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Help Needed!!! Reapply through UCAS 2012? or take uni offer??

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    Hi,

    So I really need some advice on what to do regarding my offers!

    I applied for (V100) History this year (2010/2011) to:
    Glasgow: conditional
    Queens Belfast: conditional
    Cambridge: pooled, rejected
    St Andrews: rejected
    Edinburgh: havent heard but expecting rejection

    I definitely don't want to go to Queens- dont even know why i put it down- and i dont want to go to Glasgow. Should I take a year out and reapply to the likes of- cambridge, durham, edinburgh, exeter or should i just go to Glasgow! Will it be too competitove next year? will i be left with no offers??

    (dont know if my grades are a problem??)
    GCSE: 4A* 5As
    AS: AAAB
    A2 (predicted): A*A*A

    Do i do another a-level??

    Sorry to be winging - i know i am lucky to get any offers at all!
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
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    You may as well accept the offer so you have a back-up plan. You may change your mind in a few months. But don't go if you really don't want to.

    I'd say accept the offer and if it comes to the day and you don't want to, phone up and say you're not going, and apply for 2012 instead.
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    inb4 'if you take a year out now, you'll be paying increased fees next year'.
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    To be blunt, what's the point in going to a university that you know you don't want to be at? To be extreme, you might hate it so much you end up dropping out. On the other hand though, if you don't go somewhere this year you'll have to pay triple fees and find something to do until September 2012...

    As for doing another A level, if you've got another year then why not? You may find that universities are more likely to give you offers next time round though since you'll already have got the grades.
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    If I were you, I'd first wait to see what Edinburgh say - you never know, they might give you an offer!

    Also, bear in mind the fee increase next year. Is it really worth £6k more a year (so £18k overall), plus whatever living costs you incur in a year out, to do a course at a different university? Do you think the course at Cambridge/etc is better enough to warrant the extra expense, as well as the employment options at the end of it? How can you know you're going to get into a better university next year? Your grades are good, so there may be something on your PS letting you down; have you thought about how you would improve your application substantially?

    Not that these are reasons not to do so, and if I was in your situation with money as no object, I'd far rather take a year out and go to a 'better' university which I would be an awful lot happier at. But it honestly depends if you think it'll be successful and worth it.
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    Why don't you want to go to Queen's or Glasgow, they are both great unis
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    Why are you dismissing Glasgow and Queens?

    There must have been a reason you applied there originally - why did you? Have you been and visited, read the prospectus and properly found out about these universities? If you've done all of this and really hate them, then fair enough, but you need to make sure you're giving them proper consideration before rejecting their offers. I went to Edinburgh but Glasgow was my insurance choice and I would have been more than happy to go there, the university structure is the same in that you do 3 subjects in 1st and 2nd year, Glasgow university is prettier than Edinburgh and they're both great cities. The student accommodation is very similar too. Yes, Edinburgh will always have that pull of "its Edinburgh" but Glasgow is equally as good. There is very little that you'd get living in Edinburgh and going there than if you were living in Glasgow and going there, its all down to perception. Similarly, Queens is also very good and again, a good city and pretty buildings (if that's what you're looking for) so I'd advise you to properly research these options before turning them down.

    At this stage, wait and see what Edinburgh reply with then make your decisions on the basis of this aspect. If you really don't want Glasgow or Queens then you can consider looking in clearing. Exeter still have history at their Cornwall campus with joint honours available at their main campus, so this is something to consider. Alternatively, you can accept one of your offers then see what happens on results day. Then, you can either decline the offer and see what there is in clearing (although unlikely for the universities you're aiming for) or reapply next year if you decide you don't want to go to that choice. Either way, you need to keep your application open so that you're eligible to use clearing and keep your options open.

    If you do reapply remember that nothing is guaranteed. Reapplying for the sake of a couple of very competitive universities, even with top grades, might end up in an even worse position than you're in this year and even if you were to reapply to Glasgow, for example, there isn't a guarantee you'd get an offer again. If you reapply you need to be totally prepared that this time next year you'll be in the same position. If you're happy with that as its better or the same than what you feel you have now then go ahead but otherwise, consider it properly. That said, there's no point going to a university you're unhappy with simply due to the fees, as it'd be likely you'd drop out and end up with more debt than if you'd just waited a year and paid the extra fees.
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    Hi again
    thanks all for your advice. Looking back on it now i was probably crazy not to take an offer from Glasgow!
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    (Original post by Mooncat)
    Hi,

    So I really need some advice on what to do regarding my offers!

    I applied for (V100) History this year (2010/2011) to:
    Glasgow: conditional
    Queens Belfast: conditional
    Cambridge: pooled, rejected
    St Andrews: rejected
    Edinburgh: havent heard but expecting rejection

    I definitely don't want to go to Queens- dont even know why i put it down- and i dont want to go to Glasgow. Should I take a year out and reapply to the likes of- cambridge, durham, edinburgh, exeter or should i just go to Glasgow! Will it be too competitove next year? will i be left with no offers??

    (dont know if my grades are a problem??)
    GCSE: 4A* 5As
    AS: AAAB
    A2 (predicted): A*A*A

    Do i do another a-level??

    Sorry to be winging - i know i am lucky to get any offers at all!
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
    If you really don't fancy the course at Glasgow or QUB, you could decline these offers and consider going through Extra, once your Edinburgh decision has come through and if it's the reply you expect. It looks like there are still some good courses in there - Lancaster and Leicester for instance, or Nottingham, Queen Mary, and Royal Holloway. All very well respected history departments. On the other hand, so is Glasgow's department

    If you do decide to go round again next year, there is no point in doing another A level unless it is something you would want to do anyway. Frankly, if your actual grades are as expected or even a bit lower you wouldn't need to.

    As to how competitive the places you are thinking of will be next year, who's to say? However, I would suggest that you check with Durham whether your GCSEs would be OK, as they are usually looking for more than 4 A*s, and make use of any feedback you can get out of Cambridge to strengthen your application generally. People do reapply to Cambridge and are successful - but some of course are not. You would have to decide how much you would mind if you weren't.

    On the fees issue - according the the figures in Lord Browne's paper, on a salary of £25k a year you would be paying back £30 a month. That is not an impossible amount out of take home pay of around £1500. Starting a course you're not really sure about and dropping out is also expensive, as well as demoralising, so worrying about fees would be, by itself, a poor reason for just taking what you can get this year.

    Unplanned gap years can be highly productive - and there is nothing wrong with spending it doing paid work, if it's on offer, to help you save funds for later. Unis aren't bothered what you do with a gap year, as long as it's clear from your PS that you aren't just loafing around at your parents' expense.

    Not sure if you'd seen my thread 'more rejections than offers'? It's stickied at the top of the forum.
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    (Original post by Mooncat)
    Hi again
    thanks all for your advice. Looking back on it now i was probably crazy not to take an offer from Glasgow!
    It would definitely put you in good stead for the future. Why not accept it and then if you really arent happy when results day rolls round just politely let them know you wont be taking up the offer and reapply next year.

    Go to an open day, look at the accommodation, chat to people on the Glasgow forum and see if you can see yourself going there, being happy there. After the initial disappointment of your other unsuccessful applications you may realise Glasgow is better suited to you than you first thought
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    I don't know how much your situation has changed since you last posted; but I definitely agree that you should continue with the process as if you were going to go uni this year. Firm whatever course you like the best, while keeping an eye out for other courses/ universities in Extra, and researching ideas for a gap year alongside. Not sure if this is right (perhaps Minerva or somebody else would like to clarify? ) but I read that some closed courses (with a 'C' beside their entry in UCAS) may not be totally off-limits so it's worth considering emailing these places also, if you want. Main thing is work yo ass off at A2 now.

    I am in a similar position myself: applied to Oxford (rej), Sheffield, Sussex, Birm (offers) and St Andrews (awaiting response) but with the added complication of now wanting to do a completely different subject I definitely don't want to go to Sussex, Brum looks unlikely (anyone know how strict they are with regards to changing course in 1st year?) Sheffield v kindly said they'd make me a Eng lit offer which I will accept; now just waiting for StAs. So I will be taking my own advice (minus the bit about working hard, clearly) - although tbh I would quite like to reapply.
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    Glasgow is a great uni! And you might be put off by it being in Glasgow, but it's in the West End which is really really nice plus there are so many clubs and pubs if you like that kind of thing. Really good uni which will stand you in good stead for the future
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    Hi,

    I was in a similar postion to you last year as, although I got all my offers, I missed out on a place to study Ancient, Medieval and Modern History at Durham by a quarter of a percent, as I basically screwed my hand six weeks before exams were due to start and couldn't actually do any essay practice prior to the event. I also wasn't happy with the second offer i'd received (Newcastle) and so took the year out to try and better go for a better option.

    If you have a choice, i really wouldn't recommend you do this as the better uni's like Durham and St Andrews won't even look at you if you're applying second time round, no matter the grades. I've done loads of volunteering at museums and archaeology places and the only result is that all my savings are gone and I received a new round of rejections. Some sixth forms and colleges may also be funny about re-addmitting you as they'll see you as overqualified and although it'll be something to do, the stress of more a-levels will also wear you down.

    Personally, I'd say wait for Edinburgh (they're really late on giving offers this year, I only received mine on friday) and go for it, if they can't see what they're missing then stuff them. Queens and Glasgow also have really good reputations and you never know, it might be the best thing you ever do.

    The good side to taking a gap year is of course the extra experience that you gain, which in today's job market would be pretty much invaluable - so long as you get the right choice of uni.

    Good Luck!!!
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    (Original post by xCHiiBiEverlastingx)
    Not sure if this is right (perhaps Minerva or somebody else would like to clarify? ) but I read that some closed courses (with a 'C' beside their entry in UCAS) may not be totally off-limits so it's worth considering emailing these places also, if you want.
    There's nothing to stop anyone from ringing these unis but I'd be very surprised if the response was anything other than 'forget it'.

    (Original post by gems.14)
    Hi,

    If you have a choice, i really wouldn't recommend you do this as the better uni's like Durham and St Andrews won't even look at you if you're applying second time round, no matter the grades. I've done loads of volunteering at museums and archaeology places and the only result is that all my savings are gone and I received a new round of rejections. Some sixth forms and colleges may also be funny about re-addmitting you as they'll see you as overqualified and although it'll be something to do, the stress of more a-levels will also wear you down.
    That just isn't true, you know. I appreciate that you've been disappointed, but many people do re-apply to these unis successfully. This year there was someone who made it into Cambridge on the third attempt, after a second session in the Pool.
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    (Original post by gems.14)
    If you have a choice, i really wouldn't recommend you do this as the better uni's like Durham and St Andrews won't even look at you if you're applying second time round, no matter the grades. I've done loads of volunteering at museums and archaeology places and the only result is that all my savings are gone and I received a new round of rejections. Some sixth forms and colleges may also be funny about re-addmitting you as they'll see you as overqualified and although it'll be something to do, the stress of more a-levels will also wear you down.
    Oh dear Buut at least you did get some valuable WEx as you said yourself, hopefully had fun along the way, and don't have to deal with massively increased fees.

    However I thought the consensus was very much the opposite w/ regards to what you said above. I was sure that generally unis didn't discriminate against re-applicants, seeing a productive gap year as a positive. May I ask what grades you achieved/ course you applied for? Did you apply to Durham/ StAs in the previous cycle?
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    Yeah of course, I was just attempting to give you the benefit of some experience. I'm still pleased that I did it, as its helped me alot in deciding what career i want to follow and i feel has definately improved my job prospects. I hadn't applied to St A's in the previous cycle, but had been accepted for Durham and have spoken to many of the uni's tutors on the subject as i'm actually local to the area. I only got AAB, but i got 7a*'s, 3a's and an as level in eng lit in my gsce year. I've always applied for history and classics in various guises over both cycles as joint honours, although I also applied to Durham for a single honours in Classics. I wouldn't worry about the grades though as i know a few people with fairly average gcse's and a levels who've all received offers (I even wrote one of their personal statements for them lol) from places like that so they are bound to be impressed by yours.

    Good Luck for the year ahead!
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    (Original post by Minerva)
    That just isn't true, you know. I appreciate that you've been disappointed, but many people do re-apply to these unis successfully. This year there was someone who made it into Cambridge on the third attempt, after a second session in the Pool.
    Of course I realise that. I'm not for one second suggesting that there aren't exceptions to what I said or that they would automatically rule anyone out for a place. However, in the past six months I have spoken to countless professors, lecturers and admisssions tutors and have been told that these people are looked upon less favourably because they are in their second or third ucas cycles, for the simple reason that records of students who are applying for the first time have as yet been untarnished and admissions tutors must logically wonder why re-applicants have been turned down in the first place. All I want to do is ensure that, whatever xCHiiBiEverlastingx decides, she's going into it with her eyes open and is aware of the risks and options that are available to her.

    Personally, I think that taking this year out has been one of the best things I've ever done as i've been able to do things that most people would never dream of doing and have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the process. I still hold offers from some very good universities which, with hindsight, I wish i'd applied to first time around. However, I still want xCHiiBiEverlastingx to know that these things don't always turn out for the best and she should consider the impact that her decisions will have on her university career. I sincerely hope that she does get into the university of her choice, but if she doesn't, then surely its best to have been prepared for that possibility?
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    (Original post by gems.14)
    Of course I realise that. I'm not for one second suggesting that there aren't exceptions to what I said or that they would automatically rule anyone out for a place. However, in the past six months I have spoken to countless professors, lecturers and admisssions tutors and have been told that these people are looked upon less favourably because they are in their second or third ucas cycles, for the simple reason that records of students who are applying for the first time have as yet been untarnished and admissions tutors must logically wonder why re-applicants have been turned down in the first place. All I want to do is ensure that, whatever xCHiiBiEverlastingx decides, she's going into it with her eyes open and is aware of the risks and options that are available to her.

    Personally, I think that taking this year out has been one of the best things I've ever done as i've been able to do things that most people would never dream of doing and have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience in the process. I still hold offers from some very good universities which, with hindsight, I wish i'd applied to first time around. However, I still want xCHiiBiEverlastingx to know that these things don't always turn out for the best and she should consider the impact that her decisions will have on her university career. I sincerely hope that she does get into the university of her choice, but if she doesn't, then surely its best to have been prepared for that possibility?
    Sorry, but that's just ridiculous. For a start, re-applicants haven't necessarily been turned down first or even second time round. People end up re-applying for all sorts of reasons, and it would be completely inappropriate for admissions tutors to make such assumptions. What about people whose family circumstances have changed and with it their uni plans? What about people who have had a genuine change of heart about the course they want to do? What about people who 'undersold' themselves first time round and have decided to have a go at unis with more demanding entry requirements? How would the uni even know that someone is a re-applicant? UCAS doesn't tell them, AFAIK, and not everyone applies in Year 12, after all. Some people reapply to unis who made them offers that were declined, and succeed. Of course, others don't get a second offer, but that isn't just because they are re-applicants - more likely it's because the competition is tougher that year and/or entry requirements more stringent.

    You're right that OP should be aware that re-applying is not without its risks, but to say that she would be at an automatic disadvantage as a re-applicant is not correct.
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    Look, I'm just telling you what I personally have been told and am trying to offer the best advice that I can. I'm not lying or exaggerating, I'm just saying that, in the eyes of a few admissions tutors (i don't know how many, perhaps i was just unlucky with the ones i've spoken to) it isn't always the ideal situation. For some people, it might be the perfect situation, and i really really hope that it is. I don't want to argue with anyone about it, I just want to help. I'm hardly completely opposed to it am I? I'm just saying that its something that you have to think about very carefully, taking all aspects into consideration. Do the risks outway the possible advantages? Perhaps not, but they are still there and shouldn't be ignored.
    Also, the most important thing about re-applying, or indeed applying for the first time after a year out is to explain your reasoning and the advantages that this has given you, so universities should know if this is your second application. They can usually also guess these things from the age of the student and their educational history e.g. If the applicant left school in 2008 and are applying for the 2011 cycle then a uni is naturally going to wonder what they've been up to for the past two years - you have to justify that in your personal statement.
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    (Original post by gems.14)
    Look, I'm just telling you what I personally have been told and am trying to offer the best advice that I can. I'm not lying or exaggerating, I'm just saying that, in the eyes of a few admissions tutors (i don't know how many, perhaps i was just unlucky with the ones i've spoken to) it isn't always the ideal situation. For some people, it might be the perfect situation, and i really really hope that it is. I don't want to argue with anyone about it, I just want to help. I'm hardly completely opposed to it am I? I'm just saying that its something that you have to think about very carefully, taking all aspects into consideration. Do the risks outway the possible advantages? Perhaps not, but they are still there and shouldn't be ignored.
    Also, the most important thing about re-applying, or indeed applying for the first time after a year out is to explain your reasoning and the advantages that this has given you, so universities should know if this is your second application. They can usually also guess these things from the age of the student and their educational history e.g. If the applicant left school in 2008 and are applying for the 2011 cycle then a uni is naturally going to wonder what they've been up to for the past two years - you have to justify that in your personal statement.
    I think you may have been.

    I recognise you're reflecting your experience - the point I'm making is that, whatever you were told, this is not the usual line taken.

    And I don't disagree, at all, with your premise that people considering a re-application should recognise all the possibilities including that they may end up worse off than when they started. Where we differ, I think, is in the degree of emphasis/importance to be placed of itself on being a re-applicant.

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