How Well Did Your Clearing Student Recruitment Go This Year?

BLOG POST

BLOG POST
September 2013

To the potential university student, the clearing season is like a mad dash to find the best possible university match after their primary choices fail to yield results. Not only is university clearing a second chance for the student (and perhaps the only chance), it’s the beginning of a life-changing pathway.

BLOG POST

How Well Did Your Clearing Student Recruitment Go This Year?

To the potential university student, the clearing season is like a mad dash to find the best possible university match after their primary choices fail to yield results. Not only is university clearing a second chance for the student (and perhaps the only chance), it’s the beginning of a life-changing pathway.

On the other side of the text book, clearing season is also a mad dash for universities. Attracting and obtaining clearing students is critical to filling classrooms and reaching desired enrollment levels. Contrary to what some might believe, the clearing process is not reserved only for less desirable universities. In 2012, 17 of 24 most desirable Russell Group universities advertised open places through clearing. As university clearing becomes a more competitive process on both sides, perhaps it’s time to understand it better.

 

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Understanding University Clearing

The fact that no student plans to end up in the clearing process plays a large role in many of the misconceptions surrounding clearing. But failure to achieve the targeted grades or a last-minute change of heart can lead many 17 to 21 year olds to the panic and chaos that ensues following results day. Confusing terminology and constantly changing rules have also added to the confusion. In 2013, the rules have changed yet again.

New Changes to the University Clearing Process

The new clearing season introduces changes in the enrollment caps. Beginning this year, English universities can recruit at A-level as many students as they wish who’ve earned an A and two B’s, or higher. Last year, the cutoff was AAB. The only strict cap this year impacts those students with lower grades because, until this year, plenty of space was reserved for lower grade students. But the ability of universities to enroll a greater number of A-level students seeking other options means that less space will be available for those who’ve fallen below the grade requirements. Many Universities have been offering students with ABB grades substantial scholarship of up to £10,000.

University admissions departments are optimistic that the clearing season will remain productive for both students and universities and, because the process is more straightforward, a lot of the previous confusion can be avoided. The biggest change is that the new enrollment cap rules provide universities with the option to enroll students who already have offers on the table but just missed the grade requirements. Or these same universities can offer enrollment to students in the clearing pool. One component of the clearing process that is likely to remain the same is the rate at which available places are filled. Even though clearing runs through October 22nd, available places are generally filled within the first few days following results.

Social Media – The Best Way to Target Clearing Students

The age range of most clearing students is 17 to 21 years old. As an age group that utilizes social media for most every aspect of their lives, it’s vital for universities to include social media marketing in their campaign to attain clearing students. University marketing directors and managers who’ve used social media marketing for clearing have enjoyed excellent results in attracting the 17 to 21 demographic. This year there were more than 1.4 million conversations on Twitter around clearing and A levels on results day. It is vital that Universities are part of these conversation and promoted tweets are a great way to engage with your target audience.

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