- In 2015 we received over 4,000 applications for 567 places
- The average participant met 2.45 of the four listed selection criteria
- Academic achievement is not the most important element of your application but may factor into our decisions for more popular subjects
How do we select students for the Sutton Trust Summer Schools?
The Summer Schools are very competitive and we receive far more applications than we have places available. Consequently, and in addition to our basic eligibility criteria, we use a range of contextual information to select students for our Summer Schools. These are not the same as those used by Admissions Tutors at the University, and students who do not receive a place on the Summer School should not view this as a commentary on their potential to successfully apply for a place here at Cambridge.
As part of our continuing commitment to widening participation in higher education, first priority will be given to students who are (or have been) looked after, accommodated, or in care. We then select students according to the following criteria (in order of importance):
- Are resident in areas with relatively low participation in higher education (using POLAR3, a measure used by the Higher Education Funding Council for England that identifies electoral wards with relatively low levels of progression to higher education among young people)
- Are resident in areas with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics and/or low progression to the University of Cambridge (using Output Area Classification from the Office of National Statistics)
- Whether they are currently in receipt of Free School Meals or have been at any point in the last six years
- Whether they attend a school with a below-average rate of progression to higher-tariff universities or below-average exam performance within the nation (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) that the school is based
In 2016, the majority of our 581 Summer School participants met two or more of these criteria.
In the most competitive subjects, such as Medicine, we may also take into account a student’s attainment at GCSE level (or equivalent). If this happens, we will always measure a student’s performance against the average for their school to place their achievement in the appropriate context.
What happens if I'm not selected?
Every year we have thousands of students who we think would make excellent candidates for highly-selective universities that we cannot offer a place to on our Summer Schools. It should be stressed that the selection criteria for the Summer Schools are quite different to that for entry into the University, so please do not be discouraged if you are not successful.
We would encourage anyone who wants to visit the University and get a taste of what studying here might be like, to consider booking on one of our Subject Masterclasses, College and Department Open Days, or to attend one of our Oxford and Cambridge Student Conferences. In addition, a further 1500 Summer School applicants with strong GCSE profiles are given the chance to visit the University through our Experience Cambridge initiative.