Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Hi Oxford procrastinators
    I feel really sneaky posting in a thread that technically doesn't pertain to me, but I wanted a first-hand opinion. I'm at a comprehensive college and will be applying for Oxford soon (scarily soon), and I'm generally unfazed (read: fascinated) by the old-fashioned ways of the university. I'm thinking of Magdalen at the moment. However, my German teacher, whose daughter went to Oxford, is advising me to steer clear of the "snobby" colleges like Magdalen, Merton, Brasenose, Balliol and Oriel, because apparently either it'd be more difficult to get an offer as a state school student, or I wouldn't fit in. She suggests I try for the smaller, newer colleges which have a reputation for accepting state school students.
    My instinct is that Oxford is running with the times, and that it's not such a minefield for state school students as people believe. Having read this forum and seen so many of you with offers from all different colleges, would you be able to shed some light? Am I right in thinking that the snobbery of past years is long gone, or should I keep what my teacher said in mind?

    Sorry for the long post, but I think Magdalen's really pretty and don't particularly want to give up on it


    I've been negged because...?
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    Hi Oxford procrastinators
    I feel really sneaky posting in a thread that technically doesn't pertain to me, but I wanted a first-hand opinion. I'm at a comprehensive college and will be applying for Oxford soon (scarily soon), and I'm generally unfazed (read: fascinated) by the old-fashioned ways of the university. I'm thinking of Magdalen at the moment. However, my German teacher, whose daughter went to Oxford, is advising me to steer clear of the "snobby" colleges like Magdalen, Merton, Brasenose, Balliol and Oriel, because apparently either it'd be more difficult to get an offer as a state school student, or I wouldn't fit in. She suggests I try for the smaller, newer colleges which have a reputation for accepting state school students.
    My instinct is that Oxford is running with the times, and that it's not such a minefield for state school students as people believe. Having read this forum and seen so many of you with offers from all different colleges, would you be able to shed some light? Am I right in thinking that the snobbery of past years is long gone, or should I keep what my teacher said in mind?

    Sorry for the long post, but I think Magdalen's really pretty and don't particularly want to give up on it
    I strongly doubt that the result of your application will be negatively affected by the fact that you go to a state school, regardless of which college you apply to. I recommend that you go for Magdalen, if that's the college you like the look of most!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by LtCommanderData)
    I strongly doubt that the result of your application will be negatively affected by the fact that you go to a state school, regardless of which college you apply to. I recommend that you go for Magdalen, if that's the college you like the look of most!
    And I've read this thread and I think maybe one person said they encountered a snobby person while at Oxford?
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    And I've read this thread and I think maybe one person said they encountered a snobby person while at Oxford?
    Right. They surely exist, but the impression that I get is that they are fairly rare. Besides, I think that a bit less than half of Oxford students are from private schools anyway? Either way, it is true that the proportions are far from representative from society as a whole, but also true that you'd be nothing like the only former state school pupil.

    I also feel that school background is a fairly weak thing to have (or not to have) in common and that it's unlikely to define relationships with most people to a significant degree.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    I don't know actually, I was advised by one of my teachers to avoid Christ Church because of the whole state school thing
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    Hi Oxford procrastinators
    I feel really sneaky posting in a thread that technically doesn't pertain to me, but I wanted a first-hand opinion. I'm at a comprehensive college and will be applying for Oxford soon (scarily soon), and I'm generally unfazed (read: fascinated) by the old-fashioned ways of the university. I'm thinking of Magdalen at the moment. However, my German teacher, whose daughter went to Oxford, is advising me to steer clear of the "snobby" colleges like Magdalen, Merton, Brasenose, Balliol and Oriel, because apparently either it'd be more difficult to get an offer as a state school student, or I wouldn't fit in. She suggests I try for the smaller, newer colleges which have a reputation for accepting state school students.
    My instinct is that Oxford is running with the times, and that it's not such a minefield for state school students as people believe. Having read this forum and seen so many of you with offers from all different colleges, would you be able to shed some light? Am I right in thinking that the snobbery of past years is long gone, or should I keep what my teacher said in mind?

    Sorry for the long post, but I think Magdalen's really pretty and don't particularly want to give up on it
    I got an offer from Pembroke, which along with Brasenose (which another friend of mine got an offer from) has one of the highest proportions of public-school student intakes (for whatever reason). And I go to a partially-selected state school. I originally applied for Balliol, too, so colleges don't care about the school you've come from
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    I'm thinking of Magdalen at the moment. However, my German teacher, whose daughter went to Oxford, is advising me to steer clear of the "snobby" colleges like Magdalen, Merton, Brasenose, Balliol and Oriel, because apparently either it'd be more difficult to get an offer as a state school student, or I wouldn't fit in. She suggests I try for the smaller, newer colleges which have a reputation for accepting state school students.
    You should totally ignore her "advice". There's no chance that you wouldn't fit in because of snobbishness. At the very least, Magdalen's intake is large and diverse enough that you'll find a big group of people that you can be socially happy with even if some people do have ideas above their stations.

    To summarize: Magdalen is excellent! Apply here!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    Hi Oxford procrastinators
    I feel really sneaky posting in a thread that technically doesn't pertain to me, but I wanted a first-hand opinion. I'm at a comprehensive college and will be applying for Oxford soon (scarily soon), and I'm generally unfazed (read: fascinated) by the old-fashioned ways of the university. I'm thinking of Magdalen at the moment. However, my German teacher, whose daughter went to Oxford, is advising me to steer clear of the "snobby" colleges like Magdalen, Merton, Brasenose, Balliol and Oriel, because apparently either it'd be more difficult to get an offer as a state school student, or I wouldn't fit in. She suggests I try for the smaller, newer colleges which have a reputation for accepting state school students.
    My instinct is that Oxford is running with the times, and that it's not such a minefield for state school students as people believe. Having read this forum and seen so many of you with offers from all different colleges, would you be able to shed some light? Am I right in thinking that the snobbery of past years is long gone, or should I keep what my teacher said in mind?

    Sorry for the long post, but I think Magdalen's really pretty and don't particularly want to give up on it
    As people have rightly said, it doesn't matter at all. Magdalen is lovely, and if you like it you should apply or else you might regret it later on. Your teacher is wrong about biases in admissions processes, but I think there is a slightly different atmosphere at some colleges, whether it be more academic (like Magdalen) or more chilled (like us at Hilda's!).. but that can depend on the tutor as much as anything...

    You will encounter some snobby people at any college and indeed at any university. Most people just laugh at them.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by pinstriped.flower)
    As people have rightly said, it doesn't matter at all. Magdalen is lovely, and if you like it you should apply or else you might regret it later on. Your teacher is wrong about biases in admissions processes, but I think there is a slightly different atmosphere at some colleges, whether it be more academic (like Magdalen) or more chilled (like us at Hilda's!).. but that can depend on the tutor as much as anything...

    You will encounter some snobby people at any college and indeed at any university. Most people just laugh at them.
    I have to say I met quite a few snobs at St. John's but it was only afterwards I found out how well endowed the college is... :rolleyes:
    There was definitely an air of 'learnedness and seriousness' when I was there, and quite archaic, but great location!
    I went to Hertford on a revision course a couple of weeks ago and it was so pretty!
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Your responses are all making me smile so much I think she's biased also because one of her favourite students about three years ago had a truly awful experience with an admissions tutor, so I don't really blame her, but I don't really have anything to lose. Also, the system (which I've seen some of you have experienced) of being offered a place by a different college than the one you applied to is pretty good. I definitely like the sound of an academic atmosphere, and I think if I don't get in, it'll be because I wasn't good enough/I was unlucky/it was ridiculously competitive for my course.

    Thankyou so much for your replies Is there some kind of designated thread where the offer holders actually offer advice of this kind to applicants?
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    Is there some kind of designated thread where the offer holders actually offer advice of this kind to applicants?
    If only! So much virtual ink could be saved. >.>
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by dbmag9)
    Yeah, but we here at TSR will procrastinate with anything, even if it's more academic stuff that whatever we're avoiding, and this combined with chronic compulsive overachieving leads to reading list anxiety. :yep:
    Such a true little summary of most TSRers.

    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    Hi Oxford procrastinators
    I feel really sneaky posting in a thread that technically doesn't pertain to me, but I wanted a first-hand opinion. I'm at a comprehensive college and will be applying for Oxford soon (scarily soon), and I'm generally unfazed (read: fascinated) by the old-fashioned ways of the university. I'm thinking of Magdalen at the moment. However, my German teacher, whose daughter went to Oxford, is advising me to steer clear of the "snobby" colleges like Magdalen, Merton, Brasenose, Balliol and Oriel, because apparently either it'd be more difficult to get an offer as a state school student, or I wouldn't fit in. She suggests I try for the smaller, newer colleges which have a reputation for accepting state school students.
    My instinct is that Oxford is running with the times, and that it's not such a minefield for state school students as people believe. Having read this forum and seen so many of you with offers from all different colleges, would you be able to shed some light? Am I right in thinking that the snobbery of past years is long gone, or should I keep what my teacher said in mind?

    Sorry for the long post, but I think Magdalen's really pretty and don't particularly want to give up on it
    Weeeell none of us are actually AT Oxford which means our opinions aren't based on that much. Personally though, I didn't meet any snobby people whatsoever. And since I'm doing Classics, which is probably the most private school subject ever (bar "land economy", whatever the hell that is), I really should have met a few. I met a guy who went to Westminster school which probably makes him the poshest person that I met at interviews and even he wasn't snobby at all. I found the "nerdy" stereotype held true a lot more than the posh one, but that's to be expected from a university that demands high grades and a real interest in your subject.

    Oh and someone I met went over to Brasenose for an interview and said that everyone there was really lively and chatty and managed to get past the "Where are you from? What are you applying for? How have your interviews been?" conversation that we had a million times over at Queen's.

    EDIT: Land economy is Cambridge, not Oxford, so I stake Classics' claim as the most private school-y subject at Oxford
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    Your responses are all making me smile so much I think she's biased also because one of her favourite students about three years ago had a truly awful experience with an admissions tutor, so I don't really blame her, but I don't really have anything to lose. Also, the system (which I've seen some of you have experienced) of being offered a place by a different college than the one you applied to is pretty good. I definitely like the sound of an academic atmosphere, and I think if I don't get in, it'll be because I wasn't good enough/I was unlucky/it was ridiculously competitive for my course.

    Thankyou so much for your replies Is there some kind of designated thread where the offer holders actually offer advice of this kind to applicants?
    You are right - my school gave me rubbish college choice advice too, so I sympathise! Apply to Magdalen I had some tutorials there and it was completely gorgeous, also I got to know some of the lawyers and they were not snobby at all.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JaredG)
    I understand!

    I only applied for Oxford on my UCAS because the Biology course at Warwick -- such a beautiful uni, might I add -- lacked the zoology aspect I was after; I never expected to get in. After sending off my UCAS I soon received an offer of ABB from Durham. And that was it, I had secured a place at a friendly and prestigious university and now I could relax!

    And then I was asked to head down to Oxford for an interview at St Hugh's college. It was very daunting being so far away from home (I live near Manchester), and the city felt quite alien. Despite this, I felt like I could see my time there for interviews as a miniature holiday; I already had my place at Durham! I think perhaps my resulting 'blasé' attitude helped me to enjoy the interviews. And then, I received good news!

    The interviews were really quite fun, particularly my interview at St Hugh's. It was literally just laughing and discussing things I found I enjoyed to discuss. My interview at Hertford wasn't as social; it was one of those instances where you can't tell whether a person really likes you or really doesn't. The content was interesting and the questions were quick, but the challenge was enjoyable!

    So anyway, I'm Jared and I'm hoping to study Biological Sciences, belonging to St Hugh's college. Pleased to meet everyone! I am, admittedly, very nervous to consider moving to somewhere I felt so out of place. I made a single friend whilst in Oxford and they were rejected... I worry that I will struggle to find people I will get along with.
    I know it's a bit late to reply to this but I also have an offer for Biology but at Wadham I can totally relate to what you've written, the main friend I made got rejected as well (actually he might have been from near you if you live near Manchester - he was from Chorley). Having said that I did meet quite a few really cool people (and some fellow northerners!! I'm from near Liverpool, and enjoy any vaguely northern accent :P) and I'm sure you'll gravitate towards the people you'd get along with. Also, completely separately from the interviews I met someone with an offer for Biosciences at St Hughs - hopefully you'll see her next year, her name is Fez and she's awesome

    I also loved my interview at Wadham; I don't think I've ever really had the opportunity to talk to anyone about Biology like that before, every question they asked me was so interesting! However I hated my other interview at St. Catz, there were so many awkward silences, with me just saying "ummm" and feeling intimidated...

    Also did you feel like a tourist whenever you went anywhere in Oxford? I seriously felt like I was in a foreign country (a very pretty, English-speaking foreign country!) the whole time I was there!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I also have an offer for Biology but at Wadham
    Wadham
    I definitely agree about the interviews, I much preferred the one at Wadham to my one at LMH. I was only there for a few hours so I'll have to take your word about lots of northerners
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by meganeira)
    I went to Hertford on a revision course a couple of weeks ago and it was so pretty!
    *High-five*



    Especially the old quad and the bridge
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by soutioirsim)
    I don't know actually, I was advised by one of my teachers to avoid Christ Church because of the whole state school thing
    I dunno about that, I've got an offer for medicine at Christ Church and I don't go to a private school

    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    Hi Oxford procrastinators
    I feel really sneaky posting in a thread that technically doesn't pertain to me, but I wanted a first-hand opinion. I'm at a comprehensive college and will be applying for Oxford soon (scarily soon), and I'm generally unfazed (read: fascinated) by the old-fashioned ways of the university. I'm thinking of Magdalen at the moment. However, my German teacher, whose daughter went to Oxford, is advising me to steer clear of the "snobby" colleges like Magdalen, Merton, Brasenose, Balliol and Oriel, because apparently either it'd be more difficult to get an offer as a state school student, or I wouldn't fit in. She suggests I try for the smaller, newer colleges which have a reputation for accepting state school students.
    My instinct is that Oxford is running with the times, and that it's not such a minefield for state school students as people believe. Having read this forum and seen so many of you with offers from all different colleges, would you be able to shed some light? Am I right in thinking that the snobbery of past years is long gone, or should I keep what my teacher said in mind?

    Sorry for the long post, but I think Magdalen's really pretty and don't particularly want to give up on it
    When I went for my interviews, at dinner we went round the table saying whether we were from private schools or not, only 1 person on the whole table was, and you honestly couldn't tell who was from a private school, loads of people thought I was
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by soutioirsim)
    I don't know actually, I was advised by one of my teachers to avoid Christ Church because of the whole state school thing
    (Original post by Frankie)
    I dunno about that, I've got an offer for medicine at Christ Church and I don't go to a private school
    I'd have to say I completely agree with Frankie. Everybody has the right to their own opinion obviously, but I think a lot of the bias against certain colleges comes from bad experiences?
    I've an offer to study Biochem at Christ Church, and I'm from a state school too.


    (Original post by such_a_lady)
    x
    Hi!, to sum up my opinion, I doubt any prejudices will arise from your college choice as Oxford try so hard these days to create a fair entry system because their admissions process is always in the public eye. Also, at my interviews all the people that I met were so nice and friendly, and although I did speak to quite a few private schooled students, they were really down to earth and they definitely didn't impose that stereotypical 'I'm more superior than you' viewpoint that some people may talk about. I think the population of state schooled students at Oxford these days is much higher than it's perceived to be anyway.
    Magdalen is really pretty (especially on an open day in summer ), and if you love it, then you should definitely apply there. Good Luck with your application! :grin:
    • PS Helper
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by soutioirsim)
    *High-five*



    Especially the old quad and the bridge

    (Original post by Frankie)
    I dunno about that, I've got an offer for medicine at Christ Church and I don't go to a private school



    When I went for my interviews, at dinner we went round the table saying whether we were from private schools or not, only 1 person on the whole table was, and you honestly couldn't tell who was from a private school, loads of people thought I was

    (Original post by brendan.)
    I'd have to say I completely agree with Frankie. Everybody has the right to their own opinion obviously, but I think a lot of the bias against certain colleges comes from bad experiences?
    I've an offer to study Biochem at Christ Church, and I'm from a state school too.



    Hi!, to sum up my opinion, I doubt any prejudices will arise from your college choice as Oxford try so hard these days to create a fair entry system because their admissions process is always in the public eye. Also, at my interviews all the people that I met were so nice and friendly, and although I did speak to quite a few private schooled students, they were really down to earth and they definitely didn't impose that stereotypical 'I'm more superior than you' viewpoint that some people may talk about. I think the population of state schooled students at Oxford these days is much higher than it's perceived to be anyway.
    Magdalen is really pretty (especially on an open day in summer ), and if you love it, then you should definitely apply there. Good Luck with your application! :grin:
    Thirded on being a Christ Church state schooler :P
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    When I was in Oxford for interviews, I had to explain how my insulin pump (I'm diabetic) worked to a guy who went to Harrow. Coming from a rubbish state school in the North East, that made me feel good but he was really nice, I applied to New which I think is quite public school-ish (maybe), and everyone who I met was lovely. Although I'm the only one who got in, and I didn't get in to New...
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Did TEF Bronze Award affect your UCAS choices?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.