This page focuses on the backgrounds of UK-domiciled students who apply to Oxford, are made offers, and are admitted. The figures relate to differing levels of socio-economic advantage and progression to higher education across the UK, and are derived from the ACORN and POLAR5 demographic systems.
ACORN is a postcode-based tool that categorises the UK’s population by level of socio-economic advantage. POLAR is a similar tool that measures how likely young people are to participate in higher education based on where they live. The ACORN and POLAR systems are widely recognised measures used by the regulator to set admissions targets for universities including Oxford.
Free school meal (FSM)ˆ eligibility is a measure of household income, widely used in social policy research as an individual indicator of potential disadvantage. Verified information regarding the FSM eligibility of Oxford applicants for 2021 and 2022 cycles is provided by UCAS.
These systems are explained in more detail in Undergraduate Admissions Statistics - Notes and definitions.
The tables below show the number of applications, offers and students admitted from the two most socio-economically disadvantaged groups (ACORN categories 4 and 56) and the two groups of young people least likely to progress to higher education (POLAR quintiles 1 and 2).
In 2022, 15.5% of UK students admitted to Oxford came from the two most socioeconomically disadvantaged groups (ACORN categories 4 and 56). This is an increase of 4.2 percentage points from 2018.
Socio-economic disadvantage: UK applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted from ACORN categories 4 and 56, 2018–2022
|Applications||Offers||Students admitted||ACORN 4 and 5 Proportion of total UK students admitted7|
- In 2022, 16.6% of UK students admitted to Oxford were from the two groups with lowest progression to higher education (POLAR quintiles 1 and 2). This is an increase of 3.5 percentage points from 2018.
Areas of low progression to higher education: UK applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted from POLAR quintiles 1 and 2, 2018–2022
|Applications||Offers||Students admitted||POLAR 1 and 2 Proportion of total UK students admitted7|
ˆ UCAS defines FSM eligibility as whether the applicant is known to have been eligible for Free School Meals at any time in the 6 years prior to the census day of their final KS4 year, and is only available for English 18 and 19 year olds.
5. POLAR classification is periodically reviewed. See Undergraduate Admissions Statistics - Notes and definitions for classifications used throughout the Annual Admissions Statistical Report.
6. This data includes ACORN Category 4 – Financially Stretched (excluding Type 34 – Student flats and halls of residence) and ACORN Category 5 – Urban Adversity.
7. Excluding students whose ACORN/POLAR status is not known.
- In 2022, 7.3% of UK students admitted to Oxford were eligible for Free School Meals. This is an increase of 2 percentage points since 2021. (No FSM data is available for previous years.)
Free school meals: UK applications to Oxford, offers made and students admitted, relating to students eligible for Free school meals, 2021–2022
|Applications||Offers||Students admitted||FSM eligible proportion of students admitted†|