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Cambridge college help medicine

applying this year and I'm struggling to pick a college
I've been told that applying to Newnham (as it's all girls) gives me a better chance of getting in but I would really like to go to a historical college like Emmanuel (which I do like mainly for the aesthetics)
is it possible to put a second choice down or which one is better for me to apply for?
happy to give my application stats as well
Reply 1
I know that Emmanuel ranks higher than Newnham but otherwise I'm not sure. There's some pooling systems in place but maybe you could state a preference for a second college?? (someone correct me if I'm wrong)
Also Emma has a lot more tradition while Newnham can be a bit cliquey, at least at first glance.
There's definitey pros and cons
Reply 2
I always say this: don't try to play a numbers game based on the statistics of college admissions. All the colleges are picky, and all make rejections.

The larger/more famous colleges get more applications, but the whole point of the pooling system is to ensure that capable candidates are not disadvantaged by a popular college's limited spaces.

You can only apply to one college at undergrad level, and your best bet is to make sure you pick one that you genuinely like. They are all different; some have more en suite rooms (if that's important to you), some have cheaper accommodation, some have notably better food. Really take the time to consider what's important to you (sounds like architecture might rank highly in your preferences), and select the college accordingly.

People always find this hard to believe, but there are some students who don't enjoy their time at Cambridge because they apply to a college based on the admissions stats alone, get accepted, and only realise after arriving that they'd have preferred an ensuite, or a college by the river, or closer to their faculty, or with more traditions, or whatever. And chances are they'd have got accepted to one that fit their preferences anyway, or they'd have been pooled.
(edited 7 months ago)
Ranking is irrelevant. And the pooling system ensures well qualified candidates aren't squeezed out by applying to an oversubscribed college (as long as they get interviewed).

Also the colleges that are less popular and often referred to in pejorative terms are still full members of the University maintaining the exact same standards, and the university as a whole and the colleges themselves make abundantly clear they would rather take no students in a year than admit less qualified candidates. Therefore applying to a less popular college absolutely will not increase your chance of getting an offer (and Cambridges own data anlyses support that similarly qualified applicants are similarly successful across all colleges).

There is in truth only one specific case where this might hold true which is Trinity for maths, because it is so absurdly oversubscribed for that one course at that college that applicants who would normally be a competitive applicant and be interviewed (and potentially pooled even if not made an offer by the interviewing college) are not even invited to interview simply because they can't interivew the extreme number of applicants they get for that course, relative to other colleges (despite being the largest maths cohort in the university to start with).

Outside of that example I've not seen any compelling evidence college choice will materially affect your chances of being admitted.

In any even if you're that worried about it make an open application - then you know it won't negatively affect you if that does exist as a hypothetical possibility.
(edited 7 months ago)

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