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Open Applications at Oxford

Hello, I am a prospective student that's looking at Oxford. I am wondering whether it would be best to apply to a college specifically or have an open application instead. What would you recommend? Thanks.

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Original post by ecaelia
Hello, I am a prospective student that's looking at Oxford. I am wondering whether it would be best to apply to a college specifically or have an open application instead. What would you recommend? Thanks.


you'll end up in a pool college if u do an open application unless ur rly amazing
Reply 2
Original post by ecaelia
Hello, I am a prospective student that's looking at Oxford. I am wondering whether it would be best to apply to a college specifically or have an open application instead. What would you recommend? Thanks.


Open applications are randomly assigned to colleges that are undersubscribed in the subject that year. If you don’t have a preferred college then there’s no harm in making an open application but I’d suggest researching the colleges a little.
Original post by ecaelia
Hello, I am a prospective student that's looking at Oxford. I am wondering whether it would be best to apply to a college specifically or have an open application instead. What would you recommend? Thanks.


What a-levels are you taking? If you don’t mind me asking.
Reply 4
Original post by Bigflakes
What a-levels are you taking? If you don’t mind me asking.

Hi! I take English Lit, History and Politics.
Reply 5
Original post by RichE
Open applications are randomly assigned to colleges that are undersubscribed in the subject that year. If you don’t have a preferred college then there’s no harm in making an open application but I’d suggest researching the colleges a little.

Thank you for your help. :smile: Which colleges would you recommend I look at?
Original post by ecaelia
Hi! I take English Lit, History and Politics.


Cool, I was also thinking of applying to Oxford and have no idea about what college to choose
Reply 7
Original post by ecaelia
Thank you for your help. :smile: Which colleges would you recommend I look at?


What degree are you applying for? Not all colleges offer all degrees. Also what are you looking for in a college? Large/small. old/modern, central or not, etc.?
Original post by RichE
What degree are you applying for? Not all colleges offer all degrees. Also what are you looking for in a college? Large/small. old/modern, central or not, etc.?


Do central ones cost more?
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by CMathison
you'll end up in a pool college if u do an open application unless ur rly amazing

what do you consider a "pool college"?
Reply 10
Original post by wolves2003
what do you consider a "pool college"?

There isn't really such a thing. "Pooling" or "the pool" refers to certain aspects of the admissions system where a college, whilst strongly rating an applicant, may not have places enough to make an offer. That college necessarily rejects the applicant who goes into the "pool" and another college may then choose to make an offer to them on the basis of the first college's ratings or possibly following an extra interview.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by RichE
There isn't really such a thing. "Pooling" or "the pool" refers to certain aspects of the admissions system where a college, whilst strongly rating an applicant, may not have places enough to make an offer. That college necessarily rejects the applicant who goes into the "pool" and another college may then choose to make an offer to them on the basis of the first college's ratings or possibly following an extra interview.

a pool college is just a coloquial term for colleges, usually a bit out of town, which are comparatively undersubscribed and so end up being mainly constituted of candidates placed in the pool by other colleges. E.g Girton, Homerton, Churchill at Cambridge, as the first 2 are far away and the third is a little brutalist. If you apply with an open application you are most likely to be chosen by an undersubscribed college:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zTFudoDLeM
Original post by CMathison
a pool college is just a coloquial term for colleges, usually a bit out of town, which are comparatively undersubscribed and so end up being mainly constituted of candidates placed in the pool by other colleges. E.g Girton, Homerton, Churchill at Cambridge, as the first 2 are far away and the third is a little brutalist. If you apply with an open application you are most likely to be chosen by an undersubscribed college:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zTFudoDLeM


Yes but OP is applying to Oxford; the undergraduate colleges there are a lot more central, even the "further out" ones. I don't think there is such a discrepancy in how subscribed particular colleges are there.

Also even at Cambridge Churchill isn't a "pool college" as it's pretty heavily subscribed for a lot of subjects, especially STEM subjects...
(edited 1 year ago)
Reply 13
Original post by artful_lounger
Yes but OP is applying to Oxford; the undergraduate colleges there are a lot more central, even the "further out" ones. I don't think there is such a discrepancy in how subscribed particular colleges are there.

Also even at Cambridge Churchill isn't a "pool college" as it's pretty heavily subscribed for a lot of subjects, especially STEM subjects...

Thank you, Artful - I couldn't rate your post. And to the OP, pooling at Cambridge is very different from any pooling at Oxford. Decisions at Oxford re offers are made by the colleges as a whole in a relatively short window. In Cambridge shortlisted students are typically interviewed in one college, and may then be pooled and considered later by other colleges, which is an entirely separate stage of the admissions process.
When I was deciding on the college, I had a look at a few ‘quizzes’ you can find on the internet, here’s a link for one https://apply.oxfordsu.org/colleges/suggester/ after that I looked on the individual websites. Finally, I went round and peered through gates, trying to find the prettiest! (Perhaps a bit shallow but might as well have a nice view).
It doesn’t really matter chances wise whether you pick an open application or not, but if you do have even the slightest preference, go for it!
Hope that helps
Original post by RichE
There isn't really such a thing. "Pooling" or "the pool" refers to certain aspects of the admissions system where a college, whilst strongly rating an applicant, may not have places enough to make an offer. That college necessarily rejects the applicant who goes into the "pool" and another college may then choose to make an offer to them on the basis of the first college's ratings or possibly following an extra interview.


Yeah, I was trying to make that point..
Original post by ecaelia
Hello, I am a prospective student that's looking at Oxford. I am wondering whether it would be best to apply to a college specifically or have an open application instead. What would you recommend? Thanks.

@Oxford Mum@Reality Check@Theloniouss could you help? Thanks:smile:
Original post by _Rusty_

Thanks for the quote, @_Rusty_ - I'll leave it up to OM here, as she's got much more knowledge of Oxford matters :smile:
Original post by _Rusty_

Doing an open application doesn’t increase your chances and you may end up with a College you don’t like. I would just choose whichever college you prefer
Agree with above advice that you might as well choose a college you want to attend. Open applications don't increase your chances.

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