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Nationally, how many people with these circumstances will reach these Universities? Watch

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    How many students nationally, having received Free School Meals (due to living with a single parent, medically unable to work) AND have a diagnosis of moderate to severe autism that causes them such difficulty that they receive the enhanced rate of PIP would reach the following seven Universities?

    And would obtaining a place at one of these Universities in the face of such circumstances constitute a major achievement?

    (The Universities are: Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, Durham, LSE, Warwick and St Andrews)
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    I don't know, but not very many, and I'd say it would, yes.
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    Suppose someone from those circumstances got to those Universities, and managed to obtain a strong 2.1 average in their first year, is that a significant achievement? Would they have a case to be proud?
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Suppose someone from those circumstances got to those Universities, and managed to obtain a strong 2.1 average in their first year, is that a significant achievement? Would they have a case to be proud?
    Yes, although this thread begs the question of why you are anonymously seeking validation from strangers on the internet.

    It's a great accomplishment, if it's yours, go do something to celebrate! Or do something more productive. Seeking gratification from random people on the internet isn't healthy, you should focus on your own reactions to this, and spending time with people you enjoy being around. Or, doing something you like which is more productive than this.
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    (Original post by artful_lounger)
    Yes, although this thread begs the question of why you are anonymously seeking validation from strangers on the internet.

    It's a great accomplishment, if it's yours, go do something to celebrate! Or do something more productive. Seeking gratification from random people on the internet isn't healthy, you should focus on your own reactions to this, and spending time with people you enjoy being around. Or, doing something you like which is more productive than this.
    Thanks.

    I would say that perhaps, at times, someone from such a background, despite their past achievements, can doubt themselves in such a pressured environment. There can be 'blue spots', where despite those who are close friends telling you that you have achieved a 'massive amount' and should be proud, you just don't feel that way. It can take a few hours to snap out of it at best, a few days at worst. In such moments, you can see others who are naturally better socially seemingly getting on at a level which you write yourself off from ever reaching. You begin to question whether you really fit in, and whether despite your continued efforts, perseverance will really bring happiness and success in the long-run. You can really begin to doubt yourself, and those around you who believe in you. You question whether what you have done over the years is all-for-nothing.

    That's why from time-to-time, a bit of perspective can really help.
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    Depends. How are you getting on academically? Have you done GCSEs yet?
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    (Original post by Student-95)
    Depends. How are you getting on academically? Have you done GCSEs yet?
    Yes.
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    I am studying with the OU. People have graduated whilst working full time, with children and have gone through cancer treatment (yes, altogether). I and many others also have disabilities, some very debilitating and have managed to graduate. There are likely thousands before you who have completed a degree with autism or similar difficulties.

    Not sure why free school meals has anything to do with it. Many people have them and have brought up in poor family homes or in single parent families. It doesn't at all affect their ability to go to university.

    For me, completing a degree after you've spent months having cancer treatment is more of an achievement and is something to shout about.
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    Apparently around 18% of students get free school meals, but of these only around 1,500 got into Russell Group unis in 2010 - around 64 per university:

    https://www.timeshighereducation.com...#survey-answer

    Only 232 students on free school meals got AAA at 'A' level in 2009 - one would guess a minimum for the universities the OP is referring to.

    Now we have to contemplate the law of small numbers in relation to the OP. S/he refers to living with a single parent who had medical reasons to be unable to work. I'd guess this would be reflected in a long term low income. My bet would be that the individuals within the (very small) number of pupils receiving free school meals who get AAA are not of typical backgrounds. With numbers so low this must income some:

    - whose parents had been educated professionals but fell ill around the age in question (15)
    - well off families going through divorce
    - self employed stuck in a bad recession
    - parent(s) on a low income but extended family/ grandparents having money to support their upbringing.

    As such they could have had a lot of opportunities in their childhoods. Look up Emily Thornberrys background as an example.

    So, as a guess, very few of the OP's background get into the list of universities noted, regardless of autism/ other impairments.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Yes.
    Ok, and what did you get?
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