Skip to main content

Clearing and how to support your child

Search Royal Holloway

Clearing and how to support your child

Clearing is when universities advertise any remaining places they have available on their undergraduate degree courses. The word can often incite panic into the hearts of both student and parent/guardian but it doesn’t need to be a negative experience.

Here are our top tips for a successful day:
  1. Don’t panic! Make a cup of tea and take a breath.
  2. Obviously your first and foremost consideration is that your child will need positive emotional support as their dream to go to a specific university may have been shattered.
  3. Go on to the UCAS website to find out what places are available for your child’s subject of interest.
  4. Revisit the universities that were declined by your child - the three that were part of the original five on their UCAS application. Check to see if they have places available.
  5. Make a shortlist of the top most relevant options available including telephone numbers and call (don’t email) the university’s clearing hotline.
  6.  Record specific details about the conversation: has your child been offered a place; is accommodation available if needed; what is the deadline for referral?
  7. Look into the logistics: how far away is the university? Does it have easy access to public transport? Does it meet your child’s expectations of attending a campus or city university?
  8. Consider your child’s options: there may be other types of courses available that haven’t been considered previously. Maybe they could take a Gap Year and work or travel and reapply next year. Is retaking their exams a logical option?
  9. Give your child time to consider their options and the clearing offers they have received. Usually they will need to refer themselves on UCAS Track to their course of choice by early the following morning so they are allowed a few hours thinking time.
  10. Check out our Clearing advice pages for more ideas.


Explore Royal Holloway