Clearing can be a difficult time for students and even more difficult for parents as you need to support your child through this process. This blog outlines the basics of clearing, as well as what you can do to support your child through it.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is how universities and colleges fill any places they still have on their courses. It's an ideal way to find another course. You find courses (with vacancies) that interest you, and contact universities or colleges directly, to see if they will offer you a place (UCAS, 2019).

Why might my child be in Clearing?

Something you have to understand is that entering into clearing does not make your child a failure. There are a few reasons why they might be in clearing;

  • They didn’t get the entry grades required for their chosen course.
  • They decide later on in the year that they want to go to university.
  • They decide that they want to change your course.

Will my child be eligible for Clearing?

Your child can use Clearing if:

  • they're applying after 30th June,
  • they didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept),
  • they didn’t meet the conditions of their offers.

"Entering Clearing was a very stressful time so, it was extremely beneficial to have help and support. I was able to turn to my head of sixth form who offered her advice during this time, as well as being able to speak to the registry team at Pearson College London which made the process less stressful and seamless." Firyal Lodhi, Law student, Pearson College London

When does Clearing start?

Clearing is available from July to September every year. If your child has their exam results but no university offers, they can use Clearing from July. If they have conditional offers but their exam results didn't go to plan, they can use Clearing from results day, when Clearing vacancies will be listed in the UCAS search tool. If your child is holding a firm unconditional place but has changed their mind, they can decline their place in Track.

How can my child apply for a place through clearing?

  1. Go to the UCAS website and go to ‘Find Clearing Vacancies’ – you can then search for universities that offer their course.
  2. Total up your UCAS points using their online tariffs and have your child's qualifications and grades ready for any questions.
  3. Call up universities, tell them their UCAS ID Number, how many UCAS points they have and the course they're interested in. Make sure your child prepares some questions in relation to accommodation, modules and things to do in the town where the university is located, as it’s their chance to quiz the university, to find out if it’s the right institution. (Make sure you have a pen and paper for this to note down any details and ensure that they express their interest to attend that university.)
  4. Once they have been accepted, add the course back into your UCAS Track.
  5. Attend a clearing open day at your chosen the university you chose: this is an excellent opportunity to meet people in the same position as you and explore the university and its facilities first-hand.

Offering Support

This is a stressful time for students, especially when they have unexpectedly entered into clearing. Therefore, offer support where you can and ensure you are educated about the clearing process, should it impact your child. Some things you can do are;
1. Remain calm - there is a chance that your child will be panicking about the situation so keeping calm yourself and trying to calm them down will really help.
2. Know the process - educate yourself about the clearing process and how UCAS Track works so that you can be of the most help possible.
3. Interview tips - as a parent, you have most likely experienced an interview before. Therefore, you could help your child with interview technique, in case they are asked any questions on the phone.

Walkarounds in Amsterdam.
Photo by Max van den Oetelaar / Unsplash

Is your child interested in studying at Pearson College London and looking for places in clearing? Take a look at our 2019 clearing information.

Pearson Business School has limited clearing places available in Business Management, Law and Accounting and Escape Studios has limited clearing places available in VFX, Games and Animation.