Thursday 18th August – a day etched in the minds of students across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. After what feels like the longest wait, they will finally receive their A-Level results.
Once the results are in and the initial excitement (or disappointment) has settled, decisions need to be made, which for some will mean finding a course through Clearing. The window for Clearing is expected to be particularly busy this year and we understand it is an anxious time for students and their parents, as they are eager to secure a spot on a course and cement their plans for the year ahead.
Our Operations team deals with around 1.5m applications every year and despite the significance of the day for many students, it’s actually business as usual for us. Our teams have been through many Clearing periods before and are well versed on their responsibilities and the importance of the job at hand.
We have been inviting students to apply before our deadlines (20 May for new students and 24 June for returning students) so that we can guarantee that funding is in place at the start of the academic term. If students are accepting a place at university or college through Clearing, they need to sign-in to their student finance account and let us know. Students need to change the university or college on the application as well as the course and tell us the correct tuition fee being charged for the new course.
It can take six to eight weeks to process an application, so eligible students who have applied after the deadlines, and who are applying for higher rates of maintenance loans or for additional grants, may not receive their full funding entitlement at the start of term. However, in these circumstances, SLC will award the Tuition Fee Loan and the minimum amount of Maintenance Loan before the start of the course, while we confirm household income and any other relevant details. Students will get the remainder of their maintenance and any other funding entitlement as a top up payment as soon as possible once those details are confirmed.
We are in a strong position, with more customers processed and ready to pay than ever before, and our focus now is to process the applications received as a result of Clearing as quickly as we can, ensuring that all our checks are carried out efficiently and effectively.
There is plenty of information online to answer any questions students have and we also have the online application tracker, which will keep people up to date with where we are with their application. It’s also worth mentioning that any student going through Clearing, who applied before the deadlines, should log in to their online account asap and update their course details.
On behalf of everyone at SLC, I would like to wish students all the best for A-Level results day. We hope it goes well.