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offers / insurance Uni places

(18 Posts)
noideawhattocallmyself Mon 27-Feb-17 10:59:54

Hi - my DD has completed her application and has had 5 offers (whoop) however, although she's made her first choice based on her favourite place, which was where she felt most comfortable when we visited and it's only just over an hour away from home (quite important consideration as she suffers from anxiety) all of her offers are identical in grades so how on earth does she choose an insurance????
Or should she just put one and rely on the assumption if she gets the grades for them she's automatically got the grades for her first choice?? She's the eldest so it's the first time any of us have been through this - any thoughts / comments welcome!

YerAWizardHarry Mon 27-Feb-17 11:02:23

If all five offers are identical then the insurance place is pretty irrelevent. Generally the insurance pick is a lower offer in case you do not get into your higher offer first choice

Bluntness100 Mon 27-Feb-17 11:06:33

Usually when applying you pick universities that have different entry requirements, that's the point of insurance. If she doesn't get the grades for her first choice, then her back up requires lower grades and as such that's why it's the insurance. It's insurance if she doesn't get the grades for her first choice, she still has a place. That's the point of it.

If she's applied to five with the exact same entry requirements then something has went wrong sorry and there is no point in a back up or insurance. The entry requirements are easily accessible so would have been known in advance. Her teachers should have advised her on how it worked and why they have first and second choices.

goodbyestranger Mon 27-Feb-17 11:06:54

All of my DC had exactly the same situation and simply put their favourite as firm and their next favourite as insurance in the hope that the insurance might accept them anyway, if theu begged sufficiently. In fact DS3 put Bristol as his insurance at A*AA which was higher than his firm choice. By that stage we were a little wiser as Durham, which was his other contender for insurance, told him in writing that (for History at least) they don't consider near misses as a matter of policy, so most of my other DC all had a void insurance even though they didn't know it. Might be worth e-mailing the insurance choice to check out their policy. Bristol on the other hand were much more ambiguous, to the point of being encouraging (and then accepted him along with his firm on results day!).

goodbyestranger Mon 27-Feb-17 11:08:52

My DC have always taken the view that they only need one offer so they all went for five places they felt they really might like to be, since they were all well in line with their predictions. Different people different approaches.

stonecircle Mon 27-Feb-17 11:10:12

You might be able to do a bit of detective work to find out which universities are most likely to relax their offer if your DD doesn't meet it on results day.

Some universities won't budge at all; some will still accept students with considerably lower grades.

Has your DD been to any offer holder days? I've been on a few and at some of them they've said not to worry if you miss a grade in one subject. Conversely the uni DS2 is at wouldn't take his friend who applied for the same course but got AAB instead of AAA. The B was a very high B as well.

DS3 has no offers lower than the one he plans to firm. However, he's going to put as his insurance the uni that we think is most likely to be flexible should he not get his results.

You may not want to say what course your DD wants to do, or which universities she has offers from, but if you do someone might be able to suggest a possible insurance.

goodbyestranger Mon 27-Feb-17 11:10:36

That was to Bluntness. It's not wrong, it's just a less timid approach.

LIZS Mon 27-Feb-17 11:14:43

Agree with checking which might be more flexible on results day. If they went to clearing last year for example, although on a very competitive course like English the offer may be changed to a related one they want to fill (possibly with scope to transfer back after 1st year).

titchy Mon 27-Feb-17 11:20:49

Agree with trying to find out which has been in clearing in the last couple of years as they'll be more likely to take her even with a dropped grade.

noideawhattocallmyself Mon 27-Feb-17 11:35:06

thanks - sorry if it wasn't clear - no cock-up just there are only 5 places that do the course she wants smile She did get lower offers than standard on one so not sure if that means they'll give a little more or if that's as low as they go!

I'll look into the clearing ones - thanks - also will check which ones also accept her AS and general studies. Thanks all

QuitMoaning Mon 27-Feb-17 11:41:49

Word of warning for those a bit confident. My son was gifted and talented, high fligher, excellent grades predicted etc and went with one that matched his predictions etc. Did put an insurance choice down because we agreed he should.
Come results day, one of his results was two grades below his official predictions and 3 levels below what he had been working at. We were shocked. Top offer withdrawn and he is at his insurance choice. He is very happy but it was a difficult few weeks after results day.

Needmoresleep Mon 27-Feb-17 11:43:32

School advice was to put down an insurance, even if grades were higher. Obviously it is more sensible to choose one with lower requirements, but better to put something down than nothing. You cannot know who will be flexible on results day. (Though obviously a bit of research might give you an educated guess.)

It is important though to only put down somewhere you would want to go to. If not you could find yourself unable to access clearing till your insurance has released you.

DD only had two offers. AAA was firm, A*AA was insurance. Luckily she had the fim, but we know of someone who got into the insurance with dropped grades.

Bluntness100 Mon 27-Feb-17 11:48:17

One of the unis at open day, in their welcome speech, told us that basically they make the conditional offers higher than the majority of students achieve. The reason is legally if the student achieves the grades they then have to give them a place, and if it was lower they would be way over subscribed. All unis do it.

On average at least half the students don't achieve the grades in the conditional offer and the uni then picks and chooses who to give a place to to hit their optimal student numbers.

My daughter was lucky in the fact many unis offer her course (law), so could look at high versus lower requirements,

However she had a situation where a lower grade Russell group offered her a non conditional offer and asked her to accept and reject all other unis, as such her a level results wouldn't have mattered, she was guaranteed a place, but she took the alternate decision and rejected the non conditional offer and went for the higher ranked uni, as she preferred it for a number of reasons, but the offer was conditional on her achieving three As at a level.

She did achieve it, but as you can imagine we had some angst from her in terms of whether it was the right decision then waiting for the results to come in. Rejecting a non conditional guaranteed place, in favour of a conditional on a level results place was a very difficult decision. Both were very good unis.

Ultimately she made the right decision, but genuinely if it had been me, I'd have taken the non conditional one.

I'd also ask her to look round the unis, they can tell if they like them, from the campus to the culture and that's really important.

TheLittlePaperbagPrincess Mon 27-Feb-17 11:52:25

Sorry if it's obvious, but are there any difference on prerequisites/compulsory subjects even though they all have the same grade expectations? E.g. number of sciences/languages etc. Tht might make a difference.

Also, having worked in the sector, different places have different attitudes to clearing. Some are fine with it, some prefer to take people who have put down that institution as a first choice e.g. So if it's down to a choice between someone with AAAAB who was offered a place based on AAAAA who has that institution as first choice and someone who has AAAAA but has that institution down as insurance choice (e.g. They narrowly miss a place that wanted AAAAAA), they'll go with the first person. It's got to do with attitude- whether someone will be happy to go somewhere or will go reluctantly/try to transfer later.

stonecircle Mon 27-Feb-17 12:00:22

Yes Princess - that rings true. DS2 was told on one offer holder day that they would be more lenient with those who firmed rather than put them as insurance.

senua Mon 27-Feb-17 12:11:59

all of her offers are identical in grades so how on earth does she choose an insurance????

They may be identical with regards to grades but they are not identical Universities. Doesn't she have some other filter: campus v. town / year-out available or not / guaranteed accommodation or not / small v. large / cost of living / support services (esp if she has anxiety) / employment or satisfaction statistics etc etc.

noideawhattocallmyself Mon 27-Feb-17 12:48:04

cool - so I think she's doing the right thing - 1st choice is the best most flexible course, it felt most comfortable and small (even though it isn't smile ) it's not too far from home and seems to be the strongest in support.
She hated 2 of the places when we went to visit; 2nd choice has said they'll accept her AS level is a different subject and general studies so it take the offer to an A and a B (from 2 A's and a B) - to be honest if she doesn't get first choice she may reconsider it all as the anxiety is a worry (How do you manage not to get anxious about your anxiety!) sigh I don't remember this being in the handbook of firstborns all those years ago - or did I just forget to read the small print smile

homebythesea Mon 27-Feb-17 12:56:22

My DS was in the same position and did not nominate an insurance choice on the basis that, on refelection, he didn't actually want to go to any of the others even if they did accept him on lower grades. He decided that if he missed his firm he would take a gap year, retake and regroup. Happily he got his grades but I understood his thinking

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