When Colleges are Allocated from an Open Application (Oxford)

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CluelessAmericn
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#1
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I received a notice today saying that I have been allocated three colleges (I applied for the course of PPE). They are:

1) Jesus
2) Magdalen
3) Mansfield

Why was I allocated to three, and, if Magdalen is one of the best and most competitive, why is it choice number two? I thought they allocated open applications to the colleges with the least competition. Anyone have any insight? Thank you.
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Juwel
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Perhaps because for your particular subject the colleges are relatively undersubscribed...
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CluelessAmericn
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I was told PPE at Magadalen is tough...40 applicants for 10 places last year supposedly. Anyone know how this works? And why are there two others there? Is Jesus College any good?
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llama boy
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The 2nd and 3rd choice colleges really aren't very important - those are done randomly - everyone gets them and they are more of a formality than anything, not on the basis of how many applicants they already have.

What is important is the 1st choice, and you've got yourself a college which is a) very nice and b) not too competitive.
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CluelessAmericn
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llama, thanks for writing back again. I was just feeling sort of crappy that choice number two was so much better than choice number one, and I was thinking that I missed out on an easy year to get into Magdalen for PPE since I was allocated there. However, you state that choice two and three are made randomly, which would mean that there is no reflection on the number of my applicants for my course (PPE) based on their selection for an open application. Are you sure about this? How did you know? I can't find it on the site. So Magdalen very well could have the most applicants for PPE, and it could still be chosen as my second choice for an open application?

While we are on the topic, what is the purpose of choices two and three?

Thank you llama, you are the best!
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llama boy
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(Original post by CluelessAmericn)
llama, thanks for writing back again. I was just feeling sort of crappy that choice number two was so much better than choice number one, and I was thinking that I missed out on an easy year to get into Magdalen for PPE since I was allocated there. However, you state that choice two and three are made randomly, which would mean that there is no reflection on the number of my applicants for my course (PPE) based on their selection for an open application. Are you sure about this? How did you know? I can't find it on the site. So Magdalen very well could have the most applicants for PPE, and it could still be chosen as my second choice for an open application?

While we are on the topic, what is the purpose of choices two and three?
Yes, basically. My second and third choice colleges are among the most oversubscribed - everyone gets them. If you're lucky you'll get 2nd/3rd choices that are not too competitive and then, should that college decide they don't have enough suitable applicants after they have interviewed, then they may look at their (b) or (c) list as well.

However, the vast majority of people who get accepted get into their first choice, and it is possible you could end up somewhere totally different so it really isn't a big deal.

Stats for accepted by....

1st Choice 2785
2nd Choice 256
3rd Choice 82
Other 270

But trust me, Magdalen always has about the 2nd highest apps/place ratio for PPE...this year won't be any different.
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CluelessAmericn
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Where did you apply college-wise? Also, any idea what date they make the allocations for open applicants? My letter doesn't even have a postmark date. When did you receive your envelope? I just got it today. Just curious. I probably should have chosen a college at the last second. Ever hear of anyone doing that after submitting an app? Sorry for all of the questions. Thank you again for responding.
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loftx
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(Original post by CluelessAmericn)
I was told PPE at Magadalen is tough...40 applicants for 10 places last year supposedly. Anyone know how this works? And why are there two others there? Is Jesus College any good?
40 applicats for 10 places (4:1) sounds a pretty good ratio - last year at Pembroke (a poor and not very academic college) when I was offered a place it was around 30 applicats for 4 places.
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llama boy
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(Original post by loftx)
40 applicants for 10 places (4:1) sounds a pretty good ratio - last year at Pembroke (a poor and not very academic college) when I was offered a place it was around 30 applicants for 4 places.
yeah, but e&m is much more oversubscribed than PPE.

Also, any idea what date they make the allocations for open applicants? My letter doesn't even have a postmark date. When did you receive your envelope? I just got it today. Just curious. I probably should have chosen a college at the last second. Ever hear of anyone doing that after submitting an app? Sorry for all of the questions. Thank you again for responding.
Don't think it is a wise idea to try and change it after you've been allocated. I got mine a week or two ago.
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not1
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(Original post by CluelessAmericn)
I was told PPE at Magadalen is tough...40 applicants for 10 places last year supposedly. Anyone know how this works? And why are there two others there? Is Jesus College any good?
40:10 is correct, as i was one of the 40 (and alas one of the ones rejected). its a lovely college though!
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