5,000 missing applicants each year
Recent estimates state that there are 5,000 ‘missing’ students from state schools who have the grades to get into the UK’s top ten universities, but who don’t go. When narrowing down to look at students from the most disadvantaged quintile, HESA finds the number is 1,880 students per year.
The state-school grade-"penalty"
Low-income students tend to have lower acceptance rates than high or middle-income students. A government report from the U.K. in 2011 points to research that shows that there is something like a state school ‘penalty’ in the admissions process equivalent to one A-level grade. They write that ‘on average a state school student who applies to a Russell Group university would need to achieve one grade higher in their A-levels (e.g. AAB rather than ABB) to be as likely to be admitted to a Russell Group institution as an otherwise identical privately educated student.’
Missing support after acceptance
At Russell Group Universities in the U.K., students from low-income communities were 50% more likely to drop out than their peers at from high-income communities in 2010.
If you want to learn more about the problem and how we’ve interpreted it in our interventions, you can find our latest research summary here.