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Why would an AAB offer be changed to unconditional?

(23 Posts)
Lollylovesbones Tue 26-Apr-16 19:10:39

DS accepted his 2 preferred UCAS offers today? His first choice uni confirmed with an e mail saying his offer was now unconditional. He's obviously delighted but I wondered why they would do this - the course is well rated.

Leeds2 Tue 26-Apr-16 19:34:19

I have never heard of this, but well done to your DS! I have heard of unis saying in advance that the student would receive a reduced/unconditional offer if they confirm that uni as first choice, but never known it to come as a complete surprise.

Lollylovesbones Tue 26-Apr-16 19:41:17

Thanks Leeds - I've never heard of it either and can't help feeling it's too good to be true and there must be some kind of mistake. It would obviously take a lot of pressure off him.

Husbanddoestheironing Tue 26-Apr-16 19:46:59

This is happening more at various places now the caps on student numbers have been removed, it makes it easier to judge the uptake on courses. Nice for your son to remove the pressure a bit too, but do encourage him to do as well as he can or he may struggle in year 1 of his degree (depending on the subject) as certain previous knowledge may be expected. Also it will not look so good on his CV when he is applying for jobs before graduation if he has slipped a few grades. Hope all goes well smile

mineofuselessinformation Tue 26-Apr-16 19:47:34

Is he doing EPQ as well?
The Russell group unis tend to make unconditional offers if the general profile is good and EPQ is being done as well.

Lollylovesbones Tue 26-Apr-16 20:20:33

Husband - it may sound strange but I think he's likely to better in his exams now there is no pressure. He has been so stressed and depressed - I've recently contacted his school as I've been worried about him. This evening he was singing in the kitchen and doing little dance moves - it's like a huge load has been lifted from him.

Lollylovesbones Tue 26-Apr-16 20:23:54

mine he didn't do an EPQ but has done really well in a couple of competitions related to his subject - maybe that helped

FishWithABicycle Tue 26-Apr-16 20:30:51

It's because they make high offers because they don't want to be the "insurance choice". Now that they have a firm acceptance and your son has committed to them, they are reciprocating and committing to him.

It makes sense to me - if a student is predicted AAA but has disasterous exams and gets BBB - often the university that gave the AAB offer that was firm-accepted will be lenient - the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the student is worth that. However - they wouldn't have wanted to give an BBB offer initially as a not-quite-top-results student who really wants to study this course is very different from a student of the same ability who was trying for somewhere else, failed and is making do. The unconditional offer simply means they are confirming this policy in advance - I am sure they are confident in your DS's abilities.

An unconditional offer doesn't mean it's OK not to work so hard. It takes some of the pressure off but the original AAB offer represents the academic standard needed to navigate the next 3 years successfully.

Leeds2 Tue 26-Apr-16 22:11:16

Where will he be studying? (Please ignore if too nosey! Not meant to be.)

Curioushorse Tue 26-Apr-16 22:16:20

Yeah, it's happening loads at the moment. Many of our students have got unconditionals this year. It is linked to the removal of the cap on uni places, as PP said. It means that all the unis are a bit scared that there is potentially more competition for places, so they're trying to guarantee their own numbers with decent looking candidates.

We've had it from a range of universities. No real pattern with the standard of the uni- though there are some individual universities which seem to be doing it slightly more than others.

RandomMess Tue 26-Apr-16 22:16:37

The Sept 2016 intake is the first one where the student numbers are no longer capped. This means all the universities can take on as many students as they want.

More students = more income = greater economies of scale

So where before they wanted say to accept the 100 best students if they feel they can deliver the same course to 150 students then they make more offers/unconditional offers to fill the course up.

RandomMess Tue 26-Apr-16 22:18:06

oops cross posted with earlier threads already explaining blush

Government meddling yet again...

mineofuselessinformation Tue 26-Apr-16 22:24:43

So get celebrating with him!
But, make sure whoever he accepts he gets on with it so he stands a chance of getting uni accommodation.

Lollylovesbones Tue 26-Apr-16 22:51:32

Thanks everyone - DS just needs to do his best in his exams and then he can enjoy the summer.

PointlessFriend Wed 27-Apr-16 01:37:24

I've not heard of this either. I know there is a big rise in the number of unconditional but students usually know about them before they firm. I'd be really curious to know which uni?

That is brilliant news for him. I like the fact they changed it to unconditional after he firmed it. It means he really wanted that Uni and that course rather than being tempted by an unconditional.

Did the email say that his offer would be changed to unconditional on UCAS track?

How exciting for him. He should be able to firm up his accommodation too.

The only one drawback is if he accepts the unconditional and then does better than expected in his exams and then wishes to upgrade to a 'better' university by using the adjustment process as you aren't eligible for adjustment if you have an unconditional offer.

My DD was toying with accepting an unconditional offer but as it wasn't her first choice she declined it. When we were chatting about it she said that she knew she would work just as hard if she had an unconditional offer than if she had a conditional offer and I believed her. It would have taken all the stress away and just let her concerntrate on her exams.

PointlessFriend Wed 27-Apr-16 01:41:38


BTW Do you think it's possible that your DS was told that the offer would be changed to an unconditional if he firmed the university in question and he just missed that bit of information. Perhaps an email went missing or he just misread his offer letter?

Did his original offer letter definitely not mention it?

stareatthetvscreen Wed 27-Apr-16 02:07:08

this happened to dd last year smile

russell group uni too

i like to think its a bit of cherry picking

hayita Wed 27-Apr-16 07:31:17

The Russell group unis tend to make unconditional offers if the general profile is good and EPQ is being done as well.

This is a misleading statement - it suggests that may RG courses are making unconditional offers. Yet the majority of Russell group university courses are not making unconditional offers. Specific Russell group universities such as Birmingham are giving out a lot of unconditional offers as part of their recruitment strategy. Even for Birmingham, EPQ does not play a role for a number of subjects, particularly STEM subjects.

BTW student caps were already removed for the 2015-2016 cohort and they were effectively removed for top tier universities earlier (in allowing them to recruit as many AAB+ and then ABB+ students as they liked). Nothing has particularly changed this year, although over the next few years there will be a decrease in the number of 18 year olds, hence making universities even more keen to recruit from the shrinking pool.

FurryMint Wed 27-Apr-16 10:29:02


Did your DC know that her offer would be changed to an unconditional if she firmed the University because that's not unusual. I think what is odd about the OPs DS is that he didn't know about it before getting the confirmation email yesterday.

Orac Wed 27-Apr-16 11:23:26

The Russell group unis tend to make unconditional offers if the general profile is good and EPQ is being done as well
I don't think the EPQ has anything to do with it. DS2 had some very tempting inducements from 2 RG choices but didn't accept them as they weren't his favourite courses. He hasn't done EPQ but his grade predictions (backed up by AS results) were well in excess of the offers.

stareatthetvscreen Wed 27-Apr-16 18:22:23

i don't recall it being mentioned - we were surprised by it as we didn't hear of it happening to anyone else in our circle

whats an EPQ?

TaIkinPeace Wed 27-Apr-16 21:57:08

Birmingham stated to DD that if she firmed their offer it would go unconditional

Lollylovesbones Wed 27-Apr-16 21:57:58

furry. DS- definitely didn't have any indication prior to his acceptance that offer would be unconditional. Several of his friends who are Oxbridge/Imperial candidates were given unconditional offers (and financial inducements in some cases) from other unis when they put in their original choices but DS is not in that league. I spoke to DD today who is at a RG uni and she knows a couple of people who had similar offer changes - she's of the opinion it is to do with making sure courses are full. Anyway it's worked well for DS as this was his first choice.

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