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    (Original post by kathykathykathy)
    I definitely got the feeling that Exeter handed out offers to the people they unquestionably wanted early on and left everyone else hanging until March when they figured out how many people had decided to firm/insure/reject them. I regularly checked the applicants' thread on here between January-March and it seemed like some A-Level students had been waiting since October to hear back for courses that other people had received offers for within a matter of weeks.

    I actually recall another mature TSR member stating that he applied to Exeter quite early during his Access course, heard back reasonably quickly and later got an offer for a £1k scholarship if he achieved a certain amount of distinctions above his offer.

    I completely agree with you wrt wanting the uni you attend to be more than just highly ranked for its academics. The impression I formed at my Manchester offer holders' day quite negatively influenced my thoughts towards the course there (it was only a couple of hours long altogether, the room in which applicants had the opportunity to talk to staff and have a snack was extremely cramped, and students and parents had hardly any time to talk to the lecturers) vs. the positive experience I had attending the visit day at Nottingham (it lasted all day, students and parents were split into three groups to go through each activity one by one, and multiple lecturers approached me throughout the day and talked at length about the course and uni). Like you said, I don't think a fear of higher living costs and a lack of friends in the area should deter you from choosing what sounds like a much better fit for you personally.

    Let me know what you think of Exeter if you do end up going to the campus tour you've booked! I know that it does look and sound like such a picturesque, amazing uni.
    It turns out I can't give you any more insight :sorry: - I've decided not to go to the Exeter campus tour today . I might regret it later, but it's 5 hours or so traveling there and back, plus the expenditure, so I can go trudging around in the rain this afternoon and not get specific departmental info.

    Exeter's internal selection process is perhaps ours not to wonder. Maybe I'm somewhere in the middle between their not wanted and most wanted. It may be down to my PS. I suppose it was a bit speculative. I've still got a few days left to chew things over before my UCAS reply deadline, but tbh I think really I'm just delaying 'cos I've got the option to and 'cos I'm second-guessing myself. In addition to cool film stuff, Kent offer English and American Literature and lots of flexibility, which I think I'd enjoy more than purely English Literature + Film, per my other offers.

    I do wonder sometimes if I'm judging the Applicant Day (AD) itself rather than the uni experience as a whole, but then again, you've got to base your decisions on something. UEA might turn out to be great for me if I went there, but the AD put me off. We started in a big hall, where I was surrounded by masses of teenagers. I'm trying to get past the "I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb" syndrome of a mature student, since me being older probably bothers me way more than it bothers them, but that experience didn't help (bearing in mind UEA claims to have a 35% population of mature students). On a tour of the accommodation blocks (another big area of concern for me), we went into one area that - there's no nice way to put this - stunk of pee. We split off into subject specific groups for activities, which included a scheduled lunch together. You mentioned lecturers at Nottingham approaching you during your AD, which I'd imagine was a big plus factor for you. We had a similar setup during this lunch, but, while the lecturers happily floated around the younger students and their parents, none of them approached me at all. Not very inspiring. The film studies session we did was fun, but other than that my overall impression of the place wasn't great.

    Kent AD was much better. The student reps at the registration desk etc. seemed friendly and helpful. I spoke to the scholarships lady and after her initially wondering if I was the parent of a student (!), she said how nice it was to see a prospective mature student, and that she and so-and-so she knew had studied at Kent as mature students and loved it (little things like that go a long way). The guy doing a general "Life at Kent" presentation was fantastic - during his talk, someone fell asleep and started snoring loudly, which he handled deftly and with great humour! (It honestly wasn't that his speech was dull.) The English dept. presentation was top-notch and what really made it special was that after the faculty members spoke, they stepped aside and let some departing Year 3 students do mini-presentations about their experiences. The main thing I took away from that was that the students weren't spouting corporate guff - they spoke enthusastically and genuinely about what they liked (and didn't like) about it. That contrasts with other similar presentations elsewhere, which felt like the student was simply a shill for the department doing it in return for 2% off their tuition fees.

    On top of all that, the film facilities at Kent look really good - they have two on-campus cinemas - plus I just liked the campus as a whole. One thing I haven't done is visit the rest of town (Canterbury), but tbh I think the area is something I'd adapt to - if I included too many factors in my decision-making process, I'd never make a decision. And nowhere's gonna be perfect for me for all factors.

    (Original post by kathykathykathy)
    What?! My cheapskate college did none of the stuff you've listed!

    We only had a few group tutorials to discuss applying to uni, how to access the library and e-facilities at college and applying for student finance. Most people opted out of attending the post-Christmas individual tutorials where you essentially only discussed things like attendance and punctuality. My college has totally left us to our own devices to complete the five ungraded core skills units in our own time.
    I suppose I should be grateful then. Sounds like you've missed out. The sessions were often enjoyable and helpful, but the assignments, well...I'll spare you my thoughts on that - for now, at least!


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