card and permission from the owner to use it. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay for your deposit before your loan comes in, get in touch with Student Services at your university immediately to see if they can help you.
Getting to know your university
Your university will give you information on anything you need to do before your start date, and let you know about any social media or online groups that you can join to meet people before you start.
You should try and visit the university on an open day if you can, or see if there are any virtual events you can get involved with. To find out more about open days, check out our guide ‘UK uni open days’.
If you can explore the town or city as well, you’ll feel more at home once you start. If you can’t, go online to do some research; you’ll get to know your new home and it’ll help you get excited!
What if you’ve made a mistake?
Don’t panic. With all the planning in the world, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of Clearing and realise you’ve made a mistake after you accept an offer.
If you’re unhappy with your choice, get in touch with the university admissions team or UCAS to work out your best next steps. It’s so important that you make the right decision for you—no one will be disappointed if you change your mind, and you don’t have to live with your choice if you feel it was the wrong one.
Good stuff from elsewhere
University of Aberdeen's Clearing page
More information about Clearing direct from the University of Aberdeen