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Understanding Open Offers

By Charlotte Avery

Firstly, a big congratulations to those who received an offer from Oxford this year!! It is a massive achievement and a huge testament to all the hard work you put into your application.

Whilst most of you would have received an offer from a set college, either the one you applied to, or another college. However, a small proportion of the offers Oxford gives out are something called an Open Offer.

An open off holder could end up at any college that teaches their subject. If another offer holder does not make their grades, then an open offer holder will be put into their place at that college. All open offer holders have their offer underwritten by one college, who will take them as a student if every student in their year makes the grades.

My Oxford offer was an open offer, underwritten by University College, where I eventually ended up. I am here to give a bit of a low-down on what to do next as an open offer holder.

1. Celebrate – despite notoriously tough entrance rates, you were awarded a place at University of Oxford!!!!

2. Do your research – look into which of these colleges you could end up at, and find something in each of them you love; each college has its own perks and a quick google will take you to the alternative prospectus for that college and give you a students’ view of life there!

3. Know that you are wanted – an open offer doesn’t mean you were a last resort, but more that Oxford feel you would fit in at any of its colleges!

Treat it as a lottery – come results day, you get to open up UCAS and find out which college you get to go to, which can actually add more excitement to the process.


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