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Firm and Insurance Choices

If you are currently trying to decide between different offers, we may be able to give you some more ideas on what you might look out for in different Universities and courses. These will typically include some things you already know, but may include some things you had not thought about. We have put together a panel of people in our Department with experience of several universities, and if you tell us your situation, we'll do our best to have someone get back to you with some factors to weigh up and our impressions of what might be useful to consider. We won't make specific recommendations for you - we are only a human 'decision support system'. You have to make the final choice. And, of course, you can freely ignore the points we make. No-one is monitoring you and nothing you say will be held against you. You are in the driving seat!

I am holding offers from Warwick (AAA) and another very good university (AAA) and having visited both they are my top choices. Other places have lower offers. Presumably it is silly to put those two down as Firm and Insurance (in whatever order)? Shouldn't the insurance always be lower than the firm?

If you need a 100% guarantee that if you miss by a grade or two you will gain a place somewhere you have chosen, then go for an insurance that is offering, say, ABB. But actually, in our opinion, it is not so crazy to choose as you suggest in your question. In the current climate, with applications nationally down significantly (probably because of the fees increase), most institutions are likely to be able to accept AAB, perhaps even ABB. In the event that both Warwick and your other University filled their quotas with AAA students, you could still approach the institutions making you lower offers when the results come out.

As well as my Warwick offer, I have received an offer from another university following an interview, and my teachers are pushing me to accept that offer. However, I found the atmosphere at that interview intimidating, and I’m not sure it is the right place for me. Is it rude to turn down an offer after an interview?

It seems you are being pulled (or pushed!) in different directions. The selection process is a mutual one. It makes normal common sense to pay attention to your feelings at, and around, an interview whether it's for a job or a Uni place. It is useful to check out with others from your school about their experiences at any institution in which you are interested. Sometimes our experience can be unduly coloured by particular (perhaps untypical) individuals. You are at Uni for at least three years, so it's important to be comfortable there. There are many reasons you might turn down an offer from an excellent institution and, of course, people do. It is not rude to do so. At Warwick, we have long debated the issue of whether to interview or not, there are good reasons for and against. At present we don't, but we are very pleased to meet our applicants at our open days and admissions days. If you have not already done so, come along and talk to some of our students and staff. And if you would like to again - you are welcome to do so. See the 'Visiting' section on the page above this one.