All undergraduate admissions decisions are the responsibility of the Cambridge Colleges. Following the assessment of your application, there are two possible outcomes.
1) You're made an offer
This might be from the College you applied/were allocated to, or from a different College as a result of your application being ‘pooled’ (see below).
If you've already gained the qualifications required, you may be made an unconditional offer. If you're still studying, an offer will usually be conditional and dependent on achieving certain grades in the qualifications you're taking.
Accepting your offer
If you're offered a place, you'll be informed by the College and through UCAS.
- You must reply, observing UCAS requirements and deadlines.
- If you accept Cambridge 'firmly' you must meet the conditions of your offer by the deadline set by UCAS.
- In a few cases, offer holders who haven't quite met the conditions of their original offer may still be offered a place, either at their original College or at another College following a small 'summer pool' (see below).
Upon accepting your offer you agree to the Terms of Admission.
2) Your application is unsuccessful
With around five applications for each place, every year we have to turn down many good students whom we’d like to have taken. If your application isn’t successful, although this may be disappointing, we hope you’ll have found the process a useful experience and valuable preparation for your other university choices.
We hope the prospect of not getting a place won’t put you off applying – we can only offer places to those who apply to us!
All Colleges provide, on request, feedback on unsuccessful applicants to schools/colleges.
The Winter Pool is designed to ensure that the best applicants who have been squeezed out by the competition at their original College are offered places – Colleges would rather admit a strong applicant from the pool than a weaker applicant who applied directly/was allocated to them.
Although impressed by your application, your College may not have a place for you so may pool your application for other Colleges to consider.
Some pooled applicants may be asked to attend another interview in early January. When all pooled applications have been reviewed, you may be offered a place by a different College. If no College can offer you a place, your original College will advise you of this decision by the end of January.
Around one in five applicants is pooled and, of these, around one in four is made an offer of a place by a different College from the one they applied/were allocated to (897 for 2015 entry). For more information read our Undergraduate Guide to the Winter Pool.
In a few cases, offer holders who haven’t quite met the conditions of their original offer may still be offered a place following a small Summer Pool that takes place once examination results are released.