is it acceptable to play two graduate offers off against each other?

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1xHELPmehx1
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Hi.


I've been offered places on grad courses at both Oxford and Cambridge. Oxford has offered me a partial scholarship which covers my college fees and brings the cost of both Unis down to roughly the same level.


However I know I would be happier in Cambridge. Girton have accepted me and I have applied for several of their graduate scholarships and awards. If I contact the college to let them know about the offer from Oxford, but that I would be a lot happier in Cambridge, would I be shooting myself in the foot? In other words, is it better to just sit tight and hope I get a scholarship offer from Cambridge too?


I'd appreciate your advice.
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r_u_jelly
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is it acceptable to play fight dogs in one cage
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1xHELPmehx1
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Haha it is if they might fight over you and get you a cheaper postgrad degree!

No but seriously. What should I do?
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thegaffer91
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It is acceptable to tell both universities what the situation is.

It would not be acceptable to start making things up about what the other one may or may not be offering you
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1xHELPmehx1
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I wouldn't be making it up, it's a genuine offer. I don't wanna come across as an arrogant toe rag, and I don't want to scare Girton out of considering me for the award by telling them that I have a scholarship to cover college fees in Oxford
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TimmonaPortella
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I think it would be inappropriate and ineffective for you to try to influence them by saying 'give me a big scholarship or else I'll go to Oxford'.

I don't know a great deal about how this stuff works, but that's my impression.
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1xHELPmehx1
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(Original post by TimmonaPortella)
I think it would be inappropriate and ineffective for you to try to influence them by saying 'give me a big scholarship or else I'll go to Oxford'.

I don't know a great deal about how this stuff works, but that's my impression.
Yeah that's what I think too. My family are trying to persuade me to ring Girton and tell them the situation but I can't see that it would help
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Nathanielle
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The question is why tell them? A reason would be e.g. that you have to accept the scholarship until a certain date and then of course you could phone them and ask them.

Another question is wether you prefer studying in Cambridge or prefer having a scholarship on your CV? As you said, the costs are roughly the same compared "Cambridge without scholarship" with "Oxford with scholarship", so Cambridge is not under pressure (as if they could, but theoretically) to give you a scholarship, as Oxford will never be in an advantage costwise.
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Original Name
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(Original post by 1xHELPmehx1)
Yeah that's what I think too. My family are trying to persuade me to ring Girton and tell them the situation but I can't see that it would help
All ringing them will do is make them wave goodbye to you. They don't care. Students fight tooth and nail to get into Cambridge, there will be plenty of other students to take your place. Go to Cambridge, sounds like that's where you'll be happy. It doesn't really matter if Oxford give you a partial scholarship, if you aren't happy there it's pointless and your performance will probably suffer.
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1xHELPmehx1
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Thank you.

Also:

Do you think having an academic scholarship on my record will be beneficial to me in my funding applications both now and later on?
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nexttime
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I think it is highly unlikely to work, and whilst you could make the 'nothing to lose' argument, making sure you don't get off on totally the wrong foot with your supervisor probably is desirable.

If you were to do it, you should package it up in an innocent query with regards to likelihood of cambrdge scholarships (which would be genuinely useful to know right?) then subtley drop in the oxford scholarship before quickly moving on to flattering them with how much you liked cambridge when you visited. Then they'll probably do nothing, but, well, you tried.
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James222
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Lucky you...
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Nathanielle
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(Original post by 1xHELPmehx1)
Thank you.

Also:

Do you think having an academic scholarship on my record will be beneficial to me in my funding applications both now and later on?
1) Depends on the scholarship. Academic ones more than ones everybody can get.
2) There are a lot of things playing into that decision, so don't make a decision, which makes you unlucky for a vague lonterm hope.
3) Ask people in your field.
4) Getting in touch with possible supervisors early is often the most helpful. So if your heart would be set e.g. on a PHD in Cambridge with a certain supervisor it might be one advantage vs. another advantage.
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