Eligibility Criteria

There are two steps to follow to see if you are eligible to apply for the Liverpool Scholars Programme. Please read them carefully. 

Step 1:

To be eligible to apply for the Liverpool Scholars programme, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be studying at one of the Widening Participation and Outreach partner schools or colleges in Greater Merseyside
  • Have achieved, ideally, at least five grade 9-6 (A*–B) at GCSE (or equivalent, e.g. GNVQ, BTEC certificate); if this does not include English Language and Mathematics you must have achieved at least a grade 4 (C) in these subjects1
  • Be a ‘Home’ (UK) registered student or expect to be by the time you apply for higher education.

If you are not a ‘Home’ registered student, but are classed as an asylum seeker or have a similar temporary status, please below for further information.4

Step 2:

Students must also meet at least TWO of the following criteria:

  • Live in a neighbourhood which has a low progression rate to higher education or an area which has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation. This is defined by home postcode2
  • Come from a home where neither parent attended university in the UK or abroad. (If one or more parent is currently studying their first degree, or graduated from their first degree within the last five years, an application will be considered eligible for this criteria)
  • Be in receipt of or entitled to discretionary payments/16-19 bursary/Pupil Premium at school/college
  • Be in receipt of or entitled to free school meals, or have been entitled to them at a point in the last six years.

Or alternatively meet the following:

  • Be living in, or have lived in, local authority care, be a young carer, or be estranged/ living independently from your family3

Please see below for further information about eligibility criteria and definitions.

Extenuating circumstances

Applications from students not fulfilling the eligibility criteria cannot normally be considered. Please contact the Widening Participation and Outreach Team at scholars@liverpool.ac.uk to discuss individual applications further.

Postcode Checker

You can check the eligibility of your postcode before you apply. Please enter your postcode below to see if you are able to apply for the Liverpool Scholars Programme:


Important Additional Information and Definitions

1. Attainment

If you do not meet the prior attainment outlined in Step 1 or at least two of the criteria outlined in Step 2, but have experienced a period of disrupted education, your application may still be considered on an individual basis. Except in extreme circumstances, disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic will not be considered. Disruptions considered include, but are not limited to, students who:

  • are experiencing/have experienced significant family issues
  • have a disability have a health condition
  • identify under the trans umbrella5
  • are from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller communities
  • are a Refugee, a Stateless Person or under Humanitarian Protection6
  • are the children of military families.

2. Postcode

A neighbourhood with low progression rates to higher education is defined by home postcodes which are in POLAR4 quintile 1 and 2. More information on the POLAR classification can  be found at www.officeforstudents.org.uk/data-and-analysis/polar-participation-oflocal-areas/. An area which has a high level of financial, social or economic deprivation is defined by home postcodes which are in the 40% most deprived wards within the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD). For more information on IMD please see www.gov.uk/government/

3. Care Experience

Those defined as living in, or who have lived in, local authority care are those who are being looked after by their local authority, either living with foster parents/other family members such as grandparents, at home with their parents under the supervision of social services, in a residential children’s home or in another residential setting such as school or secure unit, or someone who has experienced a period of three months in the care of the local authority within the last ten years.

Those defined as young carers are those who under the age of 18 who help look after someone in their family, or a friend. There is no time limit on the amount of care they provide for their dependents, this is just above and beyond what is normally expected.

Those defined as estranged/living independently from their families are students studying without the support and approval of their parents due to a breakdown in their relationship – this might be their biological, step or adoptive parents, and sometimes their wider family members.

4. Asylum Seekers

Those who are asylum seekers or have temporary status such as discretionary leave or limited leave to remain in the UK are classed as international students and are therefore required to pay international fees for undergraduate/postgraduate courses at UK higher education providers. Asylum seekers are also not eligible for Student Finance. However, asylum seekers are able to apply for a Sanctuary Scholarship or similar funds which, if eligible, may offer support towards the costs of higher education. We would therefore welcome application enquiries from students who are eligible to apply for Sanctuary Scholarships. To make an enquiry about applying to Liverpool Scholars, asylum seekers are required to have a discussion with the Widening Participation Team before submitting an application.

5. Gender Identity

Those defined as identifying under the trans umbrella are students whose gender identity and/or expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth and includes students who live permanently or temporarily in one or more genders.

6. Refugees

Those defined as refugees are former asylum seekers who have been granted refuge in a country other than their home country. They have been able to prove that if they are returned home, they will be prosecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion. Humanitarian Protection provides international protection to individuals who do not qualify under the Refugee Convention. It covers situations where someone may be at risk of serious harm if they return to their country of origin but they are not recognised as refugees because the risk is not of persecution for a reason covered by the Refugee Convention.

A Stateless Person is a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law.