Admissions Helpline


Unfortunately, you have not been offered a place at Magdalen but you are under consideration at another college…

What does this mean?!!!

The snow outside was still falling thick and fast, so no post was being delivered.

I decided to phone the admissions helpline to ask what the email from Magdalen meant.

The lady on the other end of the telephone said that a college like Magdalen will only have around 8 places. If they didn’t have a place for me but felt that I was Oxford material, they would have passed my application to another college. This could have been Jesus, where I also interviewed, or an entirely different college. She said that if I was Magdalen’s number 9, it was very likely that I would have got in somewhere else, as Magdalen is one of the top colleges, so their recommendation would be very credible. She couldn't of course say anything for definite though.

There was nothing I could do but wait to see if a letter arrived…

Top Tips

  • This is known as the ‘Oxford Pooling System’ – it's likely that you won’t get into the college you applied to but a different one entirely.

  • If you’re unsure about any part of the application process, the admissions helpline is really useful and can help to put your mind at ease: http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions

  • Don’t lose hope – just because the first college doesn’t accept you, if you are told you are under consideration elsewhere, there is every chance you could still get in.

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