A Clearing guide for parents

Clearing can be a stressful period for both students and their parents, but rest assured we’re here to support you every step of the journey. This comprehensive parents guide to Clearing aims to walk you through the process.

We’ll give you practical tips on how to support your child, guidance on how parents can support their children’s psychological wellbeing throughout the period, and general Clearing advice for parents.

What is Clearing?

Clearing is the process that universities across the country have in place to fill empty spaces on their courses. This isn’t to say that they’re courses no one wants to study though! Unfortunately a number of students on results day might not get the grades they need to study their course, therefore freeing up a spot. Clearing is the process that fills those spots.

This year Clearing opens on Wednesday 5 July, with A level results day on Thursday 17 August. Our Clearing guide can help you understand more about the Clearing process.

Why would my child apply through Clearing?

Clearing is open to students from the UK and the EU (if they have settled status or pre-settled status) and allows them to apply for a full-time place on an undergraduate course starting in the autumn.

It’s used by thousands of students every year and generally helps those who decide they want to go to university a little later than usual, don’t get the grades they need for their course, or change their mind about the course or the university they’ve chosen.

It definitely doesn’t mean that the institution or courses are lower quality. Lots of places become available because students don’t get the grades they need and their space then becomes available for someone else to fill.

If your child needs to go through the Clearing process it doesn’t mean they’ve failed, and it’s important to their mental wellbeing that they’re not made to feel like they have. Often Clearing can actually help students enrol on a more suitable course that they end up absolutely loving. It can even put students on a different path they might not have even considered before!

How can I help my child through Clearing?

Be encouraging and have an open mind

Results day anxiety is very common among students. On top of feeling nervous about getting their exam results, they could also feel like they’re under pressure from family to get certain grades or get on to a particular course.

That’s why it’s really important you’re encouraging and supportive in the run up and on the day. If you’re able to, we’d recommend allocating some time on results day to help your child in case they do need to go through the Clearing process. Not only might they need emotional support if they’re upset about not getting into their firm choice, but they could require help in contacting alternative universities.

Persuade them to visit university open days

One of the best ways to get a feeling for a university is to visit. Lots of universities host open days after A level results day to encourage people to look around during the Clearing period.

At an open day, students get an opportunity to meet lecturers, talk to other students about their experience and take a look around the campus or university buildings.

Research London Met’s courses

Things can move quite quickly on results day so it’s a good idea to encourage your child to research some back-up course options. Even if they’re confident about their results, it’s still useful to have researched some alternative courses in advance, just in case.

You can browse our courses to get a better feel for course content, our facilities and the employability skills our students gain.

Research finance and accommodation options

Finance and accommodation are two very real concerns for new students looking to come to university. They’re also very important to parents who want to be assured their child has somewhere safe to live and enough money to live on.

Helping your child look at accommodation and finance options is a great way for parents to help take some of the load off their child. Often researching funding and finding accommodation can be stressful so having someone to help do this is likely to be appreciated.

Our funding your studies and finding accommodation webpages are a great place to start.

Where to get further advice

We've helped thousands of students find a place through Clearing and we look forward to welcoming many more students this year.

Our frequently asked questions can be a great starting point for guidance, or you can get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

Sign up to our priority mailing list and make sure you’re first to know about Clearing 2023 at London Met. We’ll also email useful info and guidance about the process.

Although Clearing can be stressful at times for students, it’s a great way for your child to discover a new course or university. The best thing you can do as a parent is be supportive during the process. Plus remember to encourage your child to take a look at our undergraduate courses in advance so they have some back-up options in mind, just in case!

If you need any more information about the process you can visit our Clearing homepage.

London Met graduate Denise smiling away from the camera