How to help an applicant through Clearing

After supporting your child, sibling, friend or student through all the hard work and stress of their final year at school or college, finding out how everything has paid off is an important moment for you both.

However, the journey isn’t over yet – they could still hit reset on their future! Here are our top tips for helping them through the Clearing process.

1. Plan ahead

Dealing with busy phone lines, pages of course details and a potentially life-changing decision can be overwhelming. You can help keep stress to a minimum by doing some preparation beforehand.

In the weeks leading up to Results Day, it’s a good idea to find out:

  • Which universities offer the courses they're interested in
  • Alternative courses similar to their top choices
  • The numbers and opening hours of Clearing phone lines

Having a list of where to call on hand can streamline the whole process. You can also practice with your Champion by asking them why they want to study their preferred subject.

Read your Guide to Clearing for more tips and key pieces of information.

2. Stay motivated

It can be easy for an applicant to lose momentum as they wait in phone queues, answer the same questions and repeat the same information with every call.

You can help by keeping the tea flowing, the phone lines clear and your mood positive. Clearing is an exciting opportunity for them – be ready to celebrate finding a place somewhere they’ll love!

Our Spotify playlists can be the perfect soundtrack for your Clearing experience, from picking up the phone to when they get that all-important offer.

3. Keep a note

While a university can’t offer any applicant a place without speaking to them first, you can phone on their behalf to ask general queries. You can also stay with them while they’re on a call and help fill in any gaps on things they might forget.

Having a pen and paper handy to jot down any important information will be useful when weighing the pros and cons of potential places later.

An offer won’t appear in UCAS Track until an applicant responds to their confirmation email, so it’s good to have your own notes in the meantime. Compare provisional offers with your previous research and any outside factors like university facilities, accommodation options, and extra requirements like interviews.

4. Pace yourself

It’s true that places are likely to fill up quickly but it’s also important to remember that Clearing phone lines are open for a while. Not everything rests on the few hours immediately after exam results arrive and it’s okay to take a break.

Even after an offer (or more than one!) is made, it’s always important to have a discussion and figure out the best choice. You both might benefit from sleeping on it and approaching their options with a fresh mind.

We recommend responding to a provisional offer within 24 hours to ensure the place remains available. However, you have until Tuesday 31 August to get in touch with Edinburgh Napier University to confirm.

Application deadlines for accommodation and some scholarships may also be earlier. See our Study with us section for more information.

5. Let them make their own decision

In the end, Clearing comes down to one thing – what an applicant wants to do with their future.

Being with them through the whole process can make it tempting to try and influence their decision. It’s fine to have an opinion but remember you’re there to help get them through and ultimately support their choice.

Once they have accepted an offer through Clearing, they can’t apply anywhere else. Make sure they’re happy to hit reset!