College for Cambridge

Katie Spenceley 13 October 2007

As competition for university places rises rapidly, parents are feeling the pinch this October as they fork out thousands to get their children into Oxbridge.

With only 25 per cent of Oxbridge applicants getting a place, and 33 per cent of students getting at least one A at A-level, competition has never been stronger.

Faced with these facts it is unsurprising that parents are looking for ways to give their children that extra edge.

Companies like Oxbridge Applications have been quick to cash in, offering courses designed to help applicants. The courses range from one-day interview preparation to their £3,500 Premier Service, including interviews, application advice and academic tuition.

The website describes the courses as a way to “motivate and encourage candidates become aware of what to expect”.

But Dr Millett, Admissions Tutor at Downing, said the courses “provide no more information than coming to open days and reading all the information Cambridge puts out”. He also said that these companies only serve to “prey on people’s insecurities”.

Katie Spenceley