When A-Level results come out on August 13th Britain's higher education establishments will have to brace themselves for one of the largest Clearing influxes ever. It will see students who miss their first-choice university scrambling to find a place before term starts, but crucially, it will see many trying to do so before George Osborne scraps grants in September 2016.
Many students who miss their first choice take a gap year, but this year taking that gap year will cost some students up to £13,000 in extra student debt come graduation.
The Head of Admissions at Sheffield University, Lynsey Hopkins, said that they've seen unprecedented numbers of students signalling an interest in Clearing ahead of time. She also said that Â“the old stigma of getting a place through Clearing is going. I think it has always been a useful system Â– but there was a thought that it was only for those who hadn't got the results they needed to take up provisional offers.Â”
This year's Clearing is going to be Â“faster than everÂ”, according to Greenwich University.
Also with the cap on student numbers lifted, students can even trade up to a better university if their results are better than expected. The 'Adjustment' process as it's called, combined with the Clearing process, means that this year students have more post-Clearing options than ever. That said, if the student is going to be reliant on government grants, they have less options than many.