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Choosing an Oxford College

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Got a question about Student Finance? Ask the experts this week on TSR! 15-09-2014
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    (Original post by bluepenguin)
    I've been pooled to St. Catz and although I am overjoyed to have an offer, part of my fascination with Oxford stems from the beautiful old buildings and 'oldness' in general, so will attending a modern college not allow me to experience the traditional side of things?
    What do you consider to be the 'traditional side of things'? If you are only talking about living around old buildings then just being in Oxford will be far more exposure than 99.9% of the world gets.

    Catz is a nice college - you'll have a good time.
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    (Original post by bluepenguin)
    I've been pooled to St. Catz and although I am overjoyed to have an offer, part of my fascination with Oxford stems from the beautiful old buildings and 'oldness' in general, so will attending a modern college not allow me to experience the traditional side of things?
    Not at all! I'm a historian so my fascination with 'oldness' is pretty high too, but my time at Catz has still been awesome and I haven't regretted applying here for a second. It's important to remember that although you might live in a modern college, you can go visit any of the older colleges at any time and soak up the atmosphere - you're in no way isolated from the traditional side! And in the mean time, Catz provides some of the day-to-day modern comforts (such as double glazing, decent heating, en suites, cheap but good food, and one of the best-supplied common rooms in the city) that some of the other colleges lack. True, our use of ritual and tradition isn't as high as elsewhere - you won't be wearing your gown to dinner, for example - but again, it's really easy to go visit friends in other colleges if you want to experience that. And we do have our own traditions, such as rivalry with Magdalen and celebrating the feast of St Catherine's with a massive formal party.

    You are in no way going to miss out on anything by going to a college that isn't one of the big famous ones. Catz is genuinely a brilliant place to belong to, all colleges have their downsides of course but being modern isn't intrinsically one of them. In fact, judging how bloody cold it is at the minute when I go and visit my friends elsewhere, compared to my lovely toasty room, I'd say the upsides are pretty sweet
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    I tried to put this in the Colleges board but it won't let me

    So basically, here's the situation: I applied to Wadham College this year, got an interview and then got rejected. I absolutely adored Wadham and it's made me want to re-apply to Oxford next year (please don't discuss whether or not I should be re-applying because I've already decided etc). However, I've been told that I shouldn't apply to Wadham again because they are massively oversubscribed for English (which is what I'm applying for) and also if they realise I was rejected they could instantly reject me or compare me to how I did and if I'm not hugely better reject me

    So, here's what I want from a college:
    • Pretty. Yeah yeah probably a really bad reason to pick somewhere but I don't want to stay in a big ugly building when all of the other colleges are pretty
    • Good location. I liked where Wadham was... I imagine they all have a good location but I would not be happy being really far away from everything like St Hugh's.
    • Left-wing Would not be happy in a college full of Rahs etc, I'm fairly left-wing (though not too politically active).
    • High proportion of state-school students For the same reason as above really.


    I just want a fun college like Wadham help!
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    It's difficult to know what other colleges are really like, but Mansfield is pretty, round the corner from Wadham, and has the highest proportion of state school students. Baroness Helena Kennedy is our principal and I think she's a labour peer. Does that make us left wing?
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    (Original post by hideousnight)
    I tried to put this in the Colleges board but it won't let me

    So basically, here's the situation: I applied to Wadham College this year, got an interview and then got rejected. I absolutely adored Wadham and it's made me want to re-apply to Oxford next year (please don't discuss whether or not I should be re-applying because I've already decided etc). However, I've been told that I shouldn't apply to Wadham again because they are massively oversubscribed for English (which is what I'm applying for) and also if they realise I was rejected they could instantly reject me or compare me to how I did and if I'm not hugely better reject me

    So, here's what I want from a college:
    • Pretty. Yeah yeah probably a really bad reason to pick somewhere but I don't want to stay in a big ugly building when all of the other colleges are pretty
    • Good location. I liked where Wadham was... I imagine they all have a good location but I would not be happy being really far away from everything like St Hugh's.
    • Left-wing Would not be happy in a college full of Rahs etc, I'm fairly left-wing (though not too politically active).
    • High proportion of state-school students For the same reason as above really.


    I just want a fun college like Wadham help!
    Highest proportion of state school students:

    Merton - 65.9%
    Mansfield - 63.7%
    Balliol - 63.2%
    Hertford - 60.8%
    Wadham - 60.6% - already applied there so no for you
    Jesus - 60.3%
    St Anne's - 58.9%
    St Johns - 58.8%
    Worcester - 58.7%

    I haven't seen all of these but I will say that Balliol, Merton, St Johns and Worcester are very nice. Hertford, Mansfield and Jesus aren't bad either. St Anne's is a modern college so go for that if it is your thing.

    Balliol, Hertford, Jesus and Merton are very central. But none of these are far out colleges so all are pretty central.

    Ok now for some generalisations. This is where my actual opinion and facts go out of the window and I give into stereotypes. Honestly there will be all types of people at every college but: Balliol is apparently one of the most lefty colleges, Hertford is state schooly and northern, Mansfield is friendly, Jesus is the welsh college, Merton works its undergrads to death, St Johns is extremely rich and has lots of state schoolers.

    Hope this helped a little, quote me if you need anything else
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    Highest proportion of state school students:

    Merton - 65.9%
    Mansfield - 63.7%
    Balliol - 63.2%
    Hertford - 60.8%
    Wadham - 60.6% - already applied there so no for you
    Jesus - 60.3%
    St Anne's - 58.9%
    St Johns - 58.8%
    Worcester - 58.7%

    I haven't seen all of these but I will say that Balliol, Merton, St Johns and Worcester are very nice. Hertford, Mansfield and Jesus aren't bad either. St Anne's is a modern college so go for that if it is your thing.

    Balliol, Hertford, Jesus and Merton are very central. But none of these are far out colleges so all are pretty central.

    Ok now for some generalisations. This is where my actual opinion and facts go out of the window and I give into stereotypes. Honestly there will be all types of people at every college but: Balliol is apparently one of the most lefty colleges, Hertford is state schooly and northern, Mansfield is friendly, Jesus is the welsh college, Merton works its undergrads to death, St Johns is extremely rich and has lots of state schoolers.

    Hope this helped a little, quote me if you need anything else
    Thank you very much especially for the generalisations
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    Highest proportion of state school students:

    Merton - 65.9%
    Mansfield - 63.7%
    Balliol - 63.2%
    Hertford - 60.8%
    Wadham - 60.6% - already applied there so no for you
    Jesus - 60.3%
    St Anne's - 58.9%
    St Johns - 58.8%
    Worcester - 58.7%
    Though Mansfield's most recent figure, for 2011 entrants, was 84.5%

    http://www.mansfield.ox.ac.uk/about/news/article/article/mansfield-offers-845-of-its-places-in-2011-to-candidates-from-the-state-sector.html
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    (Original post by hideousnight)
    Thank you very much especially for the generalisations
    your welcome

    (Original post by shoshin)
    Though Mansfield's most recent figure, for 2011 entrants, was 84.5%

    http://www.mansfield.ox.ac.uk/about/...te-sector.html
    Wow thats crazy. I took the 2008-2010 3 year average.
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    (Original post by hideousnight)
    Thank you very much especially for the generalisations
    Don't pay attention to generalizations. They are there for the entertainment of the gullible only.

    In terms of 'prettiness' (definitely very important ), have you seen the Oxford virtual tour? Very useful.

    Location you can see for yourself.
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)

    Ok now for some generalisations. This is where my actual opinion and facts go out of the window and I give into stereotypes. Honestly there will be all types of people at every college but: Balliol is apparently one of the most lefty colleges, Hertford is state schooly and northern, Mansfield is friendly, Jesus is the welsh college, Merton works its undergrads to death, St Johns is extremely rich and has lots of state schoolers.

    Hope this helped a little, quote me if you need anything else
    Out of interest, what are the stereotypes of people at Worcester and at New? I know there are all types of people at every college but it might give me an idea of the general atmosphere of these two colleges.
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    (Original post by ROBBY7896)
    Out of interest, what are the stereotypes of people at Worcester and at New? I know there are all types of people at every college but it might give me an idea of the general atmosphere of these two colleges.
    Worcester - conservative (but not overly private school like New, Magdalen, ChCh), very sporty, laid back.

    New - not really sure, I've heard, big, arrogant, private schooly, rich, fit girls.

    Ill be starting at New from October so I guess ill find out then!
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    (Original post by fudgesundae)
    Worcester - conservative (but not overly private school like New, Magdalen, ChCh), very sporty, laid back.

    New - not really sure, I've heard, big, arrogant, private schooly, rich, fit girls.

    Ill be starting at New from October so I guess ill find out then!
    I wonder which of those adjectives most drew you to new haha

    And nice, I start at Worcester in October but I almost picked New which is why i was interested What subject are you going to be studying?
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    (Original post by hideousnight)
    [*]Left-wing Would not be happy in a college full of Rahs etc, I'm fairly left-wing (though not too politically active).[*]High proportion of state-school students For the same reason as above really.[/LIST]
    I'd avoid Oriel looking at those. Just come Worcester, it's apparently not that central but it feels close to everything
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    What do you consider to be the 'traditional side of things'? If you are only talking about living around old buildings then just being in Oxford will be far more exposure than 99.9% of the world gets.

    Catz is a nice college - you'll have a good time.
    (Original post by Incarnadine91)
    Not at all! I'm a historian so my fascination with 'oldness' is pretty high too, but my time at Catz has still been awesome and I haven't regretted applying here for a second. It's important to remember that although you might live in a modern college, you can go visit any of the older colleges at any time and soak up the atmosphere - you're in no way isolated from the traditional side! And in the mean time, Catz provides some of the day-to-day modern comforts (such as double glazing, decent heating, en suites, cheap but good food, and one of the best-supplied common rooms in the city) that some of the other colleges lack. True, our use of ritual and tradition isn't as high as elsewhere - you won't be wearing your gown to dinner, for example - but again, it's really easy to go visit friends in other colleges if you want to experience that. And we do have our own traditions, such as rivalry with Magdalen and celebrating the feast of St Catherine's with a massive formal party.

    You are in no way going to miss out on anything by going to a college that isn't one of the big famous ones. Catz is genuinely a brilliant place to belong to, all colleges have their downsides of course but being modern isn't intrinsically one of them. In fact, judging how bloody cold it is at the minute when I go and visit my friends elsewhere, compared to my lovely toasty room, I'd say the upsides are pretty sweet
    Thank you for your replies! I did mean traditional things like old buildings and rituals; it's good to hear that I will still be able to experience those. And nice accommodation is definitely a plus
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    (Original post by dnumberwang)
    I'd avoid Oriel looking at those. Just come Worcester, it's apparently not that central but it feels close to everything
    That's so weird, the only person from my college who got in for English last year went to Oriel.

    Getting a lot of recommendations for Worcester
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    (Original post by hideousnight)
    Getting a lot of recommendations for Worcester
    It is the most popular college, after all
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    (Original post by hideousnight)
    That's so weird, the only person from my college who got in for English last year went to Oriel.

    Getting a lot of recommendations for Worcester
    How about Balliol?

    (Although it doesn't really matter wherever you go, as it's nice to have a mix of political views in every college.)
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    (Original post by hideousnight)
    I tried to put this in the Colleges board but it won't let me

    So basically, here's the situation: I applied to Wadham College this year, got an interview and then got rejected. I absolutely adored Wadham and it's made me want to re-apply to Oxford next year (please don't discuss whether or not I should be re-applying because I've already decided etc). However, I've been told that I shouldn't apply to Wadham again because they are massively oversubscribed for English (which is what I'm applying for) and also if they realise I was rejected they could instantly reject me or compare me to how I did and if I'm not hugely better reject me

    So, here's what I want from a college:
    • Pretty. Yeah yeah probably a really bad reason to pick somewhere but I don't want to stay in a big ugly building when all of the other colleges are pretty
    • Good location. I liked where Wadham was... I imagine they all have a good location but I would not be happy being really far away from everything like St Hugh's.
    • Left-wing Would not be happy in a college full of Rahs etc, I'm fairly left-wing (though not too politically active).
    • High proportion of state-school students For the same reason as above really.


    I just want a fun college like Wadham help!
    I would suggest either Catz or Hertford, got friends at both who seem to love it. Catz isnt very pretty, neither is the back of Hertford, it has a nice front quad though (good bar too).
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    I have just been accepted by Keble College!

    Just have to prove that I have access to £18,675.00 to fund myself! Time to start researching accommodation!
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    Hey there, I was just curious as to which college people would discern as seeing to be the 'most respectable' college for Natural(Physical) Sciences at Cambridge, and Physics(Oxford). I'm just curious, and I am well-informed that all colleges which offer these courses are splendid, but are there any statistics which expounds upon which college is better? Thank you.

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