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Opting for universities with much lower entrance requirements than predicted watch

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    My step daughter is predicted A*AA. She wants to make her insurance and firm choice universities which accept BCC. She has had the offers already. Her school advised her to apply early to fool the admissions tutors that she's an Oxbridge candidate.

    She lives full time with us and we think she should be setting her sights higher.

    She's said she wants to go to the "lower" uni's because she wants to always be top of the class (she's currently in a v small school and is pretty much top of the school). She can't seem to see the benefits of being surrounded by equally academically capable people.

    Are we being silly for feeling a bit disappointed? It's her choice and we aren't pressurising her. We have told her that she's capable of acheiving more, but that's all.
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    Would you mind sharing which universities and courses she is applying to? Maybe we can look into them and see something you may have missed?

    Really though, unless you plan on going to Oxbridge/Top 5, university placements in ranking tables don't really matter.
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    Sounds like she should have aimed a bit higher. She could easily get into Russell group unis with those grades


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    Have you considered the sheer competition to get into Oxbridge though?
    I remember reading a news artical last year about realistically needing 2 A* grades to be considered for Oxbridge now... seriously high marks and there are a lot more students applying for those placements than there actually are available...
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    (Original post by Mumfindinginfo)
    My step daughter is predicted A*AA. She wants to make her insurance and firm choice universities which accept BCC. She has had the offers already. Her school advised her to apply early to fool the admissions tutors that she's an Oxbridge candidate.

    She lives full time with us and we think she should be setting her sights higher.

    She's said she wants to go to the "lower" uni's because she wants to always be top of the class (she's currently in a v small school and is pretty much top of the school). She can't seem to see the benefits of being surrounded by equally academically capable people.

    Are we being silly for feeling a bit disappointed? It's her choice and we aren't pressurising her. We have told her that she's capable of acheiving more, but that's all.
    I think matters really depend on what she is applying for. If she is applying for a specialist course or a course with specialist links only offered at a few institutions, then she is doing the right thing applying to do what she wants to study..

    If she is applying for a large generic academic subject:-English, history, maths she would probably have been better applying elsewhere.

    If she exceeds her offer, she will be eligible for adjustment.
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    (Original post by Scienceisgood)
    Have you considered the sheer competition to get into Oxbridge though?
    I remember reading a news artical last year about realistically needing 2 A* grades to be considered for Oxbridge now... seriously high marks and there are a lot more students applying for those placements than there actually are available...
    Some Oxbridge course require A*A*A. However no Oxbridge course requires higher than their stated entrance requirements. They use interviews. their own tests and in some cases consideration of written work to distinguish between candidates.
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    (Original post by Mumfindinginfo)
    My step daughter is predicted A*AA. She wants to make her insurance and firm choice universities which accept BCC. She has had the offers already. Her school advised her to apply early to fool the admissions tutors that she's an Oxbridge candidate.

    She lives full time with us and we think she should be setting her sights higher.

    She's said she wants to go to the "lower" uni's because she wants to always be top of the class (she's currently in a v small school and is pretty much top of the school). She can't seem to see the benefits of being surrounded by equally academically capable people.

    Are we being silly for feeling a bit disappointed? It's her choice and we aren't pressurising her. We have told her that she's capable of acheiving more, but that's all.
    No, I don't think you are silly for being disappointed. There's a big drop between A*AA and BCC. You are right to not pressurise her, because we all know where that leads. If her reasons for choosing to apply where she has were to do with preferring the course itself, there'd be no issue with that, but her reason suggests a lack of confidence rather than research. If all goes to plan and she gets higher than her firm offer, she will be eligible for adjustment and can trade up that way, if her view changes. It's not always certain - there may be no relevant places available. However, she may be fine. No one can tell. As you know, the parents' lot in life is to provide the guidance and then the box of tissues when it all goes pear-shaped because they ignored it. You can't put an old head on young shoulders and you've done your best, and who knows that it may not work out just fine?
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    (Original post by Mumfindinginfo)
    My step daughter is predicted A*AA. She wants to make her insurance and firm choice universities which accept BCC. She has had the offers already. Her school advised her to apply early to fool the admissions tutors that she's an Oxbridge candidate.

    She lives full time with us and we think she should be setting her sights higher.

    She's said she wants to go to the "lower" uni's because she wants to always be top of the class (she's currently in a v small school and is pretty much top of the school). She can't seem to see the benefits of being surrounded by equally academically capable people.

    Are we being silly for feeling a bit disappointed? It's her choice and we aren't pressurising her. We have told her that she's capable of acheiving more, but that's all.
    What course does she want to do? she won't always be top of the class in life so maybe going to a lower grade uni for that reason is a bad idea.
    Has she been on any open days? That can really change your mind about where you want to go.
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    (Original post by Mumfindinginfo)
    My step daughter is predicted A*AA. She wants to make her insurance and firm choice universities which accept BCC. She has had the offers already. Her school advised her to apply early to fool the admissions tutors that she's an Oxbridge candidate.

    She lives full time with us and we think she should be setting her sights higher.

    She's said she wants to go to the "lower" uni's because she wants to always be top of the class (she's currently in a v small school and is pretty much top of the school). She can't seem to see the benefits of being surrounded by equally academically capable people.

    Are we being silly for feeling a bit disappointed? It's her choice and we aren't pressurising her. We have told her that she's capable of acheiving more, but that's all.
    Well, if she's already got the offers and already sent the application in, there is not much that you can do about it unless she has a few more choices left over. Has she applied to the any of the higher end universities, as those grades would definitely make her a good candidate for the Russell Group universities. As soon as you get predicted an A*, especially with two 'A's, you can basically apply to any university (except perhaps Oxbridge, but they don't look at the predicted grades too much) and have a high chance of being accepted.

    I think that there are a few good reasons why people might go to less reputable universities, a specific course that they would like to do for example. Being top of the class is not really one of them, as you are more likely to enjoy studying if you are being academically stimulated. She's also more likely to be with more likeminded people if she goes to the better universities, instead of people who don't care as much about studying. Why aim so low? If she wanted to get something for BCC she could simply get it through Clearing if she really screws up her exams.

    Go to the open days. Maybe try for Adjustment, though I'm not sure whether that works on predicted grades or on the grades of the university that she's got as her firm choice. It is her choice, but she might regret it in a few years that she's essentially choosing not to go to the top universities simply because she wants to be top of her class all the time.
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    (Original post by Mumfindinginfo)
    My step daughter is predicted A*AA. She wants to make her insurance and firm choice universities which accept BCC. She has had the offers already. Her school advised her to apply early to fool the admissions tutors that she's an Oxbridge candidate.

    She lives full time with us and we think she should be setting her sights higher.

    She's said she wants to go to the "lower" uni's because she wants to always be top of the class (she's currently in a v small school and is pretty much top of the school). She can't seem to see the benefits of being surrounded by equally academically capable people.

    Are we being silly for feeling a bit disappointed? It's her choice and we aren't pressurising her. We have told her that she's capable of acheiving more, but that's all.
    You could tell her some pretty thick people end up at the 'best' universities and some very clever ones end up at the others. (So true). So she's going to be somewhere near the middle wherever she ends up.

    You could say who does she want on her corridor in digs? who does she want to make friends with?
    As she's likely to spend very little time with her 'class' mates, but a lot of time with people on other courses, I'm guessing she's going to want to have people 'like her' for chat and friendship.

    But... it sounds as if that ship has already sailed.
    If she's made her application already, you're just going to have to accept it and support her.
    Once she gets her first and wants to go post-grad, she can look at the 'better' universities from that angle .
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    She seems like someone who wants to live in her own little bubble forever.
    I am pretty cocky when it comes to anything and would love to be on a course where everyone is or more intelligent then I am. It would push me even more.

    It is her choice at the end of the day, and the benefits of this are she should get a first and a job.
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    She wants to study history. She has applied to Warwick and Exeter among others but says she doesn't really want to go to either. She's been to LOTS of open days but only likes the lower universities. We've asked her what she doesn't like about the others and she says "she doesnt know".

    We don't expect Oxbridge. We talked about it and rules it out, although it was her who decided.
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    (Original post by Mumfindinginfo)
    Thanks for all the replies.

    She wants to study history. She has applied to Warwick and Exeter among others but says she doesn't really want to go to either. She's been to LOTS of open days but only likes the lower universities. We've asked her what she doesn't like about the others and she says "she doesnt know".

    We don't expect Oxbridge. We talked about it and rules it out, although it was her who decided.
    History courses do vary hugely in terms of how they are structured and the content offered. With those predictions she should stand a good chance of getting offers from both those unis, and then she can decide what she really wants to go for. But it may be that there is some feature of the courses offered by the BBC unis that really appeals to her - perhaps the opportunity for work experience in the heritage world. apotoftea might have some insights to offer here, as from what I remember she was in something of a similar situation.


    However, from your first post it does sound like your step-daughter may be lacking in confidence (or, perhaps, afraid of failure, which is not the same thing), and it may be useful to give some thought as to why.
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    Maybe its somthing about the unis she likes, location, size ect so prehaps you could work with her to find somewhere that has what she likes and is more academically suited to her
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    She might just be following thick friends. At Warwick and Exeter, she'd likely be amongst the top of her cohort with A*AA.
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    (Original post by Mumfindinginfo)
    Thanks for all the replies.

    She wants to study history. She has applied to Warwick and Exeter among others but says she doesn't really want to go to either. She's been to LOTS of open days but only likes the lower universities. We've asked her what she doesn't like about the others and she says "she doesnt know".

    We don't expect Oxbridge. We talked about it and rules it out, although it was her who decided.
    Can you share with us which ones she DOES like? Maybe that would give us some clues about what she finds appealing (even if she can't pinpoint it herself, we might be able to crowd-analyse some patterns).

    I agree with those who've suggested she may find it a bit boring if everyone around her has considerably lower grades, But being a big fish in a small pool also has its appeal. One further option would be to re-apply next year with her actual grades if she ends up regretting her choices.
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    Yes, you can worry and yes, you should talk to her about choosing the course with the right content and the right uni based on the feel of the area and the town/city. But she's nearly an adult (or might already be one), she has to learn to make her own decisions. That will include mistakes at some points but they are her's to make.
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    I'm guessing that the only point of posting at this juncture is for some reassurance for yourselves and as a way of preventing yourselves from saying something unhelpful to her which might end up with closing down on even more options.

    I would be concerned too about the reasons she has given for her choices. If that's really the metric she has used, she may not have differentiated sufficiently between the different course contents (which I would think were quite varied)

    That said, there is a kind of frenzy in some institutions (my son said he was concerned about Cambridge being a very intense experience - he's quite laid back) or she may be reacting against some of tone of the sales pitches, the puffery about League tables and Russell Group etc etc (especially as it sounds as though she may go to the kind of school which has swallowed it all...) She may dislike the way people who achieve BCC at A2 are categorised by some as 'thick' when she knows them rather better. She may be longing for somewhere it *feels* as though she can just be herself and get on and study and enjoy life (even though once she was at a more 'prestigious' institution she might find all her prior concerns irrelevant)

    So hard to get it right isn't it? But she's got a good few months now in which to consider her offers so maybe there's not much need to do more than apply tincture of time and as much of a general vibe of respect and confidence boosting as you can manage.
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    I don't know but maybe she feels intimidated by the likes of Warwick and Exeter that have large amounts of richer pupils. Has she looked at Lancaster as this doesn't have that feel and is still a top university
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    (Original post by swanseajack1)
    I don't know but maybe she feels intimidated by the likes of Warwick and Exeter that have large amounts of richer pupils. Has she looked at Lancaster as this doesn't have that feel and is still a top university
    She has already applied and had her offers
 
 
 
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