What to do if your children don’t get the grades they hoped for…

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Hitting grade targets for a first-choice uni can be a stressful business for young people – and then there’s the issue of what to do if they miss the mark. But here’s the good news – by entering the clearing system they can still bag a first-class degree and a top graduate job. Here’s Ahmed’s story.

When Ahmed wasn’t accepted at his first-choice university he thought his chances were over. But after entering clearing and applying to the University of Salford, he landed a place on one of the most competitive graduate schemes in the country.

“When I didn’t get the grades I needed I was annoyed with myself at first,” Ahmed recalls. “But after the initial shock, I calmed down and thought, ‘Right, let’s be practical. It’s not the end of the story.'”

Following advice from a family member, Ahmed researched the University of Salford’s clearing courses and applied to study Accounting and Finance. “The process was really easy. I called Salford’s clearing hotline and explained my situation and why I was interested in the course and, a short while later, they offered me a place.”

With his place at uni sorted, Ahmed was determined to make the most of it. “I became a student rep, joined the running club and was vice president of the students’ union,” he says.

“I also did a work placement year, which gave me experience of using data to define business strategies.”

A bright future ahead

When it came to getting a job after his studies ended, Ahmed received invaluable support from his tutors. “Our commercial awareness classes taught me how to demonstrate the value I can offer to businesses,” he explains.

His efforts paid off as he has now landed a sought-after graduate role at a global energy company.

How did he feel when he got the news? “Over the moon,” he says. “I can’t wait to get started.”

The clearing process 

If the young person in question is not sure of their next steps, Ahmed would recommend they seek advice from their school or college as these are well prepared to guide students through the clearing process.

There’s the option to consider an alternative course, or stick with the subject they originally chose. Websites such as UCAS and The Telegraph offer an official list of available clearing courses.

Some universities, such as Salford, even have clearing open days – something Ahmed would recommend: “It’s a great way of finding out what a university’s campus, courses and facilities are really like.”

Ahmed’s take-home advice

“I tell students it’s natural to feel anxious if they don’t get the grades. But try not to panic, there really are a lot more options than people think.

“I may not have got into my first-choice university, but I’ve loved every minute of my time at the University of Salford and I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved. I definitely believe that things happen for a reason – and I’m so glad that this happened to me.”

Inspired by Ahmed’s story? Now start yours…

It’s not too late to apply. Visit The University of Salford’s clearing hub to find the ideal course online, or call the clearing hotline on 0300 555 5030 to speak a helpful advisor about the options.

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