Cambridge with savings or St. Andrews for free?

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Anonymous #1
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I got into both and I don't know which one to choose. I think Cambridge is a far superior degree but is it worth paying for it from my own savings that I could use in the future for a down payment on a house or something?
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mnot
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I got into both and I don't know which one to choose. I think Cambridge is a far superior degree but is it worth paying for it from my own savings that I could use in the future for a down payment on a house or something?
Depends what you want to do after uni.

Id say in the right field Cambridge will offer a higher earning potential hence its more of an investment, other fields degree institution won’t affect earnings & St Andrews is probably the wiser financial move.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by mnot)
Depends what you want to do after uni.

Id say in the right field Cambridge will offer a higher earning potential hence its more of an investment, other fields degree institution won’t affect earnings & St Andrews is probably the wiser financial move.
I want to go into academia after uni
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mnot
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I want to go into academia after uni
So you’ll need a PhD.

Go to Cambridge then, you’ll have the opportunity to network with more researchers & more potential opportunities after undergrad &/or masters.

Worth mentioning getting a fellowship in academia is very competitive (& often the pay is worse then less competitive jobs in industry).
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by mnot)
So you’ll need a PhD.

Go to Cambridge then, you’ll have the opportunity to network with more researchers & more potential opportunities after undergrad &/or masters.

Worth mentioning getting a fellowship in academia is very competitive (& often the pay is worse then less competitive jobs in industry).
Yeah i'm thinking the same. Cambridge will definitely be a good investment. Although in the first year with COVID, the networking opportunities will be less inevitably. but yeah all in all i think it will be a great investment and that the return on the money will be more likely

I know it is very competitive... my father works in it and he tells me all the time
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mnot
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Yeah i'm thinking the same. Cambridge will definitely be a good investment. Although in the first year with COVID, the networking opportunities will be less inevitably. but yeah all in all i think it will be a great investment and that the return on the money will be more likely

I know it is very competitive... my father works in it and he tells me all the time
You’ll still have the opportunity to speak to academics, from different fields. Your not going to be approaching potential supervisors for a PhD till 4th year anyway.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by mnot)
You’ll still have the opportunity to speak to academics, from different fields. Your not going to be approaching potential supervisors for a PhD till 4th year anyway.
You're right.

I appreciate your contribution mnot
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by mnot)
You’ll still have the opportunity to speak to academics, from different fields. Your not going to be approaching potential supervisors for a PhD till 4th year anyway.
When applying for a PhD, your application goes through the graduate admissions team first before being sent off to your potential supervisor. So getting to know your potential supervisor is a good thing, but it won’t make your application any more competitive than other students‘ with equally great grades from other universities.

They look for great grades, research experience and great references. All of those things you can do at other universities. In fact, it may be easier to gain a first class from St Andrews or other prestigious universities. It’s really up to you, but t Cambridge, 2nd year students don’t have exams. Their final grades are based on their final year exams, which is a gamble is you don’t have a great long term memory (yes, your knowledge not hi g you learnt in your 2nd year is assessed).

So, don’t look for prestige when applying as an undergrad. Prestige doesn’t really matter when applying to a PhD programme. See which teaching and assessment style suits you best.
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Joinedup
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Are you a UK applicant? If you'd qualify for free tuition at St Andrews why wouldn't you be able to get a tuition loan for Cambridge?

English tuition fees are expensive if you're paying with real, hard money. (not really a problem with a UK soft government loan though)

If you blow a house deposit on university fees it could be a long time till you make that money back again... as already mentioned entry level academic jobs are hard to get, not particularly well paid and quite insecure.
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Joinedup)
Are you a UK applicant? If you'd qualify for free tuition at St Andrews why wouldn't you be able to get a tuition loan for Cambridge?

English tuition fees are expensive if you're paying with real, hard money. (not really a problem with a UK soft government loan though)

If you blow a house deposit on university fees it could be a long time till you make that money back again... as already mentioned entry level academic jobs are hard to get, not particularly well paid and quite insecure.
Scottish students study for free in Scotland.

When applying for a PhD, your application goes through the graduate admissions team first before being sent off to your potential supervisor. So getting to know your potential supervisor is a good thing, but it won’t make your application any more competitive than other students‘ with equally great grades from other universities.

They look for great grades, research experience and great references. All of those things you can do at other universities. In fact, it may be easier to gain a first class from St Andrews or other prestigious universities. It’s really up to you, but t Cambridge, 2nd year students don’t have exams. Their final grades are based on their final year exams, which is a gamble is you don’t have a great long term memory (yes, your knowledge not hi g you learnt in your 2nd year is assessed).

So, don’t look for prestige when applying as an undergrad. Prestige doesn’t really matter when applying to a PhD programme. See which teaching and assessment style suits you best
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I got into both and I don't know which one to choose. I think Cambridge is a far superior degree but is it worth paying for it from my own savings that I could use in the future for a down payment on a house or something?
Going to Cambridge is an investment in itself. You will still be able to save for a house when you have graduated, whereas a Cambridge degree on your CV is forever.

Have you looked at the course content closely? Which actual degree do you prefer? That is a good indicator.
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Joinedup
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Scottish students study for free in Scotland.
Oh really :rolleyes: - the bit I was having difficulty understanding was the bit about having to spend their savings rather than get a loan.... SAAS gives non-means tested tuition loans to Scottish students studying in English universities does it not?
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Anonymous #2
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Going to Cambridge is an investment in itself. You will still be able to save for a house when you have graduated, whereas a Cambridge degree on your CV is forever.

Have you looked at the course content closely? Which actual degree do you prefer? That is a good indicator.
OPs planning to do a PhD after her undergrad. So Which uni she goes to ( Cam or St And) does not really matter since they are both great universities.

When applying for a PhD, the application goes through the graduate admissions team first before being sent off to your potential supervisor. So university prestige is irrelevant when applying to a PhD programme. OP needs to choose a uni that’s best for her.
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Oxford Mum
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Don’t forget I said that the course is a very important factor
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mnot
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(Original post by Anonymous)
OPs planning to do a PhD after her undergrad. So Which uni she goes to ( Cam or St And) does not really matter since they are both great universities.

When applying for a PhD, the application goes through the graduate admissions team first before being sent off to your potential supervisor. So university prestige is irrelevant when applying to a PhD programme. OP needs to choose a uni that’s best for her.
Cambridge has far more research opportunities then St Andrews, as well as many more direct kinks with other research groups.

Its important to note that there are areas Cambridge lacks research and it would depend in 4 years time exactly what OP wanted to do but its far more likely Cambridge offers the research in their field and probably easier to get a research internship from Cambridge (which go along way on a CV).

St Andrews is an excellent university and will provide ample opportunities for OP, but if you are asking what gives OP the best opportunity to break into academia/get a PhD, its Cambridge.

The fact the PhD goes through the PGR admissions office first isnt that big a deal imo, they tend to only filter out applicants who dont meet the minimum requirements, the supervisor will have a bigger say, and can help provide advice when applying for funding (and almost all universities recommend speaking to the supervisor before applying...).
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
Going to Cambridge is an investment in itself. You will still be able to save for a house when you have graduated, whereas a Cambridge degree on your CV is forever.

Have you looked at the course content closely? Which actual degree do you prefer? That is a good indicator.
You are right. Thank you. I prefer everything at Cambridge tbh.
(Original post by Joinedup)
Oh really :rolleyes: - the bit I was having difficulty understanding was the bit about having to spend their savings rather than get a loan.... SAAS gives non-means tested tuition loans to Scottish students studying in English universities does it not?
For St Andrews it was a scholarship not because I am Scottish.

(Original post by mnot)
Cambridge has far more research opportunities then St Andrews, as well as many more direct kinks with other research groups.

Its important to note that there are areas Cambridge lacks research and it would depend in 4 years time exactly what OP wanted to do but its far more likely Cambridge offers the research in their field and probably easier to get a research internship from Cambridge (which go along way on a CV).

St Andrews is an excellent university and will provide ample opportunities for OP, but if you are asking what gives OP the best opportunity to break into academia/get a PhD, its Cambridge.

The fact the PhD goes through the PGR admissions office first isnt that big a deal imo, they tend to only filter out applicants who dont meet the minimum requirements, the supervisor will have a bigger say, and can help provide advice when applying for funding (and almost all universities recommend speaking to the supervisor before applying...).
This is very helpful
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Anonymous #1
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Side question: at PhD level, say I have the same level of supervisor expertise but one is in St Andrews with a scholarship and the other at Cambridge but without a scholarship, which one would be more reasonable to attend?

Basically same scenario as this but at PhD level
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mnot
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Side question: at PhD level, say I have the same level of supervisor expertise but one is in St Andrews with a scholarship and the other at Cambridge but without a scholarship, which one would be more reasonable to attend?

Basically same scenario as this but at PhD level
St Andrews.
Funding ultimately is very important at PhD level...
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Voxdei
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I got into both and I don't know which one to choose. I think Cambridge is a far superior degree but is it worth paying for it from my own savings that I could use in the future for a down payment on a house or something?
Cambridge now, St Andrews if you are interested later. If not, why did Prince William want to quit in his second year (nothing to do, once the initial efervescence went). Cambridge is a dream - you would be v. silly not to go there.
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Lightning720
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(Original post by Voxdei)
Cambridge now, St Andrews if you are interested later. If not, why did Prince William want to quit in his second year (nothing to do, once the initial efervescence went). Cambridge is a dream - you would be v. silly not to go there.
I don't think anyone is silly in choosing not to go to Cambridge. It isn't for everyone.
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