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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 (previously known as Adjustment).

Eligibility criteria

The August Reconsideration Pool is open to UK domiciled applicants studying at UK schools for qualifications due to be completed in summer 2023, who applied in the 2022/23 admissions cycle, were interviewed by a Cambridge College, and whose applications were flagged as meeting our widening participation criteria. These criteria are defined as:

Those who meet three of the following five contextual flags:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Participation of Local Areas (POLAR) – a measure produced by HEFCE 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. 
  • 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
  • Attending a maintained sector school/college post-16.


  • When an applicant declares on their UCAS application that they have spent time in local authority care.


  • When an applicant declares in My Cambridge Application that they are eligible, or have been eligible during the last 6 years, for Free School Meals (proof of eligibility must be received by 30 June 2023, where requested), or data verified by UCAS indicates that an applicant is eligible, or has been eligible during the last 6 years, for Free School Meals.


  • When an applicant is Ukrainian domiciled, was placed into the Winter Pool, and has since gone on to be granted refugee status (proof of which will be required before any offer is confirmed)

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.

The process

Applicants who meet the above criteria will have been notified within the decision letter or email sent in January 2023. Applicants who do not meet the above criteria will not be considered.

Any applicant who is notified that they are eligible within their decision letter and goes on to achieve at least the typical Cambridge offer for the course to which they applied can choose to enquire about the potential for a place at Cambridge through the August Reconsideration Pool once the scheme opens in August 2023. Achieving the typical offer does not guarantee a place will be available at Cambridge. We will only consider applications for the same course as originally applied for; see the August Reconsideration Pool 2023 webpage in August 2023 for a list of courses which have places available through the August Reconsideration Pool. Eligible applications will be reviewed by all Colleges, and not just the one that conducted the interview. It is anticipated that the majority of places will be for October 2023 entry, although consideration can be given to deferred entry to October 2024.

Expressions of interest from those who meet the above criteria will initially be taken by an online registration form. Following this, the Cambridge Admissions Office will be in touch via email to confirm eligibility and next steps (in some cases, this may include a call-back from an administrator at the Cambridge Admissions Office). Applications through the August Reconsideration Pool will be considered by the Cambridge Colleges and applicants will be notified the following day. As it will be a competitive process, final awarded grades will be important, as well as performance in the application process. There will be no further interview as part of the August Reconsideration Pool.

If an offer is made through the August Reconsideration Pool, College Accommodation will be guaranteed. Those offered a place will remain eligible for the Cambridge Bursary in exactly the same way as those offered a place during the main cycle.

For further information, see August Reconsideration Pool 2023 and August Reconsideration Process FAQ.