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Applying to Universities with grades in hand
35

mushroom3 · 24/11/2020 18:15

DD has taken a gap year, so is applying with 2020 grades
. Should she re-apply to her previous choices (missed firm by one grade, insurance was full), or just new ones? Should she apply to places whose standard offer matches her grades or apply to those who advertise 1-2 grades higher? (particularly as if firmed grades may be one grade lower) It's a bit difficult for her to judge what to do with the unprecedented circumstance this year!

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titchy · 24/11/2020 18:48

What grades and subject?

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NotDonna · 24/11/2020 20:28

I think it very much depends on her subject, what grades she has and which universities she’s considering.

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SusannahSophia · 24/11/2020 21:11

I’d go 2-3 aspirational and 2-3 at grades achieved. Worth a punt. Did you keep an eye on whether any were in clearing?

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mushroom3 · 24/11/2020 22:56

All were in clearing (initially until CAGs were used). She got the grade required in the subject she wants to study, the dropped grade was in another subject and Russell Group Unis.

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PresentingPercy · 25/11/2020 00:18

Depends on subject. Depends on university. RG is a wide spread and includes Oxbridge and Imperial. Other lower ranking RG might be more flexible but depends on course. I might kite fly for 1 or 2 but not for any subjects at some RG universities!

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mushroom3 · 25/11/2020 09:16

Lower ranking RGs, has anyone had any experience if doing this in previous years? Should she email admissions teams of 2020 firm and insurance?

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PresentingPercy · 25/11/2020 09:42

I wouldn't. Just start again. She will be judged against this year's applications.

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DeeandraReynolds · 25/11/2020 09:46

I did this but many years ago. I spoke to universities over the phone and checked if they would be likely to take me. Then applied and got 6 unconditional offers, (obviously...I'd checked beforehand, but we don't need to tell people that- 6 unconditionals are 6 unconditionals)! I ended up going to a good uni. Like consistently top ten. It was a 'plate glass' uni, so maybe similar to your dd.

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MarchingFrogs · 25/11/2020 11:05

If the universities which she firmed and insured are still the ones she really wants to go to, then it would seem odd not to reapply, but bearing in mind that the one which she missed out on by one grade may say no again. I'm assuming that she hasn't sat the October exams in that subject to try to improve it?

Was / is it's a Russell Group university actually her main criterion, rather than course content? For some things at least by only considering RG, one would miss out on really interesting options at, say, Sussex, UEA or St Andrews.

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MarchingFrogs · 25/11/2020 12:28

In the meantime, for those with unexpected (or even planned) time on their hands between now and next September...
www.gov.uk/government/publications/package-of-support-for-students-who-have-to-defer-their-studies/package-of-support-for-students-who-have-to-defer-their-studies

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PresentingPercy · 25/11/2020 13:24

With grades in hand they are always unconditional aren't they? What other conditions could there be? 6 offers when you can apply for 5 on UCAS seems odd too. Plate glass are the new universities of the 1960s. Not the red bricks in other words. So Sussex, UEA, Essex, Kent, Lancaster, Warwick and York were the origi nal plater glass universities. Obviously a couple of these are now RG. Loads more have been added to this description as time has gone by.

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DitheringDan · 25/11/2020 14:24

DS got 6 unconditional offers, PresentingPercy. One of the unis pulled his course (because of low numbers) after offering it to him, so UCAS permitted him to make a further application.

He took an 'AAA place' (so to speak) with ABC grades in hand.

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mushroom3 · 25/11/2020 14:35

Thanks for all the responses. There was an issue with one of her CAGs and this has just been sorted out (yes it took nearly 3 months) and so she would have been highly likely to have got into her insurance if this hadn't taken so long (they may have been full with firms)!. I said RG as 4/5 of the ones she is thinking of just happen to be that, maybe red brick would have been a better description, and are ones that want similar grades to the original glass plate group (if that makes sense, it's to do with course and location than rather if they are RG or not, she did visit a wide range of universities), but she prefers major city centre locations and the course content is very similar between the universities she has looked it. She has done the dropped grade subject exams in October, but thinks her grade may stay the same with 6 months out of school ( a state school so nothing happened once the school closed about a week before lockdown) and they hadn't even finished the syllabus! Thanks Marchingfrogs for that very useful link.

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PresentingPercy · 25/11/2020 15:17

So why not apply for the Insurance for definite. She obviously liked it enough first time around. Do her grades now match up to their standard offer? If not, she must put down others where her grades do match.

It’s difficult to know what any university will do about admissions for 2021 but surely she will be judged against this round of applicants? As they don’t have them all yet, it’s a bit of an unknown for everyone, including admissions officers. I cannot see why any university would say right now that they want AAA from applicants but, DDmushroom, ABB in the bag is ok and here’s an unconditional. They might if they know AAA candidates are in short supply but might not - depending upon other applicants and deferrals. We know some universities asked for deferrals so places are already taken in some instances. Were deferrals higher than normal?

Maybe look at one aspirational choice? Then her insurance and 3 others she liked. There’s not much to lose really.

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SusannahSophia · 25/11/2020 16:51

@PresentingPercy

With grades in hand they are always unconditional aren't they? What other conditions could there be? 6 offers when you can apply for 5 on UCAS seems odd too. Plate glass are the new universities of the 1960s. Not the red bricks in other words. So Sussex, UEA, Essex, Kent, Lancaster, Warwick and York were the origi nal plater glass universities. Obviously a couple of these are now RG. Loads more have been added to this description as time has gone by.

The offers would be unconditional or rejected, if grades in hand and no plans to resit any. Also, during the merger of UCCA with PCAS, the number of choices allowed varied from 5 for a few years.
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SusannahSophia · 25/11/2020 16:52

I’d still be tempted to reapply to her favourites, even if slightly aspirational as you can make other, safer, choices.

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errorofjudgement · 25/11/2020 18:55

If she gets her form in soon with just her top choices, plus maybe one safe choice, and see what response she gets, and then add more either aspirational or realistic options later (provided she gets them all in by the Jan cut off date)

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SeasonFinale · 28/11/2020 17:42

If even had retaken a dropped grade and been awarded a higher CAG in another then the new CAG would be included as an achieved grade and the retake she would enter as achieved and then also add in as pending and her school may well be able to put a higher prediction that her achieved which might secure either a conditional or unconditional offer. However as results are out 17 December she will need to get her UCAS application if she wants the flexibility of a prediction in there otherwise whichever is higher will apply and you suggest it may be the same. I agree get an application off with the 2 choices in and a predicted grade. See what happens. After 17/12 if she has not boosted her grade add more choices with at least 2 she would like to attend based on her actual grades in hand at that point.

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LIZS · 28/11/2020 17:46

Dd did a mix, including the one she could have gone to as her Insurance but decided to take a year out instead. She is there now!

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cologne4711 · 28/11/2020 17:47

If for example had BBB in my A levels already I would apply to universities looking for ABB now with maybe two at BBB. A bird in the hand and all that.

And I read today that the lovely UK government is making EU students pay for student visas from 1 January, as well as the NHS surcharge, so I suspect EU students numbers are going to be very low. Universities might have more places to fill than we think, despite deferral so someone applying with one grade below target grades, especially with the required grade in the chosen subject is likely to get an offer in my view.

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NotDonna · 29/11/2020 09:12

@mushroom3 I’m curious to which universities are ‘low ranking RG’ please? I’m not being antagonistic or anything, I’m just interested as haven’t heard this before. Thank you.

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SusannahSophia · 29/11/2020 10:57

NotDonna I think ‘lower’ ranking is the truth of the matter. Cardiff is a bit easier to get into than Imperial for example. But it does vary by subject as well. Warwick is very highly thought of for maths but Exeter is lower, but they may be in a different order of ranking for other subjects.

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mushroom3 · 29/11/2020 12:03

[quote NotDonna]@mushroom3 I’m curious to which universities are ‘low ranking RG’ please? I’m not being antagonistic or anything, I’m just interested as haven’t heard this before. Thank you.[/quote]
Some of the RG unis are usually in the top 10 in ranking tables and require AAA*-AAA. Others are typically in the top 25 and require AAA-ABB . There are some non-RG Unis that fit into the second group too and it varies between subject. My DD is looking in the second group (The ones she likes just happen to be RG, she did visit a variety of Unis). So it's lower ranking within the RG that I meant and said, rather than low ranking .

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mushroom3 · 29/11/2020 12:09

Good idea to get it in now. She now has 4 she is planning to apply to and she will leave no 5 free to add in before 15th January, depending on what happens with the other 4!

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SusannahSophia · 29/11/2020 13:15

That’s a good idea, @mushroom3, but she may not get all her offers in by 15th Jan at this stage. Some unis are very quick, but some take weeks/months. For my DS3, he heard back from Birmingham, Southampton and Cardiff very quickly, within a couple of weeks. Nottingham a bit later and Manchester required an interview, but he got an offer the next day. This was before results, though and he put his form in late October.

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