Top tips for Parents and Guardians

Aerial view of campus

Results day can be a stressful time for some, hopefully if things have gone well its celebrations all round, but its worth knowing all the options and what might be possible on and after results day.


If they are collecting results, they will have been informed by their school or college the times and how to do this. UCAS and their university choices won’t share exam results with them. Once they have their results its also important to check their UCAS Hub to see the status of their offer, and if their place has been confirmed.

What is Clearing?

Clearing allows applicants to shop around for university places yet to be filled. It’s available to anyone who's made a UCAS undergraduate application (or is about to) and has their qualification results, but doesn’t hold any offers. Courses available aren’t just those left over, there can be a huge mix of opportunities and increasingly applicants are using the process to their advantage. It opens on 5 July and remains open until mid-October, however many courses start teaching in September so applying by mid-September is recommended.


Prior research will make it a far easier on the day. Courses that might be available can be found via the UCAS Clearing search tool before the day and there are lots of resources and guides to find out more. One of the best places to look is the UCAS Clearing Guide for Parents.

Research before results day might include a discussion about their expectations and considering some ‘what if’ situations. Universities will want to hear from the students themselves, so if they are phone shy some prior preparation can make things less stressful.

Be available

If your future student has not achieved the grades they hoped for, they may be worried about what to do next. It can be calmer if you are available to reassure them and be there whilst they are contacting universities, even if it’s to pass them a snack! If you are going on holiday, make sure they can gain wifi or mobile signal so they can check results, their UCAS Hub and contact universities. Being in a no signal zone might make a stressful situation worse.


If your future student doesn’t gain the results they need, the obvious option might be clearing. However, keep other options in mind, whether this be a gap year, work experience, applying to complete further studies or considering degree apprenticeships.

Decision making

With clearing there can feel pressure to decide quickly. It’s important that students take their time to consider the pros and cons, perhaps highlight areas you think it might be worth checking, e.g. travel to the university, accommodation etc. There are visits to the campus available after results day so you can explore together to check it’s the right place for them and ask any further questions.

Remind them that clearing call centres are there to support students finding their ideal university place and we will do everything we can to make that happen in a friendly way.