How to support your student during Clearing: a guide for parents, carers, guardians, teachers, advisers and friends

A family at Clearing

Here at Stirling, we recognise that the last few years have been tough for students and that they have had to rely on a strong network of parents, guardians, teachers, advisers and friends. And it will be no different when it comes to results day.

If your student doesn’t get the exam results they were hoping for, it’s important to stay calm and stay positive. If you act fast, they can still secure a place at university for September 2023 through Clearing.

How does UCAS Clearing work?

UCAS Clearing is part of the undergraduate application process. It enables applicants to be matched with UK university places that still need to be fulfilled. It’s a really common way for people to apply to university, and it can actually be a positive experience for lots of students. 

Your student can apply through Clearing if they:

  • didn’t get any offers;
  • declined the offers they got;
  • failed to meet the conditions of their offers;
  • did better than they were expecting;
  • applied after 30 June 2023; or
  • want to switch courses or universities.

Clearing dates you need to know

Clearing opens on 5 July 2023, but it’s likely that your student will only be able to start the Clearing process once they’ve got their results. That will be 8 August for students in Scotland and 17 August for students from the rest of the UK.

For more information on key Clearing dates, check out our guide.

Get ready for Results Day

In the run-up to Results Day, your student should do some research in advance. Here at the University of Stirling, we will publish all our Clearing vacancies from 5 July. That means they will have plenty of time to check out options before Results Day.

Most universities will also set up Clearing phone lines that students can use to call and discuss their options with advisers. Encourage your student to look up all the universities they are interested in and note down the corresponding phone numbers for Results Day.

It would help if your student registered their interest in Clearing. This is the perfect way to stay up-to-date on Clearing opportunities and get reminders on important dates. Register now for Clearing support at the University of Stirling.

When the Results arrive

When your student gets their results, encourage them to log onto their UCAS Hub to find out if they have gone into Clearing. If they have, it’s time to call the universities you’ve been saving numbers for.

As tempting as it is, you shouldn’t make phone calls on behalf of your student. We know you want to help in any way you can, but we’ll have to speak directly with them on the phone to offer them a place.

When contacting various universities, ensure your students have all the essentials at hand to secure their place as quickly and smoothly as possible. This includes: 

  • their exam results;
  • their UCAS ID; 
  • their Clearing ID; 
  • their personal statement; 
  • any additional qualifications; and
  • their CV. 

Make sure your student is prepared to answer a few questions. Universities will normally have questions about why your student is interested in a particular course, and may ask them to elaborate on their UCAS personal statement. It may be worth having a few mock calls with your student to prepare beforehand. In these practice calls, you can encourage them to explain their motivations for applying for a particular course or university, or ask them to discuss their UCAS personal statement in a bit more depth.

You should also get them to write down any extra questions they might have, because this is their golden opportunity to find out more about student support, accommodation, funding and more.

Providing emotional support

Results Day can be pretty stressful for students and their families, so everyone involved should be prepared for a long and emotional day. 

Parents, carers, guardians and friends will know their student best and how to provide support, whether that’s through staying calm throughout the day, keeping their spirits up or providing tasty snacks and hot drinks between phone calls. Find out more Clearing tips for parents, carers and guardians

There may be a few difficult conversations to be had, so teachers and advisors might want to consider securing a private and quiet space that is dedicated to one-on-one chats with students. You can find more specific advice for teachers and advisers on our website. 

The most important thing for everyone to remember is to stay calm and positive. There are loads of options out there, and our friendly Clearing team will do our best to help you find them.

What happens after your student gets an offer? 

If your student is able to secure an offer over the phone, they’ll need to log onto UCAS Hub. This is where they formally accept their Clearing offer. 

After that, they can start an application for university accommodation and student funding if required. 

And don’t forget to celebrate! This is a big deal, and we’re sure you’ll be proud. 

Additional Clearing support

If you need extra resources to support your student, we’re here to help. We offer a range of how-to guides and information. Here are a few good places to start:

Want your student to stay up-to-date on what’s happening with Clearing this summer? Make sure they register for our Clearing updates. We’ll be able to give them all sorts of Clearing tips, tricks and advice direct to their inbox and do everything we can to help them find a university place for September 2023.

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