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Is 16K extra tuition worth it (as an international student)

For physics, Oxford charges £44240 in tuition fees, while my other offers are about 30% lower (St Andrews is £28190, Warwick is £29830, Southampton is £20340). Let's say I can fund myself with loans. Do you think Oxford provides a lot more opportunities and stuff so that an extra ~£16K per year is a better investment than going somewhere like St Andrews? Oxford, St Andrews and Warwick have about the same cost of living while Southampton is cheaper so I'm pretty conflicted.

Thank you!
Reply 1
As a pure monetary investment I doubt it’s worth it vs the English alternatives. St Andrews should be close to a wash in cost due the 4 years duration vs 3 years at Oxford so in that comparison Oxford likely have a slight better ROI unless you plan to skip the 1st year at St Andrews.

I’m speaking as a parent of an international applicant. Personally I’ve gone through around 10 interviews in my carrier for things as promotions, expatriate positions, change of teams etc. and my university choice has generally played a rather insignificant role. The same can be said about new hires I’ve interviewed. The degree matters as a baseline and an MIT, Harvard or similar does grab some attention here in the US and does act as somewhat of an insurance to backup certain aspects when there are doubts. Overall though it’s not all that important compared to work experience when you apply for the really high paying positions in my line of work (tech).

My daughter is an Oxford applicant this year and I’ll be supporting the cost but not because I think it will pay off in her future pay. It’s because of the experience she’ll have while being there, she has always been a self-driven academic who loves studying and I’m confident she will absolutely thrive at Oxford if she is admitted. The atmosphere and history of the place combined with the world class teaching and access to study materials etc. will be such an inspiration and motivation should she be accepted.
Original post by Tc_33
For physics, Oxford charges £44240 in tuition fees, while my other offers are about 30% lower (St Andrews is £28190, Warwick is £29830, Southampton is £20340). Let's say I can fund myself with loans. Do you think Oxford provides a lot more opportunities and stuff so that an extra ~£16K per year is a better investment than going somewhere like St Andrews? Oxford, St Andrews and Warwick have about the same cost of living while Southampton is cheaper so I'm pretty conflicted.

Thank you!


Presumably st andrews is an extra year of study/fees (plus “lost earnings” in the final year when you would be graduated and earning following an English university degree) and so isn’t actually any cheaper.
Original post by T3s
As a pure monetary investment I doubt it’s worth it vs the English alternatives. St Andrews should be close to a wash in cost due the 4 years duration vs 3 years at Oxford so in that comparison Oxford likely have a slight better ROI unless you plan to skip the 1st year at St Andrews.

I’m speaking as a parent of an international applicant. Personally I’ve gone through around 10 interviews in my carrier for things as promotions, expatriate positions, change of teams etc. and my university choice has generally played a rather insignificant role. The same can be said about new hires I’ve interviewed. The degree matters as a baseline and an MIT, Harvard or similar does grab some attention here in the US and does act as somewhat of an insurance to backup certain aspects when there are doubts. Overall though it’s not all that important compared to work experience when you apply for the really high paying positions in my line of work (tech).

My daughter is an Oxford applicant this year and I’ll be supporting the cost but not because I think it will pay off in her future pay. It’s because of the experience she’ll have while being there, she has always been a self-driven academic who loves studying and I’m confident she will absolutely thrive at Oxford if she is admitted. The atmosphere and history of the place combined with the world class teaching and access to study materials etc. will be such an inspiration and motivation should she be accepted.


Thank you so much for the insightful answer! I'm applying for direct entry to St Andrews (and a scholarship that they offer) so hopefully St Andrews will cost much less than Oxford. I'll keep in mind about the difference in different uni's experiences, but since I'm taking out a loan, it's probably the case that I'll be heavily leaning towards St Andrews because the ROI is better (plus 5 years at St Andrews is still 36K pounds cheaper than 4 years at Oxford at this rate!)
Original post by T3s
As a pure monetary investment I doubt it’s worth it vs the English alternatives. St Andrews should be close to a wash in cost due the 4 years duration vs 3 years at Oxford so in that comparison Oxford likely have a slight better ROI unless you plan to skip the 1st year at St Andrews.

I’m speaking as a parent of an international applicant. Personally I’ve gone through around 10 interviews in my carrier for things as promotions, expatriate positions, change of teams etc. and my university choice has generally played a rather insignificant role. The same can be said about new hires I’ve interviewed. The degree matters as a baseline and an MIT, Harvard or similar does grab some attention here in the US and does act as somewhat of an insurance to backup certain aspects when there are doubts. Overall though it’s not all that important compared to work experience when you apply for the really high paying positions in my line of work (tech).

My daughter is an Oxford applicant this year and I’ll be supporting the cost but not because I think it will pay off in her future pay. It’s because of the experience she’ll have while being there, she has always been a self-driven academic who loves studying and I’m confident she will absolutely thrive at Oxford if she is admitted. The atmosphere and history of the place combined with the world class teaching and access to study materials etc. will be such an inspiration and motivation should she be accepted.


Honestly I think it depends on OP's career goals. I'm a lawyer, and unfortunately law as an industry (especially City law) is quite prestige conscious. A good number of my interviewers (both for entry level and lateral positions) remarked on the fact that I had gone to Oxford for my undergrad and masters. Of course, I don't think it will save a candidate who is otherwise terrible, but it might tip the balance for someone who is borderline, especially earlier on in one's career.

As a former international student, I think Oxford is absolutely worth every penny (both from the pay potential and education quality perspectives), and I'm very grateful that my parents were able to financially support my education. I really enjoyed the tutorial system and just the overall intellectual stimulation and opportunities. Overall, I had a very happy and productive 4 years at university and would definitely make the same choice again.
Original post by Tc_33
For physics, Oxford charges £44240 in tuition fees, while my other offers are about 30% lower (St Andrews is £28190, Warwick is £29830, Southampton is £20340). Let's say I can fund myself with loans. Do you think Oxford provides a lot more opportunities and stuff so that an extra ~£16K per year is a better investment than going somewhere like St Andrews? Oxford, St Andrews and Warwick have about the same cost of living while Southampton is cheaper so I'm pretty conflicted.

Thank you!

Oxford is not worth it for Physics ...
Original post by Tc_33
For physics, Oxford charges £44240 in tuition fees, while my other offers are about 30% lower (St Andrews is £28190, Warwick is £29830, Southampton is £20340). Let's say I can fund myself with loans. Do you think Oxford provides a lot more opportunities and stuff so that an extra ~£16K per year is a better investment than going somewhere like St Andrews? Oxford, St Andrews and Warwick have about the same cost of living while Southampton is cheaper so I'm pretty conflicted.

Thank you!

You have to think of the cost of the place aswell - St A is sooooo expensive and there is very little support.
Reply 7
Original post by Tc_33
Thank you so much for the insightful answer! I'm applying for direct entry to St Andrews (and a scholarship that they offer) so hopefully St Andrews will cost much less than Oxford. I'll keep in mind about the difference in different uni's experiences, but since I'm taking out a loan, it's probably the case that I'll be heavily leaning towards St Andrews because the ROI is better (plus 5 years at St Andrews is still 36K pounds cheaper than 4 years at Oxford at this rate!)

I can totally understand that since my daughter is also applying to colleges as Princeton and Harvard here in the US. Those will cost me half a million dollars for an undergraduate and if she get accepted there and Oxford I prefer that she choose Oxford and might encourage it by making some of the cost a loan to her instead of a gift. I got more kids entering college in the next years and half a million a kid will be tough to recover from.
(edited 1 year ago)

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