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As part of our continued commitment to outreach and access, Cambridge will offer some applicants the opportunity to put themselves forward for the August Reconsideration Pool. 

Eligibility criteria

The August Reconsideration Pool is open to UK domiciled applicants (who qualify for the lower 'Home' regulated fee capped by the UK government - see the fee status website for details) studying at UK schools for qualifications due to be completed in summer 2024, who applied in the 2023-24 admissions cycle, were interviewed by a Cambridge College, and whose applications were flagged as meeting one or more of our widening participation criteria (A, B, C and D below). These criteria are defined as:

A) Those who meet three or more of the following five contextual flags:

  1. Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) – measures produced by regional governments within the UK that identify relative deprivation. Areas within each region are assessed according to a series of indicators – such as income, crime, and healthcare – and then ranked against each other and placed into deciles. Students are given a flag if their home postcode indicates they live in an area that is ranked in the bottom 40% of their region by these measures.
  2. Output Area Classification (OAC2011) – a classification of areas produced by the Office of National Statistics using data from the 2011 census. Since 2014, the Cambridge Admissions Office has conducted research into how these classifications interact with underrepresentation at Cambridge and other indicators of socio-economic and educational disadvantage including household income and parental occupation. This research allows us to flag applicants whose home postcodes indicate they are resident in areas with less advantaged socio-economic characteristics and/or low progression to the University of Cambridge.
  3. Participation of Local Areas (POLAR) – a measure produced by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) which ranks areas based on the rate at which young people have historically progressed to higher education.  These ranks are then used to divide areas into quintiles.  Students are given a flag if their home postcode falls into the bottom 40% of areas ranked by this measure. 
  4. Attending a school/college for post-16 education where fewer than five students have been made an offer by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge over the past five years
  5. Attending a maintained sector school/college post-16.

B) When an applicant declares on their UCAS application that they have spent time in public care or as a looked-after child (proof of which must be received by 30 June 2024, where requested). See information for care experienced students on the UCAS website

C) When an applicant declares in My Cambridge Application that they have been eligible for government-funded Free School Meals at a UK school or college at any time in the last 6 years (proof of eligibility must be received by 30 June 2024, where requested), or data verified by UCAS indicates that an applicant has been eligible for government-funded Free School Meals in the last 6 years. See the UK government website for information on Free School Meals.

D) When an applicant declares on their UCAS application that the UK government has granted them refugee status or humanitarian protections within the UK.

Applicants who acquire UK refugee status and qualify for the lower 'Home' regulated fee capped by the UK government during the application cycle should contact to discuss their eligibility further.

Mature applicants from widening participation backgrounds will be considered on a case-by-case basis by their interviewing College and nominated for consideration in the scheme; such applicants will be notified. 

In addition to the widening participation criteria, applicants must also have achieved at least the typical Cambridge offer for the course to which they applied.

What to do if you think you might be eligible but haven’t been contacted by us

Eligibility is based on the address we have for you when decision letters are sent (January 2024). If your address changes after you receive your decision letter, your eligibility will not change.

You should contact us ( for guidance if:

  • you applied to Cambridge this year


  • you have significant extenuating circumstances and you can show that the address provided on your application does not reflect your usual living situation (for example, if you are homeless)

For more information, see Applying for Reconsideration in August 2024