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Should I accept my choral scholarship?

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    So I want to apply to Oxford this year to read English. The colleges I like the sound of the most are more "liberal" or "relaxed" ones with high percentages of state school students, like Mansfield, Wadham, Hertford etc, as I feel like I'd fit in better somewhere like that.
    I also sing in choirs, so I decided to apply for a choral scholarship - not because I thought I'd get one, but just to have a nice few days in Oxford and get to meet some other applicants, etc. I ended up getting a choral scholarship to Worcester College, which wasn't the college I'd stayed at or auditioned at, so I'd never been to it before.
    I've researched Worcester and there seem to be loads of mixed reviews - some websites say it's one of the most difficult to get into and filled with private school kids, others say it's got a high acceptance rate etc...
    I wondered if anyone here who knows more about Worcester or the application process than me (which is probably a lot of people) could advise me whether I should apply there or to another college? Obvs if I applied to another college I wouldn't get the choral scholarship, which lets me be a choral scholar in the chapel choir, as well as three free meals a week and £200 per year. Is it worth it? And does it really matter what college I apply to anyway?
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
    So I want to apply to Oxford this year to read English. The colleges I like the sound of the most are more "liberal" or "relaxed" ones with high percentages of state school students, like Mansfield, Wadham, Hertford etc, as I feel like I'd fit in better somewhere like that.
    I also sing in choirs, so I decided to apply for a choral scholarship - not because I thought I'd get one, but just to have a nice few days in Oxford and get to meet some other applicants, etc. I ended up getting a choral scholarship to Worcester College, which wasn't the college I'd stayed at or auditioned at, so I'd never been to it before.
    I've researched Worcester and there seem to be loads of mixed reviews - some websites say it's one of the most difficult to get into and filled with private school kids, others say it's got a high acceptance rate etc...
    I wondered if anyone here who knows more about Worcester or the application process than me (which is probably a lot of people) could advise me whether I should apply there or to another college? Obvs if I applied to another college I wouldn't get the choral scholarship, which lets me be a choral scholar in the chapel choir, as well as three free meals a week and £200 per year. Is it worth it? And does it really matter what college I apply to anyway?
    I'm actually starting at Worcester this week. The college itself is really nice and spacious and everyone seems really welcoming. In my (limited) experience the private/state school balance doesn't seem any different than other places. For my subject (Earth Sciences), it is one of the most competitive colleges, so people do get offers from other colleges even though they applied to Worcester, but I don't know for English. You aren't reducing your chances by applying to a more competitive college though, as the university want to have the best students, so if they wanted you then you might get an offer from another college. Have you looked at the specialisms of the tutors at Worcester as for English I believe that a lot of the teaching is in college. In interview you need to be able to substantiate what you've said you've read in your PS. If you hadn't got the scholarship would you still want to sing in choir? Because if you did then it seems like a good opportunity, and the free meals are also a bonus! You can join college choirs without being a choral scholar though, so I'm sure that you would be able to join in whatever college you were at (especially since you must pretty good at singing to get a scholarship!). Overall though I think that everyone loves their college no matter whether they thought they would like it at first or not. I'll be able to tell you more about the people and stuff when I've moved in though.
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    (Original post by Headingtonian)
    I'm actually starting at Worcester this week. The college itself is really nice and spacious and everyone seems really welcoming. In my (limited) experience the private/state school balance doesn't seem any different than other places. For my subject (Earth Sciences), it is one of the most competitive colleges, so people do get offers from other colleges even though they applied to Worcester, but I don't know for English. You aren't reducing your chances by applying to a more competitive college though, as the university want to have the best students, so if they wanted you then you might get an offer from another college. Have you looked at the specialisms of the tutors at Worcester as for English I believe that a lot of the teaching is in college. In interview you need to be able to substantiate what you've said you've read in your PS. If you hadn't got the scholarship would you still want to sing in choir? Because if you did then it seems like a good opportunity, and the free meals are also a bonus! You can join college choirs without being a choral scholar though, so I'm sure that you would be able to join in whatever college you were at (especially since you must pretty good at singing to get a scholarship!). Overall though I think that everyone loves their college no matter whether they thought they would like it at first or not. I'll be able to tell you more about the people and stuff when I've moved in though.
    Thank you so much, that's really helpful!
    I've looked at the specialisms for the English tutors and they seem pretty cool.
    I might just apply to Worcester and if they think I wouldn't be right there hopefully they'll move me somewhere else (on the unlikely assumption that I'll get an offer at all :') )
    I really like choirs (lol) so I would probably join the choir wherever I went. I may as well just take my choral scholarship.
    Congratulations on getting in, btw, and good luck with everything!
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
    Thank you so much, that's really helpful!
    I've looked at the specialisms for the English tutors and they seem pretty cool.
    I might just apply to Worcester and if they think I wouldn't be right there hopefully they'll move me somewhere else (on the unlikely assumption that I'll get an offer at all :' )
    I really like choirs (lol) so I would probably join the choir wherever I went. I may as well just take my choral scholarship.
    Congratulations on getting in, btw, and good luck with everything!
    Good luck with your application , I might see you at the interviews.
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
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    You can find lots of details about applications at

    https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/facts-and...s-rates?wssl=1

    In particular if you look at the state/independent ratio for the years 2013-15 then Worcester fares well with the 4th best average.

    This I hope gives reason not to worry, but as others have said colleges are diverse enough that such a simple statistic is hardly the defining characteristic of a college.

    The applicant-to-offer ratios can also be found at the above link for English. Worcester was popular in those years, but not the most so, I counted it to be 5th equal. As others have said though, Oxford has various mechanisms to ensure chance of admissions into the University should not be affected by college choice.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    You can find lots of details about applications at

    https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/facts-and...s-rates?wssl=1

    In particular if you look at the state/independent ratio for the years 2013-15 then Worcester fares well with the 4th best average.

    This I hope gives reason not to worry, but as others have said colleges are diverse enough that such a simple statistic is hardly the defining characteristic of a college.

    The applicant-to-offer ratios can also be found at the above link for English. Worcester was popular in those years, but not the most so, I counted it to be 5th equal. As others have said though, Oxford has various mechanisms to ensure chance of admissions into the University should not be affected by college choice.
    Ooh thanks so much, that's a really good link. I'm gonna be referring back to it multiple times during my application
    I'm pleasantly surprised by the state/independent balance for Worcester on there. A guardian article I read cites it as 25%!
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
    Ooh thanks so much, that's a really good link. I'm gonna be referring back to it multiple times during my application
    I'm pleasantly surprised by the state/independent balance for Worcester on there. A guardian article I read cites it as 27%!
    No worries - do you have a link to that article?
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    (Original post by RichE)
    No worries - do you have a link to that article?
    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...y-row-students the article is from 2011, so I don't know how much the university has changed since then, and the bit about worcester is at the end. The whole thing is an interesting read, though.
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    (Original post by RichE)
    No worries - do you have a link to that article?
    The Guardian Article we think you mean is innumerate (!) - the UK Freshers arriving at Brasenose today are 60% state school students which is nearly SIX TIMES higher than the rate implied in the newspaper.
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
    So I want to apply to Oxford this year to read English. The colleges I like the sound of the most are more "liberal" or "relaxed" ones with high percentages of state school students, like Mansfield, Wadham, Hertford etc, as I feel like I'd fit in better somewhere like that.
    I also sing in choirs, so I decided to apply for a choral scholarship - not because I thought I'd get one, but just to have a nice few days in Oxford and get to meet some other applicants, etc. I ended up getting a choral scholarship to Worcester College, which wasn't the college I'd stayed at or auditioned at, so I'd never been to it before.
    I've researched Worcester and there seem to be loads of mixed reviews - some websites say it's one of the most difficult to get into and filled with private school kids, others say it's got a high acceptance rate etc...
    I wondered if anyone here who knows more about Worcester or the application process than me (which is probably a lot of people) could advise me whether I should apply there or to another college? Obvs if I applied to another college I wouldn't get the choral scholarship, which lets me be a choral scholar in the chapel choir, as well as three free meals a week and £200 per year. Is it worth it? And does it really matter what college I apply to anyway?
    Hi, it is one of the most difficult colleges to get into, but don't let that put you off! Just smash the competitiion

    I was at Woosta (Worcester) studying music from 2007-2010 and was very close to the college chapel choir members. I know the current Senior Organ Scholar and some of the other choir members reasonably well. Indeed, my former tutorial partner is the current Director of Chapel Music who would have auditioned you! So I can vouch for the college chapel choir being very friendly and welcoming, as well as (one of) the best mixed choir(s) in Oxford.

    As for Woosta more generally: we have buildings going back to the 1200s, granted, but we're quite a relaxed college in general. We have a reputation of "work a bit hard, party seriously hard". Formall hall is quite formal in that there's lots of door-slamming, mallet-banging but once you get over the initial WTAF :lolwut: moments, it becomes really hilarious and fun to be a part of

    As for the demographic, it does shift on year to year. When I applied, we did have one of the highest private school ratios. I would, however, like to assure you that this is NOT going to affect you at all, as (what I presume to be?) a state school applicant. You honestly can't tell what kind of schools people have come from. I went in with a huge comp-educated chip on my shoulder and ended up living with people from top London private sixth forms and Kent boarding schools in my first year. They were really lovely, down-to-earth people who, yes, had been afforded more opportunities (up til that point) in life than me and had more money, but that made absolutely no difference whatsoever. Then, there was another friend of mine who spoke very well and seemed really confident, so I assumed he was from a top public school and never bothered inquiring as to where he'd come from. Half a year later, when I casually mentioned being comp-educated in passing conversation, he was like OMG TLG, ME TOOOOOOOO and I was like :headfire:

    So basically, you can't tell. In the unlikely event that you ever run into prejudice due to your background, you can either ignore such people quite easily (Woosta's size means you can easily either know everyone in your entire year group - or alternatively, you can be as anonymous as you like and avoid people easily!), educate such people, or - depending on what was said - report them to university authorities. Woosta takes such rare occasions of overt prejudice/discrimination pretty seriously :yep:

    As for English there, I know quite a few English students from my time there and they all had a fantastic time! Some of the tutors have changed, I believe, so can't comment directly on that entirely. But DB and LA (presuming they are still there, at least) seemed to get on with their students and be stimulating people to be taught by! :yes:

    Any questions, do feel free to ask me! If I can't answer, I will ask my darling college tutorial partner (current Director of Chapel Music) and get some answers for you
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    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Hi, it is one of the most difficult colleges to get into, but don't let that put you off! Just smash the competitiion

    I was at Woosta (Worcester) studying music from 2007-2010 and was very close to the college chapel choir members. I know the current Senior Organ Scholar and some of the other choir members reasonably well. Indeed, my former tutorial partner is the current Director of Chapel Music who would have auditioned you! So I can vouch for the college chapel choir being very friendly and welcoming, as well as (one of) the best mixed choir(s) in Oxford.

    As for Woosta more generally: we have buildings going back to the 1200s, granted, but we're quite a relaxed college in general. We have a reputation of "work a bit hard, party seriously hard". Formall hall is quite formal in that there's lots of door-slamming, mallet-banging but once you get over the initial WTAF :lolwut: moments, it becomes really hilarious and fun to be a part of

    As for the demographic, it does shift on year to year. When I applied, we did have one of the highest private school ratios. I would, however, like to assure you that this is NOT going to affect you at all, as (what I presume to be?) a state school applicant. You honestly can't tell what kind of schools people have come from. I went in with a huge comp-educated chip on my shoulder and ended up living with people from top London private sixth forms and Kent boarding schools in my first year. They were really lovely, down-to-earth people who, yes, had been afforded more opportunities (up til that point) in life than me and had more money, but that made absolutely no difference whatsoever. Then, there was another friend of mine who spoke very well and seemed really confident, so I assumed he was from a top public school and never bothered inquiring as to where he'd come from. Half a year later, when I casually mentioned being comp-educated in passing conversation, he was like OMG TLG, ME TOOOOOOOO and I was like :headfire:

    So basically, you can't tell. In the unlikely event that you ever run into prejudice due to your background, you can either ignore such people quite easily (Woosta's size means you can easily either know everyone in your entire year group - or alternatively, you can be as anonymous as you like and avoid people easily!), educate such people, or - depending on what was said - report them to university authorities. Woosta takes such rare occasions of overt prejudice/discrimination pretty seriously :yep:

    As for English there, I know quite a few English students from my time there and they all had a fantastic time! Some of the tutors have changed, I believe, so can't comment directly on that entirely. But DB and LA (presuming they are still there, at least) seemed to get on with their students and be stimulating people to be taught by! :yes:

    Any questions, do feel free to ask me! If I can't answer, I will ask my darling college tutorial partner (current Director of Chapel Music) and get some answers for you
    Wow, thanks so much! Your experience sounds great. Yeah, I'm definitely going to apply to Worcester now! (The part about smashing the competition worries me a bit, but oh well, I guess Oxford is hard to get into regardless of the college...)

    I actually auditioned for the choral scholarship at Queen's - it was the only college with a chapel choir that I actually knew about because I'd been there on a trip. Although the audition was fun, I regretted applying there because I hadn't known it was such a competitive choir - we had 33 people auditioning at ours, while everyone I spoke to at other colleges had under 10 people auditioning at theirs! I went home completely sure that I hadn't got a choral scholarship at all, then got an email saying I hadn't been successful at Queen's but another college, Worcester, did have a place for me. So I've actually never been to Worcester and I hadn't heard anything about it before I got the email.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to be so helpful if I have any more questions about Worcester I'll definitely ask you, but you've been very informative!
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    (Original post by BrasenoseAdm)
    The Guardian Article we think you mean is innumerate (!) - the UK Freshers arriving at Brasenose today are 60% state school students which is nearly SIX TIMES higher than the rate implied in the newspaper.
    Wow, I find it really surprising that the Guardian could get it so wrong. Researching statistics like this kind of makes my head hurt - every website I go on seems to give a completely different figure...
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
    Wow, thanks so much! Your experience sounds great. Yeah, I'm definitely going to apply to Worcester now! (The part about smashing the competition worries me a bit, but oh well, I guess Oxford is hard to get into regardless of the college...)

    I actually auditioned for the choral scholarship at Queen's - it was the only college with a chapel choir that I actually knew about because I'd been there on a trip. Although the audition was fun, I regretted applying there because I hadn't known it was such a competitive choir - we had 33 people auditioning at ours, while everyone I spoke to at other colleges had under 10 people auditioning at theirs! I went home completely sure that I hadn't got a choral scholarship at all, then got an email saying I hadn't been successful at Queen's but another college, Worcester, did have a place for me. So I've actually never been to Worcester and I hadn't heard anything about it before I got the email.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to be so helpful if I have any more questions about Worcester I'll definitely ask you, but you've been very informative!
    It's a beautiful college! Has a lake, ducks, good food AND lawns you can walk on.

    Don't let its rep as a popular college faze you. Go for it! :rave:

    Any questions, don't hesitate to ask - no question too small and no such thing as a silly question :nah:

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    I would absolutely accept a choral scholarship! I think any discussion about state/private ratios is irrelevant - who cares, really what school you went to.
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
    Wow, I find it really surprising that the Guardian could get it so wrong. Researching statistics like this kind of makes my head hurt - every website I go on seems to give a completely different figure...
    Our students hit the roof when they read the article and invited the journalist to visit to put the record straight (but it didn't happen). Here's the responses written by students at the time:

    http://www.cherwell.org/2016/02/05/d...-got-it-wrong/

    http://oxfordstudent.com/2016/02/04/...ol-applicants/

    As pointed out elsewhere on TSR, the success rate for candidates applying to us is no worse than Oxford as a whole because of the common entry standards for each subjects and reallocation.
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    (Original post by Reality Check)
    I would absolutely accept a choral scholarship! I think any discussion about state/private ratios is irrelevant - who cares, really what school you went to.
    Thanks for the reality check
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    (Original post by Rmexplorer)
    Thanks for the reality check
    You're welcome. I'm being absolutely honest when I say that when I was at Cambridge I could count the people who obsessed about what school you went to on the fingers of one hand. And they tended to be those who'd been to second rate private schools and had a slight chip on their shoulder as a consequence. A choral scholarship is a wonderful thing to be offered - it puts you right at the centre of college life and will afford you some wonderful opportunities. In my humble opinion, you'd be crazy to turn it down! All the very best luck.
 
 
 
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