If they go onto the UCAS web site they should be able to get quite a bit of info from there.
Could they not contact the school to talk to someone there? The application will have gone through the school/college. Given that at best the student can only just be 18 has the school not been in touch with the parents previously?
Can apply for up to 5 Universities. This is done on-line through UCAS (central system). Deadline just gone I think.
Universities can then either reject an application or make an offer conditional on A level grades or call the student for an interview. Those who make offer often have post-offer open days as well.
When a student has had a response from all the places they applied to they have a few weeks to make their decision: they can hold up to two offers(their favourite & a second that will take them with lower grades).
Come results day in August the Universities will confirm offer if grades obtained (and sometimes if a near miss!)
Otherwise student has option of going through clearing system - Universities still with places look for students without confirmed places.
Application for LEA to pay fees, student loans etc has to be completed in part by parents - detailed financial info. required if applying for means tested payments.
Please don't all 'yell' that I've missed bits - trying to be brief