We mainly use POLAR data from HEFCE to identify areas of low progression to higher education. The POLAR classification looks at how likely young people are to participate in higher education across the UK and shows how this varies by area. It does this by allocating local areas (wards) into five groups (quintiles), based on the proportion of 18-year-olds who enter higher education aged 18 or 19 years old.
These groups range from quintile 1 areas, with the lowest young participation rates (most disadvantaged), up to quintile 5 areas with the highest young participation rates (most advantaged).
You can use your postcode to find out which quintile you live in on the HEFCE website: http://www.hefce.ac.uk/postcode/
We are most interested in applicants who live in POLAR3 young participation quintiles 1 or 2, though if you live in an area that’s in quintiles 3, 4 or 5 that doesn’t mean your application will not be successful – it’s one of our eligibility criteria, and the more of them you meet the more likely your application is to be accepted.