The Student Room Group
University College London, University of London
University College London
London

Is UCL full of rich kids?

I am debating whether I should study at UCL or University of Bristol. I have already accepted my unconditional offer to UCL but I might just re-apply next year and hopefully get in Bristol again. I am just worried because I feel like I won’t fit in London university that much - I am scared it will be full of rich kids and I come from a low income family so that is another negative that London is so expensive. I just feel like I would fit into Bristol university more with the people and it will also be cheaper and closer to home. I have already taken a gap year though - I am 19. So that means if I take another gap year I will be 20. I am unsure what to do.
London is definitely expensive, that can't be denied. But I did my degree and PhD at UCL and I can't say there was any sense of most people being rich kids at all, that's a more a stereotype associated with places like Oxbridge and Durham.
University College London, University of London
University College London
London
Original post by Anonymous
I am debating whether I should study at UCL or University of Bristol. I have already accepted my unconditional offer to UCL but I might just re-apply next year and hopefully get in Bristol again. I am just worried because I feel like I won’t fit in London university that much - I am scared it will be full of rich kids and I come from a low income family so that is another negative that London is so expensive. I just feel like I would fit into Bristol university more with the people and it will also be cheaper and closer to home. I have already taken a gap year though - I am 19. So that means if I take another gap year I will be 20. I am unsure what to do.


I thought that Bristol had a greater reputation for having lots of "rich kids"?
(edited 7 months ago)
Original post by Anonymous
I am debating whether I should study at UCL or University of Bristol. I have already accepted my unconditional offer to UCL but I might just re-apply next year and hopefully get in Bristol again. I am just worried because I feel like I won’t fit in London university that much - I am scared it will be full of rich kids and I come from a low income family so that is another negative that London is so expensive. I just feel like I would fit into Bristol university more with the people and it will also be cheaper and closer to home. I have already taken a gap year though - I am 19. So that means if I take another gap year I will be 20. I am unsure what to do.

Please go to UCL. It is a large uni and you will likely find your own crowd. Good luck
Reply 4
Original post by Anonymous
I am debating whether I should study at UCL or University of Bristol. I have already accepted my unconditional offer to UCL but I might just re-apply next year and hopefully get in Bristol again. I am just worried because I feel like I won’t fit in London university that much - I am scared it will be full of rich kids and I come from a low income family so that is another negative that London is so expensive. I just feel like I would fit into Bristol university more with the people and it will also be cheaper and closer to home. I have already taken a gap year though - I am 19. So that means if I take another gap year I will be 20. I am unsure what to do.

Absolutely not. I did my undergrad and masters at UCL and encountered very few of that stereotype - it's such a large university that there's a massive mix of people from all backgrounds, but this is true of any big, well-regarded uni (Bristol included).

University is not like school where year groups are comparatively small and you have to try and get on with most people because you spend so much of the day together, and will do for five+ years. In the first few weeks at uni you'll meet loads of different people, probably depending on whatever accommodation you're in and your course inductions (and yes you might encounter some snobby rich people there), but after you start joining societies and your proper lectures get underway, everyone kind of settles into their own little groups and you'll probably never see most of those original people again.

And tbh, the few "posh" people that I did encounter at UCL (privately educated, plummy accent, etc) were actually very nice! Don't get put off going somewhere because of the people you might meet; chances are it's all overblown anyway.
(edited 7 months ago)
Reply 5
We didn't get that vibe at all going to open and offer holder days, meeting the current students. My child is not rich :smile: we are a low income, single parent family. I went to Oxford and didn't experience it there either, yes rich kids were there but as said above they were mostly very very nice and I am life long friends with a fair number! You need to go where the course fit is best.
So you are considering turning down UCL and wasting yet another year because you are a reverse snob and don't want to hang out "rich kids"?
UCL has 45000 students and intake from state schools is over 60% at undergaduate level. It also has a strong programme of admissions for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Original post by ageshallnot
I thought that Bristol had a greater reputation for having lots of "rich kids"?


It does.
Reply 8
UCL gives lower income students a large non-repayable bursary of up to £3000 a year and then an extra £1000 accommodation bursary, both depend on your household income. I'm pretty sure London won't be too expensive with the bursary.
Well at any prestigious university there are the rich international students (tuition fees for them are £20-30k or even 50-60k for some stem courses), and being in London UCL has a high intake of those. Think flashy designer labels, ice latte and macbook, expensive restaurants and takeaways. But they usually just stick with each other anyway so I doubt it would make a massive difference.
And yes, there are the ex-boarding school / London private school kids who appear less flashy but also somehow seem to know everyone and have been to the right places. But actually the ones who go to UCL usually chose it for the liberal, diverse and metropolitan environment that it stands for, so from my experience they're quite down to earth and generally less stuck up than e.g. Durham, Oxbridge, St Andrews, Bath, Exeter...
Also - and this is the main thing I wanna say - most of the people you'll meet will be neither of the above, just your regular home students from all sorts of backgrounds and all over the UK - especially if you opt for the cheaper, self-catered halls for accommodation. Unlike many universities, UCL is apparently pretty good with putting in your 1st or 2nd choice!
If your heart is calling for Bristol honestly go for it, but imho it seems like a waste to turn down UCL otherwise xx
Original post by ageshallnot
I thought that Bristol had a greater reputation for having lots of "rich kids"?

Yes it does.
UCL does have a lot of rich kids it also has a lot of rich people from abroad too so the types of people at UCL are people who are at the top of their game.

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