Am I eligible?
You must meet two or more of the following criteria:
You will be eligible if your parents/carers have not previously completed an undergraduate degree, at a university or polytechnic, either in the UK or overseas.
You are also eligible if your parents/carers have:
• started but not completed an undergraduate degree
• got a higher education certificate (HNC) or higher education diploma (HND) from a university, but not a degree
• your parents/carers completed a university degree during your secondary education
• got an Open University or similar distance learning degree
• got a work-based degree on a part-time basis
• got an undergraduate degree, but you are estranged from them, with little or no contact.
We determine which geographical areas have a low level of progression onto higher education by using your permanent home postcode (as on your UCAS application) and measuring this against data provided by the government.
Please note that this postcode checker takes you through to the Access to Leeds pages but you DO NOT need to apply to this scheme for the Gateway to Medicine programme.
When assessing household income, we follow the Student Finance England guidance to assess taxable income, for the previous financial year. The amount is based on gross taxable income, any non-taxable income or benefits are not included in the total amount.
You can demonstrate that you are eligible in one of the following ways:
• You receive the 16-19 Bursary Fund or Learner Support because your income is £25,000 or below (a referee from your school or college must confirm this). Please note that bursaries or scholarships for school fees for independent schools are not covered by this criteria.
• You are/were eligible for free school meals during GCSE studies or later (a referee from your school or college must confirm this).
• Your parent / carer can complete our Declaration of Household Income Form, if you are not in receipt of Free School Meals or the 16-19 Bursary Fund. You can download a Declaration of Household Income (only when applications are open) from the Access to Leeds webpage on how to apply. Please contact the Access to Leeds team if you are living independently without a parent or guardian.
• You can provide other evidence of your household income such as a wage slip or benefits statement.
You attended or attend a school which achieved below the national average Attainment 8 score at GCSE
We check this using results for the year you sat your GCSE exams.
You can check the attainment score for your school using School performance tables on the Department for Education website.
You will need to search for the school at which you took your GCSE exams and scroll down to find the Attainment 8 score, under the Secondary section, for the year in which you took them. Results are shown for the latest academic year. You should compare your school with the England average.
If you changed schools during your GCSEs or have completed examinations over more than one year, we can use the results from any year and school in which you sat a GCSE examination. If you completed your GCSEs in 2020 or 2021, we will use school performance data from 2019 to assess your eligibility.
Please note that independent fee-paying schools are not eligible under this criterion even if they show a lower than average Attainment 8 score.
We consider each application on an individual basis, so unfortunately we cannot provide an exhaustive list of situations that meet this criterion. However, they could include:
• caring responsibilities
• experienced a recent close family bereavement
• living independently from your parents/carers
• studies impacted by a mental or physical health condition
• other circumstances.
We are willing to consider any circumstances that your referee (a teacher or tutor) can verify as having a detrimental impact on your studies. Your referee will need to provide a brief description of the nature, timescale and impact of the disruption on your studies.
We would generally consider circumstances that have occurred from GCSE studies onwards and/or during sixth form, unless there has been a significant, ongoing impact from an earlier point.
Disruption due to COVID-19: Unfortunately, we cannot consider the general disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic under this criterion, unless you can demonstrate how the pandemic affected or continues to affect your studies in a way that is above and beyond the extent of the disruption experienced by the rest of your cohort.