The head boy with no place

Matthew Smith, 18, student
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The Independent Online

Matthew, 18, head boy at the prestigious fee-paying Brighton College, failed to get a single offer of a place, even though he applied to six universities.

He had applied to study law at Cambridge, Warwick, University College London, Durham, Nottingham and Bristol, but will now take a gap year instead.

"It was a bit difficult - especially with my friends talking about all the offers they had had," he said. "I think I was the only one that hadn't had a single offer.

"Most of them were predicted to get high grades, too, but not all of them would have got four As."

Matthew is planning to try again to get to university next year after travelling the world - and may rethink his course option. Law is notoriously one of the most difficult subjects to get into and all his choices of universities are amongst the leading higher education institutions in the country.

"A lot of people might have been annoyed or upset at what has happened but I've been a bit more philosophical about it," he said.