Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Insurance Offer

Carenza as a flying buttress.
Carenza has a dilemma - there is one university which she would clearly like to put first.  No problem there – it is choosing the insurance offer which is tricky.  She has two potential fall-backs.  One of these has an excellent reputation over all, but the contact hours in her subject are legendarily poor.  On the open day, student guides were saying,

“What subject?  History?  Ooh – you’ll be having a lie-in then.”


“Well, I’d better show you the students’ union, because you’ll have plenty of time to spend in there.”

Faced with the prospect of a £9,000 debt for tuition fees over three years, selecting a subject with minimal contact hours for a happy doss is not attractive to Carenza.

So that leaves one other university, beautifully situated, with a great reputation.  Only trouble is, they offered her the same grades as her first choice.

Bravely, she rang Admissions to gauge their attitude to candidates who drop a grade. 

“I was careful not to give my name, Mum.” Clearly, post-university, the secret service beckons.

Some universities could have said right now that they wouldn’t be interested if she dropped a grade, because that is their policy – like her first choice.  No university would be able to say “We will welcome you with open arms if you drop a grade,” because they don’t know yet what the rest of the field will look like.  What she was looking for was a “depends”.  And that is exactly what they told her: “It depends on who else applies and what grades they get.”

 Anecdotally, we have a feeling that the exams are getting harder - many friends and acquaintances have been disappointed by their results.  Also, over-all, fewer are willing to take on the debt and to apply at all. 

The question is whether Carenza should bet on these two factors and choose an insurance offer that’s asking for high grades.
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