Unfortunately, not all students will secure the grades that they were hoping for and results day can quickly turn to panic. Try and support your son or daughter through this by keeping them as calm as possible. They should listen to advice from their teachers and not make any rush decisions. Clearing is a UCAS process that works for thousands of students, most of which will find an alternative university option and go on to have a fantastic experience.

Clearing - a quick guide

If eligible for Clearing, their Clearing number will appear on the UCAS Hub. They will need to quote this throughout the course of the day so encourage them to write it down.

All Clearing vacancies will be listed centrally on the UCAS website and on the individual university sites. Sit with your son or daughter and look through all of the options available, when you come across one that you feel has potential then the student should call them (there will be a designated Clearing phone number clearly listed) and discuss the course in further detail. Encourage them to ask any questions that they might have about the course, university or student experience as a whole. If the student’s grades match the university’s criteria they will make a verbal offer and students can hold as many of these as they want so do not be afraid to ring lots of institutions.

Once all of the research and phone calls have been made it is time to decide if one is a good match and formally accept it on the UCAS Hub. If not then they should consider a gap year and reapplying the year after; Higher Education is a major investment of time and finances and it has to be right.

The earliest they can accept an offer is 3pm on A Level results day so there is plenty of time to consider all options and no pressure to make an immediate decision. Just be aware that verbal offers do expire (sometimes 24 hours after they are made).

Once a place has been accepted it is time to put into place final arrangements, including securing accommodation and notifying Student Finance that the university destination has changed.

Next steps