Early vs late applications to highly competitive unis

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An ony mous
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I know this has been asked before but I couldn’t find a recent thread that talks about it with reference to highly competitive unis. I’m looking at St Andrews, ICL, KCL, Durham and Southampton. I know that the ideal answer is that all applications before the Jan deadline are given equal consideration, but I wanna hear people’s arguments. I was thinking that since I’m applying to all prestigious unis except Oxbridge, I should apply late to make it clear to Imperial, for example, that they are my first choice. An official 2014 or smth admissions thread called this a myth but they didn’t give any explanation.
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hungrysalamander
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(Original post by An ony mous)
I was thinking that since I’m applying to all prestigious unis except Oxbridge, I should apply late to make it clear to Imperial, for example, that they are my first choice. An official 2014 or smth admissions thread called this a myth but they didn’t give any explanation.
This makes no sense. Universities don't know where else you applied to and they won't give offers based on who they think is most likely to accept their offer.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by An ony mous)
I know this has been asked before but I couldn’t find a recent thread that talks about it with reference to highly competitive unis. I’m looking at St Andrews, ICL, KCL, Durham and Southampton. I know that the ideal answer is that all applications before the Jan deadline are given equal consideration, but I wanna hear people’s arguments. I was thinking that since I’m applying to all prestigious unis except Oxbridge, I should apply late to make it clear to Imperial, for example, that they are my first choice. An official 2014 or smth admissions thread called this a myth but they didn’t give any explanation.
Universities have to give equal consideration to anyone who applies by the deadline. This is a commitment made to UCAS. It isnt beneficial whether you apply early or late as long as it is before the deadline. Universities dont know where someone has applied and it would be foolish ho assume everyone applying early will be Oxbridge applicants as they might not be. Universities make many times more offers than places knowing students have up to 5 choices and therefore most will reject their offers.
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artful_lounger
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As above unis are required by their contract with UCAS to consider ALL applications received before the deadline equally. Whether you applied in time for Oxbridge or not, unis cannot discriminate against your application on that basis - and unis have no way to know whether you actually applied to Oxbridge or not. Regardless if what the unis think about the timing of you application the potential legal ramifications of they showed favouritism to those who applied earlier or later before the deadline means they absolutely would not act on it anyway.
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Plagioclase
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(Original post by An ony mous)
I know this has been asked before but I couldn’t find a recent thread that talks about it with reference to highly competitive unis. I’m looking at St Andrews, ICL, KCL, Durham and Southampton. I know that the ideal answer is that all applications before the Jan deadline are given equal consideration, but I wanna hear people’s arguments. I was thinking that since I’m applying to all prestigious unis except Oxbridge, I should apply late to make it clear to Imperial, for example, that they are my first choice. An official 2014 or smth admissions thread called this a myth but they didn’t give any explanation.
I am not aware of any evidence being published to suggest that when you apply affects your likelihood of getting in. I'd apply as soon as your application is ready. There is no need to rush, but getting your application in sooner rather than later will mean that you can get on with your school work earlier without having UCAS hanging over your head.
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An ony mous
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(Original post by hungrysalamander)
This makes no sense. Universities don't know where else you applied to and they won't give offers based on who they think is most likely to accept their offer.
True, they won’t know where else I’ve applied and won’t make a decision on a whim. But if I submit my application on October 10th, it’s more likely that I’m applying to Oxbridge than if I apply on January 10th. Obviously the admission officers know that, and they also know that it’s silly to base a decision on the date of application, but they could still put the application on hold to make a more informed decision later when they have a better idea about the number of students picking them. Besides, if someone submits their application to top unis near October, they’ll be judged alongside slightly more competent applicants than if they submit it by the end of December, won’t they?
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harrysbar
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(Original post by An ony mous)
True, they won’t know where else I’ve applied and won’t make a decision on a whim. But if I submit my application on October 10th, it’s more likely that I’m applying to Oxbridge than if I apply on January 10th. Obviously the admission officers know that, and they also know that it’s silly to base a decision on the date of application, but they could still put the application on hold to make a more informed decision later when they have a better idea about the number of students picking them. Besides, if someone submits their application to top unis near October, they’ll be judged alongside slightly more competent applicants than if they submit it by the end of December, won’t they?
There is a compromise solution. If it will worry you to appy early, why not apply at the end of October instead? You're overthinking it though.
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PQ
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Oxbridge applicants can leave choices blank and add them after the deadline.

Universities are very capable of giving equal consideration to applicants. If you’re borderline and you apply early then you’ll usually be put on hold until later on when more applications have come in and a university has more idea of the quality of applications.

Some universities will wait until after the January deadline to process applications for competitive courses - although many universities aren’t anything like as selective as you seem to think. Outside medicine and health professions offer rates for even the most competitive universities are usually over 80%. If you have the right subjects for your course, a not dreadful ps and you’re within spitting distance of meeting their entry requirements then you’ll get an offer (of your choices st andrews looks like it has lower offer rates but that’s skewed by the rationing of places for Scottish students).
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An ony mous
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(Original post by PQ)
Oxbridge applicants can leave choices blank and add them after the deadline.

Universities are very capable of giving equal consideration to applicants. If you’re borderline and you apply early then you’ll usually be put on hold until later on when more applications have come in and a university has more idea of the quality of applications.

Some universities will wait until after the January deadline to process applications for competitive courses - although many universities aren’t anything like as selective as you seem to think. Outside medicine and health professions offer rates for even the most competitive universities are usually over 80%. If you have the right subjects for your course, a not dreadful ps and you’re within spitting distance of meeting their entry requirements then you’ll get an offer (of your choices st andrews looks like it has lower offer rates but that’s skewed by the rationing of places for Scottish students).
Ahh good point, thanks!
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McGinger
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Simple truth - the majority of those applying to Oxbridge won't get an offer;
Therefore they will end up at one of their other choices. And those Universities know that. So why would they bother inventing some sort of predjudice?

And, Universities do not have the time to start working out the intentions of any applicants - they get thousands of applications, they just process them. They do not waste their time trying to work out the intentions of random applicants, whenever they apply.
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smith3210
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As a parent of a child who just got a place at St Andrews last year I would recommend you apply just after the Oxbridge deadline - literally the day after. That is what my daughter did and she got an offer whilst some others at her school who applied to Oxbridge didn't get a place. That way they know that you are keen and are not applying to Oxbridge. It is also good to get it in early since, from our experience last year, all offers from St Andrews that we knew of were made by early December with none coming out in the new year. That was just our experience. I think that universities do take time considering whether the candidate would take the place they are offered, because they want to minimise their exposure to having over offered.
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swanseajack1
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(Original post by smith3210)
As a parent of a child who just got a place at St Andrews last year I would recommend you apply just after the Oxbridge deadline - literally the day after. That is what my daughter did and she got an offer whilst some others at her school who applied to Oxbridge didn't get a place. That way they know that you are keen and are not applying to Oxbridge. It is also good to get it in early since, from our experience last year, all offers from St Andrews that we knew of were made by early December with none coming out in the new year. That was just our experience. I think that universities do take time considering whether the candidate would take the place they are offered, because they want to minimise their exposure to having over offered.
Your experiences do not apply to others. How would a university know when whether your daughters university was made on or a day after the Oxbridge deadline. It really depends on university and course within that university. Every year there are students who have applied to universities pre the October deadline who are still waiting for decisions in March and April. Some universities dont look at applications until after the January deadline. Others give offers to obvious candidates and rejections to those not going to get offers and hold a group to make decisions against candidates who applied just before the deadline. It is classed as a gathered field.

There is no benefit or disadvantage to when students apply. To suggest otherwise is misleading. Universities make a commitment to UCAS to treat everyone who applies before the January deadline equally. If they did otherwise UCAS would take action.
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McGinger
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(Original post by smith3210)
As a parent of a child who just got a place at St Andrews last year I would recommend you apply just after the Oxbridge deadline - literally the day after.
. That way they know that you are keen and are not applying to Oxbridge.
It doesnt make any difference!
Unis do not have time for all this imagined stuff.
We make offers to te best and the brightest - it really IS that simple.
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