Parents' guide
to Clearing

Clearing offers an alternative way for your son or daughter to apply for a place at university this September. Here's a quick guide to how it works and how you can help.

Why apply through Clearing?

There are various reasons why your son or daughter might be looking for a university place through Clearing:

  • They have changed their minds about where or what they want to study since they applied to university
  • They aren't currently holding any offers - either because they weren't accepted onto the courses they applied for, or they declined their offers
  • They hadn't intended to apply to university but have now decided they would like to
  • On results day, their grades don't meet the entry requirements for their firm or insurance choice

Whatever the reason, Clearing is a way to reset and take a positive step forward.

How can you help?

Your son or daughter is likely to look to you for support and advice. Here are some ways you can help.

Before results day

Plan ahead. If your son or daughter thinks they might need to use Clearing, encourage them to do their research and decide which universities they want to approach. 

Make sure they know the course they want to study and check if it's available through Clearing. You can do this via the UCAS website or on individual university websites. Encourage them to keep checking back as course availability will be regularly updated.

On results day

Don't panic. It might be tempting to think that you need to take action quickly, but it's important to stay calm. Your son or daughter will need you to offer reassurance and guidance, particularly if their results aren't what they expected.

Help them get organised. If they're contacting universities, make sure they know the name of the course they want to apply for. It helps if they have their UCAS number to hand, along with details of any results, including their GCSEs or equivalent, as they will be asked for these. A pen and paper can be handy too.

Be supportive but don't take over. Encourage them to make the phone call themselves. You might be able to act as their representative, with their consent, but your son or daughter should be prepared to speak to staff about their application if possible. If they're not comfortable on the phone there might be other options, such as an online chat function. Our Clearing hotline opens at 8am on 18 August 2022. The number will be prominently displayed on our website, along with other ways to contact us.

Once they have an offer

Again, don't rush things. If they haven't been to the university before, check if there's an opportunity to visit to make sure it's for them. Our Clearing Campus Tours are a great chance to come and say hello, have a look around and meet some of our staff and students. You'll also be able to see the accommodation available.

Once they have had an offer and have decided that they want to accept it, they will need to log on to UCAS Track. They can do this after 3pm on results day. They will need to click on Add Clearing Choice and fill in the details for the university and course they would like to accept. The university will need to confirm this, and then their place will be guaranteed. Find out more about applying through UCAS.

Finance

Once they have their place, make sure they have sorted their student finance. If they've already applied for this, they just need to update the university and course details. This needs to be up to date before they start to make sure they get their loan. If they haven't already applied for finance, encourage them to do so as soon as possible. Find out more about undergraduate fees and finance.

Accommodation

The other big thing to sort now is accommodation. Please note that there might be limited choice on types of rooms. Find out more about applying for accommodation through Clearing.