WWYD re Firm/Insurance Manchester and Liverpool - hedging bets....help please!!

(45 Posts)
cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 16:07:08

What should ds do here?

AAA from both Manchester and Liverpool for architecture.

Pref is Manchester but knows that he can only achieve AAB (due to knowing where he stands with his Art course work to date).

Can he hold Manchester as firm and Liverpool as insurance?

Do you think that there is any chance that Manchester will take him if he gets AAB - and if they dont would Liverpool then take him if they were just insurance?

Does anyone have any insight into previous years and what grades got thru? He has heard anecdotally from a 1st year friend at Liverpool (doing Geog) that someone they know is on the arch course with ABC -- no idea how many others are on the course without AAA.

He has no insight/info on Manchester but believe it to be a much more oversubscribed course & uni?

Should he cut my losses, not take any risks - reject Manchester and firm Liverpool with this infp?

Would Liverpool be less likely to let him in on AAB if he had put them as insurance rather than as firm?

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homebythesea Mon 15-Feb-16 16:14:13

I don't think you can have both insurance and firm with the same offer can you? Did either course have places in clearing last year? That might indicate some wriggle room? The ABC person might have had a contextual offer, difficult to tell the circs. Is it worth speaking to admissions people on whether they are a bit flexible? Any chance one of his A's might be A* in the end thus "balancing out" the B?

cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 16:29:58

Yes I am unclear if you could hold two unis with the same grade offer?

I doubt he is in the zone for an A* .....

Would admissions tell you this info?

Where do you look for clearing data?

Does accepting someone who just missed their grades, holding the uni as firm count as clearing? Is clearing a process when everyone who held firm or insurances and didnt make the grades are rejected and then there are spaces which are open to others...or have I misunderstood the system?

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BeeppityBeep Mon 15-Feb-16 16:30:53

You can have your firm and insurance with the same grades.

Have you looked at the average UCAS points achieved for students on UNISATs

Unfortunately there is no way to know if they will allow students with dropped grades or not but you can sometimes get a good idea from speaking to admissions staff or course lecturers.

How is you son with stress - my last DC didn't want any uncertainty so applied for a realistic course and upgraded to a better course through the adjustment process when her results came out and she had exceeded her offers.

BeeppityBeep Mon 15-Feb-16 16:33:28

Accepting someone with a dropped grade doesn't count as clearing.

bojorojo Mon 15-Feb-16 16:43:56

Does he have an offer from anywhere with lower than AAA? Could this not be the insurance? Or has he only 2 offers? What was his realistic choice of course rather than aspirational?

If he does not get the grades and ends up wth neither, tell him to try and negotiate or look in clearing. What did clearing look like for Architecture last year? What universities ask for lower grades? I bet there are some.

You can choose both with the same grade offer but he may have nowhere to go if they are not flexible this year. I would look for a plan B or C.

BaronessEllaSaturday Mon 15-Feb-16 16:50:03

In between my dd accepting her firm/insurance and the actual results coming out her uni dropped the grades they required however another boy at the same school who applied for the same course same uni got exactly the same grades and they didn't accept him (neither quite made their original offers) I don't know why my dd was more appealing to them than her friend. I do know people in the past have got into Liverpool when they haven't quite made their offers not always the exact course they wanted but close. Can I just confirm though that it is Uni of Manchester as opposed to Man Met as both require AAA for architecture.


cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 16:57:58

Yes he does have two more offers - one AAB from Kent and another 360 points from Northumbria (still waiting to hear back from Sheffield - but this will be AAA if offered).

He doesnt want to go either of those though. He has his heart set on Manchester but would go to Liverpool if he could. Plan B would be to take a year out to do an Art Foundation and reapply to the same list hoping to get in to Manchester/Liverpool/Sheffield. He is not 18 until end of Aug so it would not be a big deal.

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cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 17:00:51

The arch course is a joint initiative with uni and met under "The Manchester School of Architecture" - same grade offer from both and you can apply thru uni or met.

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cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 17:02:52

Beep can you look up average ucas points for the specific course via unistats?

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bojorojo Mon 15-Feb-16 17:12:57

Plan B looks great. Did any of these universities want to see an art portfolio? Sometimes they look at this and are less bothered about the A level Art?

BeeppityBeep Mon 15-Feb-16 17:34:21

You can look up lots of useful info on UNISTATS. HERE including UCAS points of previous years students.

I noticed that Liverpool award twice as many firsts than Manchester.

eatyourveg Mon 15-Feb-16 17:53:36

What is the course code? I have the clearing lists going back as far as 2009 so can tell you whether Manchester, Liverpool or Sheffield have had spaces on results day.

cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 18:06:24

Boj - yes he has already submitted his portfolio to all (except Kent who did not request it) - the offers came after.

eat it is K100.....that would be really helpful.

beep will look at that link - thanks

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cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 18:21:54

beep - unistats show that they are almost identical ucas points...!

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cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 18:23:27

...Beep...which on reflection tells me he should not be influenced by the one ABC student he has heard of at Liverpool....

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homebythesea Mon 15-Feb-16 18:50:37

My understanding of results day is this:

You get grades for firm - great

You don't quite get grades for firm but they give a place anyway either automatically or as a result of pleading - great

You don't get grades for firm but you do get the grades for insurance - you go to insurance* - great

You don't get grades for insurance but you plead with them and they take you* - great

You don't get grades for firm or insurance but you find a course via clearing

* if firm and insurance want same grades then you are gambling on who is likely to be more flexible re a dropped grade. Which is why most schools will say have an insurance that is at least one grade lower than your firm.

circular Mon 15-Feb-16 19:33:31

Can he ask at the offer holders day for both, what the situation generally is on dropped grades? No guarantee for the future if course full, but at least will get a feel if a complete no-no.

According to this more than half the students last year missed offers by two or more grades.

Also depends if they stipulate what subject the higher grade must be in. Sometimes they won't budge on that, but will be more flexible on a drop in an unrelated subject.
DD kept her firm last year (RG Uni in top 20 both for her course and over all) with one of her A2's dropping to a D.

cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 19:45:43

circular - wow that is an impactful article - and yes he needs to get objective and realistic info from the horses mouth so that he can assess the situation. I wonder if they will tell you exactly - or just provide a vague, non committal response.

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cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 19:48:35

and circular I am delighted your dd hung on to her place despite the grade drop - must say a lot about her PS and ref.

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Myredcardigan Mon 15-Feb-16 19:53:05

I would advice speaking to the admissions office. Get him to call more than once and try to clarify a few things. It cannot hurt to stand out as known to them. He has nothing to lose by contacting them and coming clean re his dropped grade now before the August panic. They may look at his art portfolio and agree to dropping his offer to AAB. He has nothing to lose.

Meeep Mon 15-Feb-16 20:00:26

Nobody can tell you exactly what will happen at each uni' on results day.

They might take the AABs who firmed them, then the ABBs who firmed them, then if they still aren't full, the AABs who insuranced them.
Or they might take all the AABs, firms and insurances, then if there is space, the ABBs.

Or they might have made a little note of particular students they'd accept who drop grades and ones they wouldn't, from the portfolios.

Or they might not need to take anyone who drops below AAA!

If he would genuinely only go to Liverpool or Manchester, and doesn't want to consider anywhere else, there's no point putting another uni' as insurance. He might as well take his chances I guess.

I hope things work out. smile

eatyourveg Mon 15-Feb-16 20:17:04

Good news! Though it could mean they were being ultra strict and only taking those with spot on grades but I would see it more as a sign that they would consider a near miss

Manchester had spare places in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Liverpool 2013, 2014, 2015
Sheffield only in 2013 and 2014

cruusshed Mon 15-Feb-16 20:56:46

Myredcardigan - that is excellent advice - who specifically (ie job title) would you need to be sure to talk to - and how would you do it? Worried he would be chatting to an admin who would nt log his call....so would he be better to email?

eat that is v v helpful - thank you so much for that - do you know what grades they are taking at clearing?

Meep - they are the scenarios I had thought as well - his plan B (if he doesnt get the grades for M,L or Sh is to do an Art Foundation and reapply to these again the following year.

Is there an opportunity to communicate on results day that you have done more than is in your PS - eg for this vocational course he could do more work experience in the summer after his exams....

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Headofthehive55 Mon 15-Feb-16 21:13:06

My daughter was in a similar position but not the same course. She ended up with the same offers for both firm and insurance. She dropped a grade firm didn't take her, but insurance did.

Unfortunately she never really settled, we both think she'd have been better originally firming the second uni as she was just so disappointed on the day it spoilt the experience actually. I guess that depends on your son and how he would react to that.

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