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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:41 pm 
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My DD has received a letter with an unconditional offer, but subject to her making them her firm choice?!? This follows an email last week with a conditional offer subject to the cited grades. She is very flattered! The original conditional grade offer is slightly less than she is predicted but still challenging. However in order to pursue certain strands of the course (Natural Sciences) she must still get grades that are equal to the conditional offer for Maths & Physics. So it all feels a a bit cynical - esp when it says that firming an unconditional offer with them opens up preferential treatment on accommodation.....

It is her fifth choice out of five - not that you say it on your form, and they don't know - so doubt it will come into play anyway as she already has another (conditional!) offer from somewhere she prefers.

My feeling is surely reaching your conditional grade offer should open these doors.

What do others think?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:48 pm 
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I think the unconditional offers from unis are causing problems for quite a few sixth formers. They so often seem to be from the uni that would not be their first choice. Most of those I know have stuck with the offer from their favourite Uni rather than be tempted by the unconditional offer


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:20 pm 
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Please don't let her fall for this - it means they are desperate for students!

Students often stop working and get lower grades than they should have done which causes issues when they come to apply for graduate schemes.

It is very difficult to get out of accepting an unconditional.

In my opinion they should not be allowed unless someone is applying with A level grades in the bag.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:32 pm 
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Location: Essex
DS1 received two 'unconditional if firmed' offers out of his five (Biochemistry, 2015 entry). They were from universities that he liked fairly equally - as he actually did all five, until one, Warwick, fell to a definite fifth place after their offer holders day.

In the end, he did decide to accept one of them. But if that one hadn't been a 'uc', he had decided that the other one would have been his insurance anyway.

And neither the 'flattery' nor the security of a known place prompted him to stop working for his A levels. As far as he can remember, he actually exceeded what would have been his 'Not firmed' offer.

When the HTs of prestigious schools moan about slipping down the league tables - sorry, their students ruining their lives by not working for their A levels - because of the pernicious and devious ways of certain universities, I always wonder why it is that their students are so lacking in self respect?

Guest55 is right, though, it can be difficult to extricate oneself - one thing to remember is that in the apparently rare event that one subsequently exceeds expectations, Adjustment is not an option, because unconditional means, the place is yours, however you do.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:16 am 
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Not Birmingham is it?? It would appear they have gone very much down this route this year. DS didn’t apply there but lots of his friends have, and a quick look on TSR shows a similar story. For what it’s worth, the Marling head of sixth form publicly stated he hated them and thought they should be banned.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:20 am 
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certainly several of the ones I knew were for Birmingham. One took the place offered and mother just didn't it at all, thought DD had been specially chosen. A level results were not great in the end :?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:30 am 
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The universities minister has called for an end to unconditional offers. The article below (an opinion piece) sets that opinion into context. Personally I would not advise a young person to accept a u/c offer. Too restrictive, even without the temptation to stop working. The offer of first choice accommodation should not be enough to lure you. Universities offering this (and I think Birmingham started it) will probably let you in if you drop a grade on results day anyway, as they are usually trying to fill places. If it's your first choice, firm it as first choice, conditional. That would be my advice. If it isn't your first choice, why would the idea of a u/c offer change that?


https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... nal-offers


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:32 am 
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The unconditional offer thing does seem quite common - son has had the same from his 5th choice - a fairly achievable offer (just below the "norm" for the course) which will become unconditional if he makes the institution his firm choice. It isn't Birmingham though! He is hoping not to have to take it, as he wants Medicine, but it does provide a route into Medicine. He would not be able to stop working for his A levels, even if he ended up taking this offer, as he would have to get Medicine level grades if he wanted to use this as route.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:40 am 
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The universities we have visited this year have said they won't offer unconditionals as the schools don't like it & they don't believe it does the students any good either. After all they have to live with those grades after university too. I have experience of a young person receiving an unconditional offer from their favoured university and they were not mature enough to realise that they should still try to achieve the best grades they should. Their grades on results day were way below their predictions (which is another problem for the schools).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:56 am 
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Location: Essex
Personally, I've never understood the applying to a university you know don't want to go to thing? It is not compulsory to use up all the slots on the UCAS form and if you are applying for a subject or to a university where all personal statements are read, you are just making unnecessary work for a real live human being :shock: .

DS1's unconditional if firmed offers were from Birmingham - which he did eventually take - and UEA. But he / we just saw them as 'that university's offer', not Ooh, they're telling me that I, personally, am special, I must go there. For sciences, eligibility for the offers are likely to be made on the basis of predicted grades, not the contents of the personal statement, so there is the possibility that they are more of a 'problem' for those who have had to persuade their school to predict them the grades that they need for what they want to apply for.

I'm not entirely sure how you tell a university through UCAS that you are accepting their offer of a place and are naming it as your firm choice, but not on the terms that it has made the offer, btw?

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