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    Recently I've been looking into applying to Cambridge to study Medicine. After all, I, so far, meet the entry requirements and it's only one option at the end of the day. However, both of my parents seem to be somewhat hostile towards the idea. The have this false notion that Oxbridge still consists merely of the wealthy/upper classes. How exactly do I dispel this belief? It took me half an hour just to convince my Mum that I could get a student loan of the full £9,000 from SAAS. (I'm Scottish, by the way)

    It's just been really frustrating trying to win them around especially considering their arguments are based more or less on false assumptions of what Oxbridge may have been like back in their day. I tried to explain to them that, from what I've heard and looked into, living costs are relatively cheaper than at say, Edinburgh or Glasgow. So essentially, they would be saving money in the long run.

    They are adamant, however, that I would be in a lot of debt and it would somehow ruin the rest of my life. While; yes, I would have racked up £56,000 in tuition fees, is this really something to worry about considering the comfortable salary of a Doctor? For all you medics/doctors out there, did your tuition fees have any hindrance on your decisions in life?

    Also, I looked into the estimated living costs on the Cambridge website and according to them, it would cost around £7850 a year. Is that reasonable? Or even correct? How does it compare to other universities?

    Above all, can I ask: Do most Cambridge students take a loan out for their living expenses or are they supported by their parents? My parents have an income of around £60,000 I think... so I'm not sure whether £7,000 every year would be affordable.

    I really appreciate any advice and any encouragement haha, they have really been making me think twice about the idea but I really think I would be happy there :/
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    I can't answer most of your questions about fees and debt etc. but if you truly think you would be happy there, then you should definitely work on convincing your parents. Sit down and have a conversation with them, explain calmly that a lot has changed in the past few decades and it is not just people from the upper class that go. Also, you are correct about living costs being relatively cheap in cambridge so that should be a bonus for them. As for the debt, considering doctors are usually financially well off (although not for the first few years) it shouldn't be too big of a problem to pay them off, providing you can pay it off in small amounts over a period of time. Hope that helped! Out of interest, which college in cambridge are you thinking of applying to? And what a levels are you studying?
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    http://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/prospective...ncial-support/

    Even less than the estimate of the University
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    (Original post by Samuel171717)
    http://www.pem.cam.ac.uk/prospective...ncial-support/

    Even less than the estimate of the University
    You have to make your own decision and weigh up the pros and cons.

    Oxford and Cambridge are no longer very much like Brideshead Revisited.

    However there are very few people from genuine working-class backgrounds at either university. Those who have been to independent schools make up about 7% of the population but about 50% of Oxbridge students.

    Worse, the majority of those who went to state schools come from affluent families who thought it advantageous to send their children to one, especially for sixth form.

    And if anything goes wrong with your course, even if it is totally beyond your control, there is almost no chance of justice unless you have friends in very high places or can afford about a million pounds to take the case to the Supreme Court or higher.

    But I am not sure it is better at any any other UK university.

    Good luck, anyway.
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    In the politest way possible tell them to do one its your choice. You will be the one studying there for x years, you will assume the debt load and you're the adult whose choice it is, not them.
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    I went to a sixth form where past students got into Cambridge and Oxford, not for medicine but still highly regarded degrees such as science, math, law. And I can assure you, all those kids' parents earned a lot less than your parents do.

    If you think you'd do well in Cambridge, it's your choice, it's your life.

    Also, why don't you go to an open day with one or two of your parents? Maybe if they get a feel of the uni, talk to the teachers, see other students, they'd be more open to the uni.
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    (Original post by sohoscribbler)
    You have to make your own decision and weigh up the pros and cons.


    And if anything goes wrong with your course, even if it is totally beyond your control, there is almost no chance of justice unless you have friends in very high places or can afford about a million pounds to take the case to the Supreme Court or higher.

    But I am not sure it is better at any any other UK university.

    Good luck, anyway.
    :P The people have Anonymous to defend us from such injustice.

    Although it's true, you have to think about the pros and cons.
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    (Original post by Defensive Gnome)
    Recently I've been looking into applying to Cambridge to study Medicine. After all, I, so far, meet the entry requirements and it's only one option at the end of the day. However, both of my parents seem to be somewhat hostile towards the idea. The have this false notion that Oxbridge still consists merely of the wealthy/upper classes. How exactly do I dispel this belief? It took me half an hour just to convince my Mum that I could get a student loan of the full £9,000 from SAAS. (I'm Scottish, by the way)
    I don't quite understand. Are they against you going to any uni or just Cambridge? If just Cambridge, the expenses should be quite similar to the expenses at other universities, right? You'd have to pay those 9000 pounds anyway, or not really?
    So... it's just that they think that Oxbridge is for upper-class people... well yes it would be, if everyone thought like that!

    I, as a foreign student, got into Cambridge - I'll start in October -, and I'm definitely not upper-class, and I also did not get the impression that people there are extremely posh.
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    Firstly as someone else has pointed out, you'll be paying £9,000 a year in fees wherever you go - so I don't see how this is relevant. Plus Oxford and Cambridge have pretty much second to none funding/bursaries of all Universities - so you'll usually be financially better off going to Oxford or Cambridge as a student than any other University.

    Oh, and as a final note - your household income of £60,000 is significantly more than my parents' income.
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    They live in Scotland, so it'll be free if they apply in Scotland.
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    Firstly, you are right. Whilst there are a high proportion of rich people at Oxbridge, that is not the majority. You'd also be naive to believe that this isn't true of other top unis. Indeed, if you look at this measure, students at Edinburgh and Glasgow are on average a lot richer than students at Oxford.

    Living expenses in Cambridge are likely to be a bit cheaper than Edinburgh/Glasgow, but mainly because you only pay for accommodation in term time. The down-side of this is that you do have to move out at the end of every term, which will affect you more than most given the travel distance back home! A lot of long car journeys for your parents :yes:

    With regards to funding, the figures they put on the website are conservatively high as they don't want people to underestimate then get into trouble. The real average figure will be a lot lower. You are also forgetting that you get circa £4000 maintenance loan for your living expenses. You will need more money than that, but we're talking ballpark £1,000-£2,000, not £7,000. You could easily earn most of that in a christmas job, say. Lot more in a summer internship.

    At the end of the day it would be silly to not acknowledge that £56,000 of debt isn't a lot. Its up to you whether that bothers you enough to stay in Scotland or not.

    (Original post by Noble.)
    Firstly as someone else has pointed out, you'll be paying £9,000 a year in fees wherever you go - so I don't see how this is relevant.
    (Original post by Elcano)
    You'd have to pay those 9000 pounds anyway, or not really?
    He's Scottish. He doesn't have to pay anything if he stays in Scotland.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    He's Scottish. He doesn't have to pay anything if he stays in Scotland.
    Ah yes of course.
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    Cambridge publish statistics about the type of school their applicants went to and it's now only about 50% public school but a lot of the rest is grammar school. Yes there are few from poor families but that's true of most good universities and certainly of most medical schools, who are poor at widening access. I don't have time to find you the stats but google and you'll find them.

    Cambridge living costs are lower than most places because the terms are shorter. It is a 6 year course and your parents may not realise that you'll probably want to intercalate so do 6 years anyway. You will also need to study in the holidays to keep up with the course so don't think shorter holidays = more earning power. On other med courses some people work the first couple of years.

    You'll probably have 50k more debt at Cambridge (unless you go to London, that's more expensive) and you'll still be a doctor wherever you go. Also the Scottish system being slightly different if you want to go back to work being trained in that system may be an advantage later on. Is it worth the extra debt?

    You also need to consider if you'll get in. 60% of med applicants get no offers. One of my friends is going this year so I know the average applicants had 96% ums last year and BMAT of over 6 (this years was harder so this year maybe 5.5). Are you predicted 3A*s as that's what over half their applicants get.

    An income of 60k doesn't mean your parents can easily find money to support you at uni and they will need to support you wherever you go as loans won't provide enough. So you do need their support.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Living expenses in Cambridge are likely to be a bit cheaper than Edinburgh/Glasgow, but mainly because you only pay for accommodation in term time. The down-side of this is that you do have to move out at the end of every term
    Well it would indeed be news for me if I HAD to move out at the end of every term... as I understood it, you can also have a period instead of a termly license, meaning that you basically rent your room for a whole 12 months, starting at the 29th of September... of course, this is more expensive.
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    (Original post by Defensive Gnome)
    Recently I've been looking into applying to Cambridge to study Medicine. After all, I, so far, meet the entry requirements and it's only one option at the end of the day. However, both of my parents seem to be somewhat hostile towards the idea. The have this false notion that Oxbridge still consists merely of the wealthy/upper classes. How exactly do I dispel this belief? It took me half an hour just to convince my Mum that I could get a student loan of the full £9,000 from SAAS. (I'm Scottish, by the way)

    It's just been really frustrating trying to win them around especially considering their arguments are based more or less on false assumptions of what Oxbridge may have been like back in their day. I tried to explain to them that, from what I've heard and looked into, living costs are relatively cheaper than at say, Edinburgh or Glasgow. So essentially, they would be saving money in the long run.

    They are adamant, however, that I would be in a lot of debt and it would somehow ruin the rest of my life. While; yes, I would have racked up £56,000 in tuition fees, is this really something to worry about considering the comfortable salary of a Doctor? For all you medics/doctors out there, did your tuition fees have any hindrance on your decisions in life?

    Also, I looked into the estimated living costs on the Cambridge website and according to them, it would cost around £7850 a year. Is that reasonable? Or even correct? How does it compare to other universities?

    Above all, can I ask: Do most Cambridge students take a loan out for their living expenses or are they supported by their parents? My parents have an income of around £60,000 I think... so I'm not sure whether £7,000 every year would be affordable.

    I really appreciate any advice and any encouragement haha, they have really been making me think twice about the idea but I really think I would be happy there :/
    I don't know too much about Cambridge first hand because I never went, but going on your own research, this is a totally wrong assumption. I go to Glasgow and live off half what you're saying is the estimated living costs for Cambridge. There's no way in hell I could manage £7850 a year and I'm on max student loan.

    In all honesty, if you're studying medicine, I don't see much point in going to Cambridge. If you wanted to go into super advanced research or such, then the university name might help you, but if you're just looking to be a doctor, a medical education in Glasgow or Edinburgh should easily be more than good enough for your purposes.

    Personally I too had well above the minimum grades for Cambridge and thought I should apply, mostly because I felt I was 'supposed' to - but at the end of the day I didn't and I'm entirely happy with my decision. There truly are more important things than the name at the top of a transcript. (I know people might think that's just a cop-out answer for the people that never got in, and that's precisely why I never applied. I don't really feel biased by whether or not they 'let' me in.)

    It is a lot of money, and unless either there is something Cambridge explicitly offers that a Scottish university doesn't, you have excessive amounts of money, or you're unlucky enough to be born in England and stuck with huge fees either way, there isn't much point.

    As for the atmosphere...honestly I don't know. Back when I did research on the topic, I found (much like yourself) that people claim the place isn't anywhere near as pretentious or exclusive as it used to be. But then again, since I've met travelling students and family members of friends at Oxbridge, half of them have fit the stereotype to a tee. They didn't even seem aware of it.

    Then again (again) people claim Glasgow is full of posh snobs too and I haven't noticed it at all, even coming from a working class background. Maybe (as with most things) its just a mixture of people and you have to be careful who you make friends with.

    But yeah. Personally I'd say don't bother. Your parents might be overestimating the cost and attitude of the university slightly, yes, but at the end of the day, I still don't think its worth it. With intelligence and drive you can succeed at any good institution, and dragging yourself halfway across the country from all you know and love and racking up huge, unnecessary debts just for a name is kinda pointless. If you're going to do all that, you might as well consider university in another country, where at least you might experience another culture and maybe learn a language.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    What on earth are you talking about?
    Don't open that can of worms. :rolleyes: As a 'tab, I can confirm that sohoscribbler seems to have a pretty big chip on his shoulder because of something that happened about ten years ago, from what I gather. He appears at random in the Cambridge subforum, but the regulars don't have much time or sympathy for him.
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    Try and go to an open day and take them with you and show them that Cambridge is 'just' one of the best universities in the world.
    There's a number of rich / posh people there, but there are also people from all sorts of backgrounds. I have a friend who goes there who is the polar opposite of posh, she just happens to be amazing at her subject xD

    As for living costs, accommodation will be cheaper for you as you'll be in halls, but Cambridge itself isn't a cheap place to live. I can't compare it to Glasgow or Edinburgh, but it's a relatively expensive city to live in. That said, you only spend eight weeks at a time there..

    At the end of the day, your parents can't stop you from applying to Cambridge. Just make sure it's not a wasted application in the first place.
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    Don't let your parents stop you from applying if you really want to. I applied for medicine at Cambridge this year, against parental wishes, and although I didn't get in I know I would have regretted not applying.
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    For specifically medicine there is no benefit conferred by going to Cambridge beyond the experience of living in Cambridge. The degree is not more saleable than would be a medical degree from Edinburgh or anywhere else.

    And if you were to do the degree in Scotland, you wouldn't be liable for fees.

    If you calculate the fee liability for studying in England to be 56k, then you have to ask whether going to Cambridge is worth that much to you.

    For a student intending to study economics, it might be. Perhaps Cambridge educated economists earn on the average 1500 quid a year more than do economists educated at Glasgow (even after adjustments for the numbers working in London vs elsewhere). For a would-be lawyer, this would almost certainly make sense - the idea that the financial benefit conferred will outweigh the cost incurred.

    But for you, it will be pure cost and won't be offset. The degree will be in financial terms worth no more than would be the medical degree from Aberdeen.

    So, will you pay (albeit retrospectively and in increments) 56 grand for the Cambridge experience?
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    I think you should just apply and go for it - don't live in regret and you got nothing to lose. If your grades are really as good as they are then you shouldn't have any problems getting into your other 4 choices as backups in case you don't get Cambridge.
 
 
 
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