Students who apply to university directly through clearing are more likely to be from disadvantaged backgrounds than those who submit their application earlier in the year.
While the vast majority of students apply to university before the June 30th deadline, a significant number wait until after that date. Their application goes straight into clearing, where they are joined by students who fail to get a university offer or who do not meet the required grades.
This year, university admissions body Ucas expects around 20,000 students to apply direct through clearing, compared with the 659,000 who applied earlier in the year via the main scheme.
Now analysis by Ucas has revealed that these students are more likely to be disadvantaged men.
The majority of applicants through both the main scheme and through clearing are from advantaged backgrounds, but while students from disadvantaged backgrounds made up just over a quarter (27 per cent) of applicants through the main scheme last year, they represented a third (33 per cent) of those who apply straight to clearing.
Les Ebdon, director of the Office for Fair Access, said the figures showed the importance of universities and colleges providing good information for students.
“There are people with academic potential in every community and every age group, and all of them deserve to get appropriate support so they can make informed decisions about studying,” he said.
Ucas figures also found that 51 per cent of all clearing applicants are men, compared with 43 per cent of main scheme applicants.
Ucas also published figures showing that around 80 per cent of students in higher education get their place through a conditional offer. As of the end of July, the number of prospective university entrants from outside the EU holding conditional offers stood at 28,000, the highest figure recorded and a third higher than five years ago.