Oxford Colleges Pros and Cons


Oxford Colleges Pros and Cons

One of the most important aspects of the Oxford application process is choosing an Oxford College. College is where you will live, socialize, and learn, so it is very significant to consider the pros and cons of different Oxford colleges before submitting your final application. To help you select the best Oxford college for you, please read our Pros and Cons for Oxford Colleges.

Pros & Cons Oxford Colleges

Pros: Tutorial system allows for more individualized learning, where you can constantly work within your own zone of proximal development. A wealth of history and culture. College system is a bit like a small boarding school, giving an extra venue for belonging, meeting others, sharing experiences, eating together, etc.

Cons: Despite attempts to broaden access, there is sometimes still an elitist atmosphere amongst some factions of some colleges. If you’ve not had exposure to, and the opportunity to develop confidence in, living away from home, or going to certain events (like the ‘matriculation’ when you join) in fancy formal clothes, or self-directed study (finding the various different libraries), it may be off-putting or feel like being thrown in the deep end. (Those who went to boarding schools may find some of these things easier.)

As against those cons: possibly, they are struggles well worth overcoming!

There will after all be far more important struggles to be confronted in the future in any life worth living, and it’s good to have testing opportunities to help gradually cultivate a long-suffering inner assurance that anxiety-provoking situations can be survived and overcome.

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They’re all just a bunch of other kids just like you after all (and they, too, apart from the insufferable narcissists, basically all have the same imposter syndrome as you do…)

The Oxford College Application Process

You specify your quality of Oxford college when you make your UCAS application. However, contrary to common belief, your choice of college does not affect your chances of getting into Oxford. 

It’s true there are different Oxford college acceptance rates—Christ Church and Brasenose are amongst the most oversubscribed Oxford colleges, while St. Hilda’s, for instance, is one of the most under subscribed. That doesn’t mean that St. Hilda’s is the easiest Oxford college to get into, though. 

Oxford has a system it calls ‘pooling’. Of course, places at one college fill up, but the admissions still think that you are a strong candidate, they will send your application to other colleges to consider. This can happen before or after the interview process. In fact, 34% of successful applicants in 2022 received an offer from a college that they didn’t put on their UCAS application.

You can’t hack the Oxford application process by applying to a college with a higher acceptance rate. Instead, choose an Oxford college based on what works for you. 

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