Clearing advice for parents & guardians

If a student’s results aren’t what they expected, they’ve changed their minds about what course to study or they've only just decided to study at university, Clearing is a simple way for students to find the right place for them.

This year, with the current unprecedented circumstances, there may be many students who find themselves turning to Clearing to secure a place at University.

How does Clearing work?

Students can find out if they’re eligible for Clearing by logging into their UCAS Track record. They will also receive an email from their Firm and Insurance universities confirming if they’ve been successful in obtaining a place. If your child missed the grades they needed for both their Firm and Insurance offers, their Clearing Number will appear in Track automatically. The Clearing Number is the code they use to secure any future course offer they want to accept.

As soon as they have their Clearing Number and their list of university and course choices, they can start calling up university hotlines. If they’re asked to apply to a course and want to take up the place, they need to add the course as their Clearing choice in track. They can only enter one choice.

Clearing moves at a rapid pace, so if your child wants to take part in it then they should be prepared for this, and ready to make calls and find out which courses are available at different universities quickly. 

How to help your child prepare for Clearing?

Help them with research

It’s never too early to prepare, whether it’s researching degrees, looking at other universities or making a list of courses they’re interested in. The sooner they know which courses they want to apply for, the sooner they can call – and we recommend doing this as early as possible. 

Prepare for the phone call

The call into a Clearing hotline can be quite daunting, but if you make sure they have their qualifications ready and to hand and know all the details about the courses they want to apply for, then they should be able to call with confidence.

You can’t make the call for them, but you can help make sure they’ve got all the basic information ready - their Clearing Number, UCAS Personal ID, details of their qualifications (including A-level, AS-level, GCSE and equivalent results), login details for UCAS Track, and their notes on the course/university.

Look around the chosen university

We realise that the current circumstances have led to campus closures, making it difficult to visit universities. However, a lot of universities have set up virtual open day pages instead, and it’s a good idea to look at a few – it can give your child a better idea of the kind of university they are applying to.

Read more of our tips about going through Clearing.