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College Allocation FAQs

What are the differences between the colleges?
If you asked the past students from any of the colleges which one is the best, they would all tell you that it was their college! The truth is that although each of the colleges follows the same ethos and maintains the highest academic standard, United World Colleges are all unique. All UWCs offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which is accepted in the UK (and most other countries in the world) for university entry. 

Before considering which colleges you are interested in, do some research by visiting the UWC Schools & Colleges page. At your Assessment Day, you will also have the opportunity to talk to alumni from many of the different colleges.

How does the National Committee decide who to send to each college?

The decision of who to send to each college is based on a number of factors – an applicant’s interests, their personality, maturity and how they would complement the other selected students for that college.

The National Committee attempts to match successful candidates to a college that suits them, and some UWCs also have certain characteristics that they look for in students, which helps ensure the student can thrive in that environment. 

How many places are there for British students at each of the colleges?

The number of places for British students changes every year. We usually send about 50 students to United World Colleges of which approximately half go to Atlantic College, in South Wales.

Will I get to rank my selected colleges in order of my preference?

You will get the opportunity to speak individually with selections staff about your interests and motivation, and we will note any specific regional interests, family links, and other things that may be important to you. At your Assessment Day, you will select all the colleges which you would be happy to attend, and you will not be offered a place at one which you have not selected.

However, we do not ask you to rank your selected colleges in order of preference on your college choice form. Firstly, this is because we do not want you to see any place as a "second prize" or feel disappointed because you did not get your favourite college. Secondly, we know that every UWC offers an incredible experience, and you won't know exactly what it will be like until you get there. A country which does not sound particularly interesting to you when you apply may end up being your beloved second home for the rest of your life!

What if there are some colleges which I really don't want to go to? 

At the Assessment Day, you will have the opportunity to decide which colleges you would be happy to be considered for, on a form which will be counter-signed by your parents. We encourage applicants to be open-minded, and indeed many people will tick every single college! However, it is also important, to be honest about where you would be happy - for example, if you feel prepared for the challenge of attending a college far from home. You will not be sent to a college that you have not selected on your form. 

What if I only want to apply to one college? 

We encourage all of our applicants to be open to the idea of studying at any college, however, we understand that due to specific circumstances some applicants may only want to apply to one. If you are only interested in being considered for a place at Atlantic College (South Wales) you will be able to select only Atlantic College on your college choice form, and this will not affect your likelihood of gaining a place. However, we are not normally able to accommodate requests from applicants who are only interested in one specific foreign college. At the Assessment Day you will be able to select as many colleges as you would be happy to attend, and we will be available to discuss your choices with you. If you have any questions you can email

If you have personal circumstances, or specific academic or medical needs which will restrict your college options, please make sure that we know about this on or before the Assessment Day. There is space on the application form where you can provide this information. 

Can I change my mind about colleges after I have been offered a place at one? 

As the assignment of colleges involves communication between us, candidates, their parents, and the individual colleges, it is understandably an extremely complicated process. Therefore, if you are made an offer at a college that you then decide you cannot or do not wish to attend we will not be able to offer you a place at another college. This is why it is very important that you (and your parents) think carefully before selecting colleges on your Assessment Day


Exceptions may be made in cases of sudden major changes in personal circumstances (such as bereavement or serious illness). This is dependent on the availability of places and is not guaranteed.