What data do we use?

We currently use four pieces of contextual information, where available, taken from your UCAS application form.

Your postcode

We check your home postcode that you provided against two datasets – POLAR4 Low Participation Neighbourhood (LPN) data (which looks at areas of the country with low progression into higher education) and ACORN information (a system that assigns profiles to individual UK postcodes). You meet our criteria if your postcode falls into ACORN categories 4 or 5, or POLAR4 LPN category 1. This doesn't apply if your home address is that of your boarding/residential school.

Performance of your GCSE (or equivalent) school/college

This data is collected directly from the Department for Education (England), Department of Education (Northern Ireland) and the Welsh and Scottish governments where an average is taken across three years, where available. Schools are flagged according to whether they performed above or below the national average (this average is calculated internally based on the data available as opposed to the published national average).

Performance of your A-level (or equivalent) school/college

This data is collected directly from the Department for Education (England), Department of Education (Northern Ireland) and the Welsh and Scottish governments where an average is taken across three years, where available.  Schools are flagged according to whether they performed above or below the national average (this average is calculated internally based on the data available as opposed to the published national average).

Whether you've been ‘looked after’ or ‘in care’ for more than three months

You will be asked this on your UCAS form and should answer 'yes' if you've spent time in local authority care living with foster carers, in a children's home or if you've been 'looked after' at home under a home supervision order in Scotland.

2022 cycle

From the 2022 cycle we will also be looking at whether you have refugee status based on the information you enter on your UCAS form.

Due to the comparability and availability of data, only UK applicants under the age of 21 will be flagged based on postcode and school performance information.