Clearing advice for parents, guardians and carers

People looking at the open day programme

Getting exam results can be a stressful time for everyone! The main thing is not to panic. Our Clearing advice will help you to support your student to find the right university place for them.

Top tips for supporting your student through Clearing

Hear from Neil McGillivray, Head of UK and Europe Recruitment and Shona Barrie, Director of Admissions and Access with their top tips for parents, guardians and carers on how to support their student through the Clearing process.

How does Clearing work?

Clearing is a UCAS application process that matches applicants to unfilled university places. Last year over 64,300 UK students obtained places through Clearing so it’s become a common way of applying to university. It can be a positive opportunity to explore new options.

Students can use Clearing to find a place at university if they:

  • didn’t receive any offers
  • have changed their mind and declined the offers they did receive
  • didn’t meet the criteria for their conditional offers
  • exceeded their expected grades
  • applied after 30 June
  • want to change university or course

Clearing dates

Clearing opens on 5 July 2019 but your student will only be able to start the process once they have their exam results – 6 August for Scottish Highers and 15 August for A-levels.

Prepare for exam results day

Preparing and researching will make the process go a lot more smoothly. So first of all make sure you know all about the process – you can read our simple guide to Clearing.

Secondly, work with your student to identify possible universities and courses so they have time to think about alternative options.

If your student is interested in some universities, you can both register your interest on their Clearing websites. It’s a good way of receiving up-to-date information from the universities.

We also publish Clearing vacancies from 5 July so there’s plenty of time to see our options on our Clearing webpages before exam results day.

In addition, most universities also set-up Clearing hotlines where your student can discuss their options with an expert adviser. So note down all the university phone numbers your student might want to contact.

The University of Stirling’s Clearing hotline is +44 (0) 1786 466166.

Be prepared for emotions and nerves

Make sure you’re available on the day for your student as it can be an emotional and long day. Be prepared for difficult conversations, but above all stay calm and positive. Remember that your student will hopefully have plenty of options available to them through Clearing.

What to do on Results Day

Start early! As soon as your student’s exam results are available, get them to log into UCAS track so they can see if they’re eligible for Clearing.

Your student should start calling the universities as soon as they know their results. However, please note that we can only speak to the applicant directly and can’t discuss your student’s application with you.

Make sure your student has the following information ready for their calls:

  • UCAS personal ID
  • UCAS Clearing number
  • details of all their qualifications
  • exam results

The university may ask questions about their choices; why they want to study on a particular choice or go to a certain university. So make sure your student can discuss their UCAS personal statement and can deal with these questions. It might even be worthwhile having a couple of practice runs.

Get them to make a list of any questions they want to ask about the university, the courses they’re interested in, or any aspect of student life such as accommodation, travel and support services.

Finally, make sure all the phones are fully charged!

What happens next?

Once your student has got an offer over the phone they’ll be able to go onto UCAS track to formally accept the offer. They’ll then be able to start an application for accommodation as well as student funding.

Maybe have a little celebration first!

Find out more

Listen to our students talk about their Clearing experiences with the University of Stirling.

Clearing advice for teachers and advisors.

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