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My mum doesn't want me to think about going to Oxbridge... Watch

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    So I'm currently in Year 12 and am trying to form some kind of idea of where I want to go to Uni and what to study. I still haven't made a firm decision on what I want to do for a career but there's only a few things I'm considering and they're all fairly related, and I know I want to do a STEM degree.

    So a few weeks ago I was talking to my mum and she asked where I was thinking of going after Sixth Form and I briefly said something like 'oh, I am considering aiming for Oxbridge...'. And she actually got fairly heated. We're a largely working-class family and at the moment my mum is between jobs so money is a tense subject (my dad's reasonably well-off but I don't live with him -divorced). The general gist of what she was saying was that I am out of my mind for even considering that we have the money for me to go to Oxbridge or even one of the London universities, and that she doesn't want me having so much student debt hanging over me when I graduate.

    It's not like I've based all my aspirations around getting into Oxford or Imperial (I actually visited the University of Manchester a couple weeks ago and loved it) but just how unrealistic was I to suggest I wanted to go to a top-flight Uni as a working-class gal?
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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    So I'm currently in Year 12 and am trying to form some kind of idea of where I want to go to Uni and what to study. I still haven't made a firm decision on what I want to do for a career but there's only a few things I'm considering and they're all fairly related, and I know I want to do a STEM degree.

    So a few weeks ago I was talking to my mum and she asked where I was thinking of going after Sixth Form and I briefly said something like 'oh, I am considering aiming for Oxbridge...'. And she actually got fairly heated. We're a largely working-class family and at the moment my mum is between jobs so money is a tense subject (my dad's reasonably well-off but I don't live with him -divorced). The general gist of what she was saying was that I am out of my mind for even considering that we have the money for me to go to Oxbridge or even one of the London universities, and that she doesn't want me having so much student debt hanging over me when I graduate.

    It's not like I've based all my aspirations around getting into Oxford or Imperial (I actually visited the University of Manchester a couple weeks ago and loved it) but just how unrealistic was I to suggest I wanted to go to a top-flight Uni as a working-class gal?
    If you can get the grades, then it isn't unrealistic at all.
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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    ...............
    Universities cost the same amount to go to, regardless of quality. What varies very slightly is the cost of living in different cities. However, both Oxford and Cambridge have a) shorter terms and b)more scholarships and bursaries than other universities, so they are not more expensive than other Universities.
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    Aren't you going to have the same student debt from any university? If you're thinking about maintenance costs, then you can apply for maintenance grants afaik which are based on your household income. I'm not the most knowledgable in this regard though.

    As far as student debts go, they're not like other kinds of debts. In reality they work like taxes which are taken out of your income. If you're below a threshold income after you graduate (I think it's £21,000) then you don't have to pay anything at all, and the debt is cleared after 30 years. However if you're an Oxbridge graduate (or a STEM graduate from any good uni) then you have some of the best employment prospects so it kind of balances out.

    Overall if you can get the grades then I would say it's not unrealistic at all, the universities and governments are definitely trying to make it so that no-one who deserves the education is disadvantaged from one because of how much money they have. Also speak to your school university advisor about this because I know there are loads of options out there for financial support from universities.

    edit: DON'T LET YOUR DREAMS BE DREAMS

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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    So I'm currently in Year 12 and am trying to form some kind of idea of where I want to go to Uni and what to study. I still haven't made a firm decision on what I want to do for a career but there's only a few things I'm considering and they're all fairly related, and I know I want to do a STEM degree.

    So a few weeks ago I was talking to my mum and she asked where I was thinking of going after Sixth Form and I briefly said something like 'oh, I am considering aiming for Oxbridge...'. And she actually got fairly heated. We're a largely working-class family and at the moment my mum is between jobs so money is a tense subject (my dad's reasonably well-off but I don't live with him -divorced). The general gist of what she was saying was that I am out of my mind for even considering that we have the money for me to go to Oxbridge or even one of the London universities, and that she doesn't want me having so much student debt hanging over me when I graduate.

    It's not like I've based all my aspirations around getting into Oxford or Imperial (I actually visited the University of Manchester a couple weeks ago and loved it) but just how unrealistic was I to suggest I wanted to go to a top-flight Uni as a working-class gal?
    You can always apply for a scholarship. There's always a way for you to go to uni in London and other places. Check out the scholarship schemes for the uni you want to apply to.
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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    So I'm currently in Year 12 and am trying to form some kind of idea of where I want to go to Uni and what to study. I still haven't made a firm decision on what I want to do for a career but there's only a few things I'm considering and they're all fairly related, and I know I want to do a STEM degree.

    So a few weeks ago I was talking to my mum and she asked where I was thinking of going after Sixth Form and I briefly said something like 'oh, I am considering aiming for Oxbridge...'. And she actually got fairly heated. We're a largely working-class family and at the moment my mum is between jobs so money is a tense subject (my dad's reasonably well-off but I don't live with him -divorced). The general gist of what she was saying was that I am out of my mind for even considering that we have the money for me to go to Oxbridge or even one of the London universities, and that she doesn't want me having so much student debt hanging over me when I graduate.

    It's not like I've based all my aspirations around getting into Oxford or Imperial (I actually visited the University of Manchester a couple weeks ago and loved it) but just how unrealistic was I to suggest I wanted to go to a top-flight Uni as a working-class gal?
    A couple of general points before people more knowledgeable come along:

    - Oxbridge is frequently cheaper than most other options. College fees are cheaper than many places, and you can stay for more years which can mean a lot when money is tight.
    - Oxbridge have very good allowances if you are on a low household income.

    - Likewise, Imperial have some additional grants if you are on a low household income, and their accommodation is cheaper than the London norm.

    Look, I wouldn't recommend London or the SE in general to people with money restrictions but Oxbridge and Imperial can be good options.
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    This is definitely what I thought so thank you for confirming! I can't help but feel slightly like my mum's just biased against Oxbridge for various personal reasons but I digress.......:unimpressed:
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    Oxford is cheaper than most other universities as the accommodation/food is so heavily subsidised, even without bursaries.
    Imperial's living costs are very expensive but, depending on your family income, they do have quite a generous grant system. What are your grades like?
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    As above, plus calling in Doonesbury
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    (Original post by uponthyhorse)
    Aren't you going to have the same student debt from any university? If you're thinking about maintenance costs, then you can apply for maintenance grants afaik which are based on your household income. I'm not the most knowledgable in this regard though.

    As far as student debts go, they're not like other kinds of debts. In reality they work like taxes which are taken out of your income. If you're below a threshold income after you graduate (I think it's £21,000) then you don't have to pay anything at all, and the debt is cleared after 30 years. However if you're an Oxbridge graduate (or a STEM graduate from any good uni) then you have some of the best employment prospects so it kind of balances out.

    Overall if you can get the grades then I would say it's not unrealistic at all, the universities and governments are definitely trying to make it so that no-one who deserves the education is disadvantaged from one because of how much money they have. Also speak to your school university advisor about this because I know there are loads of options out there for financial support from universities.

    edit: DON'T LET YOUR DREAMS BE DREAMS


    hehehe, thanks
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    One of my friends considered herself a girl from a 'working-class' family. She worked ****ing hard at A-level to get 4A*s, meeting and beating her offer from Oxford, and graduated this summer. The world owes you nothing, if you want something, work for it. I'm not here to open up an argument about classism at Oxbridge but you've been dealt a hand and need to deal with it. It you make your application attractive to Oxford, sell yourself well at your interview, and get the grades to meet your offer, should you get one, then yes, you have a chance of getting into Oxford.
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    I got 4 A*s and 7 As at GCSE and am not doing badly at Sixth Form, although I've just switched colleges so my predicted grades are a bit up in the air rn
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    (Original post by Volibear)
    One of my friends considered herself a girl from a 'working-class' family. She worked ****ing hard at A-level to get 4A*s, meeting and beating her offer from Oxford, and graduated this summer. The world owes you nothing, if you want something, work for it. I'm not here to open up an argument about classism at Oxbridge but you've been dealt a hand and need to deal with it. It you make your application attractive to Oxford, sell yourself well at your interview, and get the grades to meet your offer, should you get one, then yes, you have a chance of getting into Oxford.
    Cheers!
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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    I got 4 A*s and 7 As at GCSE and am not doing badly at Sixth Form, although I've just switched colleges so my predicted grades are a bit up in the air rn
    The only predictions that matter you will (probably) get at the end of Y12
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    It’s worth mentioning to your mum that Oxford and Cambridge only have 8 week terms rather than the 10 week terms of most universities.

    This means that, by nature, the cost of living, rent etc is lower because you’re spending less time there but on the other hand the work is much more intense than anywhere else.

    Also, at most Oxbridge colleges you get halls of residence for all 3 years, which is heavily subsidised unlike the private accommodation you’d have get from the 2nd year everywhere else.

    Also comparing the cost of living to Oxford or Cambridge to London is a bit silly - I’m from West Yorkshire and when I went to Oxford for the open day, the prices of things were no different to home! There are expensive boutiques and what have you but you still have your budget options to get you on relatively cheap.

    So, tl;dr, your mum is wrong, Oxbridge is perfectly reasonable for working class applicants, although for the London universities she does have a point.
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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    I got 4 A*s and 7 As at GCSE and am not doing badly at Sixth Form, although I've just switched colleges so my predicted grades are a bit up in the air rn
    If you're receiving "predicted grades" this early, they'll just be target grades based on your GCSE results. These will not be used on your university application. Normally predicted grades are set after some kind of mock exam/AS exams at the end of year 12.
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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    I got 4 A*s and 7 As at GCSE and am not doing badly at Sixth Form, although I've just switched colleges so my predicted grades are a bit up in the air rn
    Please do consider Oxbridge!! There is so much money available to help lower income students. I'm not from a low income background but I have gotten over £2000 each year from my college (and there is also the Cambridge bursary, that's determined by household income so if it's low you can get up to another £3K or so on top of student finance). I'm better off financially at Cambridge than I would have been anywhere else in the UK. Another bonus is the fact that you don't need to find private housing after your first year, which is a massive stress less and means you won't be needing to pay deposits to secure a place before student finance comes in.

    Look at the Cambridge Shadowing Scheme - it's a free, 3 days residential for Y12 students where you get to follow a current student around to classes and lectures. There are also the Sutton Trust and UNIQ summer schools which are a week long in the summer.

    Money is absolutey not a factor to worry about coming here, and in terms of student debt, it will be equal wherever you go because they all charge the same fees.
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    (Original post by emilyrose2001)
    So I'm currently in Year 12 and am trying to form some kind of idea of where I want to go to Uni and what to study. I still haven't made a firm decision on what I want to do for a career but there's only a few things I'm considering and they're all fairly related, and I know I want to do a STEM degree.

    So a few weeks ago I was talking to my mum and she asked where I was thinking of going after Sixth Form and I briefly said something like 'oh, I am considering aiming for Oxbridge...'. And she actually got fairly heated. We're a largely working-class family and at the moment my mum is between jobs so money is a tense subject (my dad's reasonably well-off but I don't live with him -divorced). The general gist of what she was saying was that I am out of my mind for even considering that we have the money for me to go to Oxbridge or even one of the London universities, and that she doesn't want me having so much student debt hanging over me when I graduate.

    It's not like I've based all my aspirations around getting into Oxford or Imperial (I actually visited the University of Manchester a couple weeks ago and loved it) but just how unrealistic was I to suggest I wanted to go to a top-flight Uni as a working-class gal?
    (Original post by ageshallnot)
    As above, plus calling in Doonesbury
    Thanks!

    And it's mostly covered already.

    There's plenty of "largely working-class" students at Oxbridge. And both universities have generous bursaries to further support students. And accomodation *is* relatively cheap.

    Specific info about the Cambridge bursary.
    https://www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac...mbridgebursary

    If you like the course, and are on target to achieve their entry requirements then apply.

    Oh and you could try the Cambridge Shadowing Scheme
    https://www.applytocambridge.com/shadowing/apply/
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    (Original post by _gcx)
    If you're receiving "predicted grades" this early, they'll just be target grades based on your GCSE results. These will not be used on your university application. Normally predicted grades are set after some kind of mock exam/AS exams at the end of year 12.
    Yeah sorry I meant target grades - maybe I am too dumb for Oxford lmfao
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    Once you're in oxbridge nobody cares the slightest of your background or class. Everyone gets treated the same, including during the admissions process.

    I'd just focus on doing well in your AS Levels and focus on the other actual factors which will affect whether or not you'll get in. Oxbridge is extremely competitive and your situation is by no means a rare one, so you've gotta get the grades really before considering whether you should apply or not. Trust me, pretty much the whole year 12 year group in my sixth form wants to go to Oxbridge, so you've gotta work hard to be competitive if you want to get in or not. Don't worry about your parent not wanting you to apply, it's up to you. But as I say, first get the AS grades, then try and apply!
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