Eligibility criteria

To achieve the most impact from our Widening Participation programme, we ask that schools/colleges and students meet certain criteria.

School applications

Schools must be non-selective and state funded in order to be eligible for schemes where the school applies for places.

These schemes are ACE / ACE High days, Introduction to the Social Sciences, Introduction to Pathways, Mentoring and Tutoring.

We will prioritise London state schools and colleges that meet one or more of the following:

  • Perform below the national average average (56.6%) at GCSE, based on percentage of students achieving 5A*-C including English and Maths and/or the Attainment 8 measure (below 44.6)
  • Have a high proportion (more than 35.1%) of pupils eligible for free school meals
  • Perform below the national average (32.39. points) at A level based on the points per entry measure.

We will make our final decisions based upon a rounded assessment of all relevant factors provided by the School in addition to the above. To maximise the impact of activity we ask schools to select, where possible, those students who are from backgrounds least represented in Higher Education.


Individual applications

Individual students attending a non-selective London (or area commutable to London) state school or college may apply for the Black Achievement ConferenceLSE CompassLSE CHOICE, Promoting Potential, Politics Conference and Management Taster Day.

We will prioritise students in the following groups:

  • Looked-after children, care experienced, or estranged from their family
  • With caring responsibilities for family members
  • With a disability
  • Eligible for free school meals and/or pupil premium now or in the last six years
  • Living in an area of low progression to higher education (as defined by POLAR3 quintile 1 and 2). The Office for Students has a POLAR3 postcode checker on their website.
  • With no parental experience of higher education
  • Parents/carers working in low socio-economic categories and/or on receipt of means tested benefits
  • From a Gypsy, Roma, or Traveller community
  • Forced migrants (accompanied or unaccompanied) including refuges, asylum seekers, unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), persons granted humanitarian protection and limited / discretionary leave to remain and stateless persons
  • From Acorn groups LMOPQ as determined by postcode
  • From Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) or Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) quintiles 1 or 2
  • From a socio-economic or ethnic background currently under-represented at highly selective universities such as LSE; especially Black African, Black Caribbean, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, and white working class
  • Meeting one or more criteria above and attending a school/college that is performing below the national average and/or has a high proportion of students eligible for free school meals.

We review applications holistically; while we prioritise students who meet the above criteria, we will consider all the information contained in an application when making our decisions. For this reason, we encourage applicants and schools/colleges to include any further relevant details – such as any additional information or extenuating circumstances – that they feel ought to be considered to support their application.

Some schemes have additional specific criteria such as academic requirements. Where these exist they are detailed against the individual schemes.

Applications for the Y12 Pathways to Law and Pathways to Banking and Finance cohorts are managed by the Sutton Trust.


In offering activities to any school or college we must be confident we are meeting requirements laid out under the widening participation agenda as defined and regulated by the Office for Students.

The outcome of any LSE Widening Participation scheme decision is not an indication of eligibility to, or likelihood of, receiving a place to study at LSE in the future. See more information about LSE’s undergraduate courses and applications to study at LSE.

Contact us

Email: widening.participation@lse.ac.uk
Tel: 020 7849 4907

Teachers are invited to:

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