Clearing advice for parents and guardians

Top tips on how to help your child through Clearing 2021

Find out what courses are available
Getting your child ready for Clearing 2021

Helping your child find the best place that suits them

Clearing is the name of the process universities use to fill any available spaces on their courses. If your child is planning to go through Clearing this year we have some spaces for them on our creative and digital courses.

It’s not what it used to be

Clearing is an exciting opportunity to get your child into a university and on a course that best suits them. It is a much more common route into higher education than it was in the past.  

Clearing used to be seen as a last resort but now it’s about taking control of your educational future. In 2020, more than 515,000 students went through the Clearing process (source: UCAS). 

Clearing opens on Monday 5 July until 19 October. All applications made to universities from this date until September will all go through Clearing. 

Clearing is a great option if your child has: 

  • not met the conditions of their offers 

  • not received any offers 

  • received better grades than predicted 

  • rejected all their offers 

  • applied after the 30 June 

  • not applied through UCAS at all 

  • only just decided to go to university 

  • taken a year out/gap year and already has qualifications. 

How you can help your child?

So, you’ve made the first step and decided to progress through Clearing. 

The Clearing process can seem daunting but remember there is still lots of time to practically prepare yourself and your child.  It’s important to get organised ahead of results day. 

Check list:

  • Make a note of key dates: Monday 5 July (Clearing opens) and Tuesday 10 August (A-level exam results released) 

  • Make a note of what your child is interested in 

  • If your child has changed their mind about their original interests we have foundation courses that can bridge the transition 

  • If you have questions or concerns about what we are doing to keep our students safe during the pandemic, please read our safety measures 

  • Read about what you can do right now on our Clearing page and to learn more about the process. 

  • Have a look around our website to learn about who we are and the courses on offer

  • Book a building tour so you can come and meet us yourself. If you can’t make it to us in person, sign up to our virtual open day where you’ll hear firsthand about all our courses from students and our tutors

  • Research other universities so you can compare offerings. Chat to our student to find out what it’s like here too. It’s about what works best for your child after all. 

Other things to think about...

It’s important to remember that Clearing can be stressful in other ways too, it’s not all about the practical process. On top of an already stressful year, the thought of going through Clearing can be emotionally taxing. With results day looming, having to go through a new process, and making a big life decision can all feel like a lot for your child to handle.  

Right now, there is no rush, and you have time to digest how it all works and help your child with their choices.  

Going to university is not only about the course. Ask your child about where they would like to live: halls or private accommodation or even at home? Would they prefer a small or large university? Do they need extra learning or disability support?  Will they need a bursary or scholarship? Compare your findings with other universities to get the place that suits your child best.  

If you’re stuck, call us

We are on hand to talk your child through anything Clearing-related on 0203 040 3991. We understand you may want to talk to us on behalf of your child but due to data protection regulations our friendly team must talk to them directly. They are very knowledgeable about the process and can steer them through this sometimes-confusing time.  

Before they call us, make sure they have a pen and paper to hand and have thought of some questions to ask us. Make sure they also have their UCAS ID number and their qualifications to hand. 

Good to know

UCAS Track is the online system that shows how applications are progressing. On results day, your child will have time to add their new choice of university to their profile. 

Under the Consumer Rights Act (2015), applicants have the right to cancel their offer within 14 days.