Uni applications 2017 - for those whose dcs not expecting A's at A level

(59 Posts)
Stopyourhavering Tue 25-Oct-16 11:37:44

I've been following a couple of threads regarding uni applications for next year and amazed by number of applicants who are expecting A* in their A levels. while I am truly pleased for these academic high flyers ,I'd also like to put in a word for those whose dcs will over the moon to get Bs and Cs at A level and who are also applying for Uni.
I have 3 dcs (2 dds already at Uni ) and 1 ds applying for entry next year. All 3 have various degrees of dyslexia/ dyspraxia and dyscalculia and have never been academic high achievers in the true sense of the word(I've no As at A level!)....however they have worked hard to overcome their spld, ( no mean achievement at their local schools let me tell you!)
My eldest dd was told in yr 7 ( by SENCO)she would be lucky to get a few GCSEs...well she graduated last yr with a 2:1 form a Scottish ancient uni and is now doing post grad at a world top 20 uni!...now applying for international teaching jobs
Dd 2 did a BTEC at local college and is also on course to a 2:1 ,but currently applying for industrial placements for her sandwich year and is very business focused
DS although bright is one of youngest in his year and I feel ,has yet to fulfill his potential , although I am confident of his abilities and he has finally decided what he wants to study--wish he'd get his personal statement written though!--
Just felt I had to give another viewpoint on Uni applications- there's such competition these days to do well at A levels and get to top RG Unis, but I also like to reassure others that there is life outside these 'academic bubbles'and as long as your dcs are happy and confident, surely that's something to be commended....
Btw both my dh and I have more than 1 degree each ( from non RG Unis) and have done just fine in life
I'm in no way knocking the achievements of these extremely capable students, merely offering another perspective on further education ...good luck with everyone's applications

OP’s posts: |
user1471531877 Tue 25-Oct-16 12:52:33

Just to add a lot of uni s do look at contextual data and have special schemes - they recognise that these are very good grades in the context of schooling and support some children have.
I know of a number of children who were admitted to Russell group and highish league table Unis with BBB and even for some courses BBC ( talking about among others Leeds and Bristol ( special scheme ) Liverpool,York , Newcastle,Leicester, Kent Sussex , Uea )
A lot of children missed predictions following January retakes being removed and this was reflected in lower grades . Who knows what the linear results will be like.
Of course there are many other good uni s and niche courses but it is worth knowing when filling out your UCAS that a lot of uni s do drop one or even two grades in some courses - this is generally not the case for vocational degrees.

goodbyestranger Tue 25-Oct-16 14:22:10

OP I haven't seen a lot of predicted A* grades being bandied about.

I think you should also remember that getting A* doesn't infer that the student in question has no obstacles to overcome in life; life isn't that black and white. You seem a little intolerant.

roundandroundthehouses Tue 25-Oct-16 14:45:57

Good luck to anyone, on any thread smile But the reason why there are a fair few A* predictions at this stage is that the Oxbridge UCAS deadline was mid-October, so those applicants are already at the nail-biting over offers stage.

I'm on the other thread because of dd1, who is indeed predicted A*s. She also has ASD and anxiety disorder and we're just hoping that her MH/self care will be good enough for her to go to university at all. It's actually for the second reason that I'm on the applicant's support thread - her anxiety has flared up massively due to the UCAS process and she's getting very obsessive over it all.

Stopyourhavering Tue 25-Oct-16 15:01:58

Goodbye, I am in no way intolerant as you will see from my thread that I am well aware of the obstacles that many students face for a number of personal reasons.( there is a strong history of Mh issues in my family)
My point was that It appears that some seem to think that unless you get A*, go to a 'top' uni ,then you will be unable to secure employment which is not my viewpoint .
There are many ways to reach your goal and just because you do not follow the ' normal' route does not necessarily jeopardise your life chances.
My dh's career means he is often in contact with those who got straight As,top uni etc....does not make them better people or more considerate to those who have had to follow a different path due to physical or mental illness
Good luck with the application process

OP’s posts: |
voilets Tue 25-Oct-16 19:50:54

Glad to see this thread. Mumsnet can sometimes be an alpha achievement club, a little distanced from the full range of applicants that come from our schools. All with strengths in many different ways .

However, i do wonder with debt as it is if some unis offer long term financial value. I've concluded, being educated, having an educated society is good for all of us.

My ds did go to RG but i prefered a very good non RG. There are lots of good unis .and maybe a few that just offer a fair education. that is my guess anyway.

Thanks for this thread.smile

goodbyestranger Tue 25-Oct-16 21:30:22

OP you seem unable to comprehend that some A* students also have to battle against physical and or mental ill health. I have a DD who is deaf and has never, on any university or job application at all, declared that she's deaf nor had any special provision in school or exams. Very, very few people know that she's deaf outside her immediate family. She happens to have excelled nonetheless but she hasn't done it on a level playing field. I have another child with SpLD only diagnosed in the sixth form who is nonetheless predicted high grades. The world isn't divided up neatly and plenty of DC including my own are very aware that many of their peers have difficulties, regardless of whether they are high achievers or less high achieving. Emotional intelligence doesn't come either with grades or without them it's on a separate plane.


WhyRude Tue 25-Oct-16 21:44:37

Goodbye. I think you are missing the point of the thread. The OP hasn't said anything about high achievers having an easy ride. I think she was just trying to start a supportive positive thread for DC who are not A* students.

MN higher ed threads do attract posters with academic DC. It's just the way it is.

Stopyourhavering Tue 25-Oct-16 21:51:42

Woah Goodbye, I think you've got the wrong end of my point here! I'm not having a go at your dcs achievements or indeed those fortunate academic students who do indeed achieve A* , all I'm pointing out is that some dcs who do not get As at A level and don't go to top level Unis are just as likely to do well in the long term....as in the case of my dh and my dcs.....they just have a sometimes more lengthy route to get to their goal
If you were to believe all you read on mumsnet you'd think that to do well in life you have to get A* and go to RG Unis whereas I believe there are many routes to success

OP’s posts: |
goodbyestranger Tue 25-Oct-16 22:13:41

Obviously it's not personal and I didn't read it as such especially since you know nothing of my personal circumstances! I get the general point, that there's more to life and more routes to happiness and 'success' than A*s, but I think it's worth saying that not all A* students have smooth roads to their A*s and being an A* student doesn't dull the capacity for emotional intelligence.

Eve Tue 25-Oct-16 22:19:17

Thank you for this perspective! Given me reassurance for my dyslexic Ds who has far exceeded any prediction made for him and in middle of applications.

user1474361571 Wed 26-Oct-16 08:38:31

If you were to believe all you read on mumsnet you'd think that to do well in life you have to get A stars and go to RG Unis whereas I believe there are many routes to success.

I think there's an issue of balance here. I agree that MN is a bit obsessed with the very "top" tier of universities/very competitive graduate entry professions but in real life many parents/pupils don't understand that all degrees are not the same. Many disadvantaged pupils apply to their local university, regardless of its ranking, unaware that their course may well not be one that will lead them into their chosen field.

Whatever your predicted grades, you should look carefully at university courses and see what options they could lead you into. In the past having a degree put you into a minority and the subject/institution/degree class played less of a role. Nowadays I think students need to be a lot more cautious as some of the degrees they are being sold don't have much value in the job market.

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts Wed 26-Oct-16 08:52:42

Two of mine are straight A students and went to Russell Group universities. My third child is predicted Bs due to his dyslexia and it is very different this time around. He is being sensible at looking at location and course content and visiting his top choices on open days so he gets a feel for the place. We have an anxious time ahead of us as these new linear A levels bed down.

voilets Wed 26-Oct-16 18:19:25

I'm glad to see some mumsnetters with students who are not predicted As are joining the thread as that who this support thread is for.

My DS who had a statement for his SEN in school got to an RG after a gap year and two re-takes. He wasn't ready for stellar grades in year 13 but achieved them with part time study and part time work post schhol. Being late summer born- waiting a year was perfect.

Have to say he is doing well at an RG but is a top course and it is at times a struggle. Do wonder if he had gone to another good uni but not top league table course if it all would have bern smother, easier.

Have felt, do feel, i have to keep an eye on his course and keep him organised.smile

user1469682920 Thu 27-Oct-16 09:56:50

Initially welcomed this thread but I'm a bit shocked by the assumption or inference on here that if a student doesn't get A's or A stars it's because they have some form of SEN or SpLD. Not all students applying to university are A star high flyers, there are many bright students with no SEN who achieve A/B/C combinations and go to good to average Universities. They still need good academic ability and solid hard work. Bs and Cs at A level with the odd A achieved is still above average academically. Can we support and congratulate those students too.

DontBeSoStroppy Thu 27-Oct-16 10:14:47

HERE is the A-level Grade Distribution for 2016. A and A*s are lovely but they don't give them away.smile.

voilets Thu 27-Oct-16 15:55:48

Definitely, I'm sure most of us support all levels of achievement. I teach some students who achieve D's and E's who go onto useful employment , better educated than at 16.

Equally, the B and C grade students enjoy good uni courses.

Each to their own.

EllenJanethickerknickers Thu 27-Oct-16 16:13:05

Indeed, there's more than one way to skin a cat. I have a very bright DS1 who did get A*s and is in a Russell group uni, DS2 who has ASD and is in college doing a level 3 BTEC and DS3 who is NT and is somewhere in between. Probably B or C grade potential. I hope they all succeed in life in their own way, and each one is equally valued by me, at least.

They have friends who have a huge variety of qualifications and career paths, as do I. MN does tend to be populated by a higher proportion than average of more highly qualified and educated parents, but it's also a bit of a Mecca for those with DC with SN, who find areas of it very supportive. I guess there's a lack of the middle ground that can make it appear that our DC are either high achievers or have SN or indeed are both!

user1469682920 Thu 27-Oct-16 16:41:13

Fair point. That makes sense.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 27-Oct-16 16:41:51

It can sometimes feel as though MN is located in Lake Woebegone, which isn't accurate or helpful.I'm sure the other threads are meant for anyone who wants to participate (the year 13 thread isn't by any means homogenous) but obviously its great to have more specific ones too. The more support for kids and their parents the better - its what MN is for.

eatyourveg Thu 27-Oct-16 18:47:55

I started a similar thread last year not because of all the posts mentioning top grades (that wil be down to the early submission deadline for Oxbridge as mentioned upthread) but because it seemed as if it was very often the same institutions being discussed year on year and it was much harder to find any mention of the unis my dc were interested in.

See here Non RG or Ex Poly ucas applications Come out come out wherever you are

DontBeSoStroppy Thu 27-Oct-16 19:00:13

I've said this before but I wish there was more discussion of mid tariff and lower tariff Unis. They seem to vary a lot and I think if you have more middling grades then you won't go maximise the benefits of going to Uni.

I know there will be exceptions but if you go to a high ranking Uni I can't see that you will go far wrong. I don't think the same holds true of some lower tariff Uni's. You want to be certain that you are going to go to the best match Uni. IYSWIM

user1469682920 Thu 27-Oct-16 19:15:59

I agree some lower tariff Courses are excellent and some not so. I think even varies from course to course within Uni's.

JugglingFromHereToThere Wed 08-Feb-17 15:12:08

DD is predicted 3 B's and we're mainly looking at a first choice between Reading and Swansea (who have both made offers in line with her predicted grades) - which both look great! She does have an offer from Sheffield to consider too but it's high for her at AAB

There's also an interesting course in International Wildlife Biology at Uni of South Wales which we feel will be an excellent insurance choice offering BCC.

So a couple of choices could take her to South Wales which looks like a lovely part of the world. I definitely think there are many Uni's just outside the hallowed heights of RG that could provide our DC with a wonderful education, 3 years of student life, and a great spring-board into their adult lives.

We're visiting both Reading and Swansea in the next few weeks. Have been to USW already (last summer)

voilets Wed 08-Feb-17 19:17:06

Know really good reviews of Reading and Swansea. Bear in mind some of these high offer unis really do lower grades at results day but I realise you can't bank on it

I agree RG unis are not the only route. Many if not all unis turn out good students with an education ready to apply to life.

Good luck.

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