Strange Situation

<p>I applied to Cambridge and was offered an interview. The problem is, it costs thousands of dollars to travel to Cambridge just for an interview. I am not sure if it is worth that much money for something that is not a sure thing, but I can't get in without it. I also applied to Harvard SCEA. My Cambridge interview is currently scheduled for the 15th of December. When are Harvard results out? I don't know if I should do the Cambridge interview or not and I need some advice. </p>

<p>Harvard results WILL be out before the 15th, that is guaranteed. According to a likely letter posted in the Harvard Applicants Thread above, decisions are due on the 11th. There could be delays, however-- hence why Harvard only states ‘before the 15th’ on their website. Currently, speculation on this website is pointing towards the 11th or 12th.</p>

<p>EDIT: Sorry, I misread something. We actually don’t have the ‘by the 15th guarantee’ – Harvard only states ‘by mid-December’ on their site. I conflated the recommended RD application date with the EA decision date.</p>

<p>An interview at Cambridge is rarely awarded, if I were you, I would go. The reality is, though, that you should only go to the Cambridge interview if you would seriously be interested in getting accepted and going there.</p>

<p>Would it be possible you think to wait for Harvard results and based on them go or not go to the interview? As in, buy a plane ticket and if on the 11/12th I get accepted then cancel the flight and if I get deferred/rejected do the interview? </p>

<p>Generally, canceling a flight costs money (at least, they don’t fully refund your money).
Also, don’t you have to accept your interview offer beforehand?</p>

<p>Lastly, what if the decisions are delayed? They could come out on the 15th.</p>

<p>I wouldn’t take risks if I were you, not with an opportunity as incredible as Cambridge. But, of course, the final decision comes down to your preferences and financial situation.</p>

<p>I am confused. I thought Cambridge regularly offered Skype interviews to applicants outside of Great Britain. That’s certainly been the case with Oxford. I would be pretty shocked if they really required you to spend “thousands of dollars” for the privilege of an interview.</p>

<p>Congrats on getting the interview offer- that is a huge deal! </p>

<p>Cambridge does do some international interviews (in Hong Kong, Canada, etc., but you have to live in those places and register to be interviewed earlier in the process) but mostly they interview onsite. Roundtrip fares from Chicago to London are running about $950 (not “thousands”). Cambridge will put you up & feed you while you are there. </p>

<p>Not to be unkind, but if the airfare for the interview is a serious obstacle Cambridge may not be a realistic option for you: although there is some aid available, you won’t get the big scholarships / merit aid that exists in US colleges, and you are not going to have much change out of $50k/year (though depending on the subject you might be out in 3 years). </p>

<p>It’s more about spending that kind of money on something that may result in nothing. How huge is a “huge deal”?</p>

<p>@JHS I asked them about Skype, but they told me they were unsatisfactory and wanted me to fly over and interview. </p>

<p>I think you need to take the long-term view on this. You cannot get into Cambridge without an interview. The odds of being accepted to Harvard are slim.</p>

<p>If money is the issue, how will that not be an issue for the next 3 years, when you have to cover tuition, living expenses, and flights? Buying a plane ticket and then cancelling will only work if you buy a full fare ticket, which is obviously much more expensive. If money is not an issue, you will always wonder what could have been.</p>

<p>It’s huge b/c Cambridge is telling you that you are a viable candidate :slight_smile: </p>

<p>tbh, though, you have a point about the level of risk. You haven’t mentioned what subject you are applying to, but many subjects / colleges have additional hoops for you to jump through at interview. And, b/c they interview a higher proportion of their students there is a higher rate of people who don’t get offers. So, you could well fly over and not get an offer.</p>

<p>But. If you don’t go, you definitely won’t get an offer/ So, go back to basics: re-read the description of the course, including the courses over the 3/4 years. Does it get you really excited? The thing about Cambridge is that it is really intense, so it’s important to really love your subject. </p>

<p>In a way, your asking the question almost answers itself.</p>

<p>Suppose you were offered places at both Harvard and Cambridge: which would take? why? </p>

<p>That’s tough. I love the supervision system at Cambridge and I obviously love my subject. My parents told me they aren’t going to pay for my flight, so I think I will buy my own ticket. </p>

<p>do your homework on the interview process- it is very different than the US. It is a cross between an oral exam and a supervision. You should expect to feel out of your depth at least some of the time: they will want to see how you think, how you approach unknown problems, how you learn in an interactive setting. There is a lot online, and don’t forget the uk website called the s t u d e n t room. </p>

<p>On top of the interview, you will also likely have to sit for a mini-exam in your subject in the afternoon – probably an hour and a half or so.</p>