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Oxford college query(16 Posts)
Can anyone tell me which colleges are similar to St John's i.e. big, central, beautiful/old with a quad, high state school percentage? DS has heart set on St. John's but school is saying he needs to have others in mind too. This is for maths which all colleges offer I believe. Thanks.
Why does he need to "have others in mind" if that's where he wants to go? He can only apply to one college (although may be interviewed by and offered by another of course but there's no control over that..)!
I gather it's because there are others from his school interested in maths at St. John's and school is saying that the college is unlikely to take more than one from the school. However we've also been told that the university will take the best applicants irrespective of college preference and then allocate a college if necessary, but just trying to get an idea now of where would be similar.
Big in terms of size or people? Because there can be a mismatch.
Wadham is probably the most obvious alternative to St John's in terms of size (both measures), location, foundation, reputation, beauty etc.
I went to University College, central, lovely buildings, was a decent state school contingent back then, but that is still a pretty low percentage. Private school kids are ok, you're all in it together at Oxford,or at least that's how I felt way back in the late 80s (only 20 odd years ago, of course... <sob>)
Look at Magdalen (I'm biased). Low state school intake but looking to improve numbers. It really doesn't matter where you apply as many are exported during the process. Lots of schools try to spread out their applicants among the colleges. This is really just sensible as they won't want their students competing against each other in the initial sift.
I would say if your son's preference is St John's apply to St John's. The school will not know what they are looking for in candidates necessarily and just because they may think another boy in his class would get that place doesn't mean your DS won't or that boy will.
Go with his preference - he may be held back for somewhere else BUT he may get his first choice.
I think it is outrageous that the school has tried to discourage him in this way.
What allthebest said. The school's 'strategy' benefits the school by not having their own students compete against each other. It doesn't benefit your ds at all. Besides if he's good but St J can't offer he could well be pooled anyway.
My daughters' school also advised against 2 or more pupils applying for the same course at the same college. They said that it was difficult if one person got an offer and the other different.
I'd just go with the college your son liked best. There are loads of stats about how many people apply to what course at which college which I think make interesting reading. I don't know how to do links but google "Oxford admissions statistics" and them look up "additional information "then "college success rates".
Over the last 3 years, only 7% of those who applied to do maths at St John's were accepted by the college, but 23% were accepted by Oxford altogether. Good students who apply but don't get offers from their first choice college will still be in with a chance of an offer from another. That's what happened to my daughter - her preferred college was very oversubscribed for her course (fewer than 5 places available) and I can see from the stats that she was one of a number of students who didn't get in but were offered places at other colleges.
Our school has had two applicants get offers for the same subject at the same college (back in 2010, but that was the last time the situation arose).
Just make sure he gets his application in first!!
I did maths at St John's, but that was almost your son's entire lifetime ago.
66% of Wadham is state. Fabulous college would highly recommend. Right next to a good pub, opp library and can walk literally everywhere as it's so central.
Yes Wadham is really beautiful. But I think a PP's advice that it's best to ignore the state/ indie divide is very good advice. Just let it go. Wadham has a huge amount to recommend it independent of state school intake. I'd choose it over St John's any day. But I'm biased.
Thanks all, that's brilliant.
St John's has more high quality maths applicants than other colleges since it (uniquely?) sets much higher weighting to the MAT exam and less on interview than other colleges. If your ds is very strong on the exam (has he tried any past papers yet?), and less confident on interviews this could advantage him, otherwise he's a lot more likely to be reallocated than if he applied elsewhere, so he needs to consider if he'd prefer a higher chance of getting second choice college that isn't SJC, or if he'd prefer a slimmer chance of SJC and a higher chance of being anywhere else (with no say). If he decides he'd prefer a better chance somewhere else, big beautiful and central give lots of choice including university, new, Christ church...
Apply to St John's if that is where he wants, they will send him for interviews elsewhere if he's good but they can't offer him a place. St John's accommodation options are probably the best, and its very convenient for Maths.