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Bradford supports UCAS initiative to encourage low-income students to apply


An image of the front of the main building at the university

The University of Bradford has welcomed new support to help the most disadvantaged students with their university admissions.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) has today (Friday 10 May) announced a new initiative that will support the progression of the most disadvantaged students to university from 2025. 

Under the plans, the £28.50 application fee for students in receipt of free school meals will be removed. This means that any student who is applying through their school or college who has received free school meals at any point in the last six years will be eligible for the UCAS application fee to be waived. 

Break down barriers 

This new initiative will apply to students who apply to University from September 2024, to start their University studies in September 2025. 

Professor Shirley Congdon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bradford, said: “We welcome the announcement from UCAS today regarding financial support towards university admissions.

“It will help to break down barriers some students might feel they have to face when applying for a university course. 

“These initiatives will also help with the University of Bradford’s commitment to social mobility, helping to ensure that everyone who studies at Bradford fulfils their potential.”

UCAS’ package of support for students from low-income backgrounds, mirrors initiatives taking place at the University of Bradford. These include the Undergraduate Bursary Scheme which supports students from low-income households. Go to for more information. 

Meanwhile, the Howard Opportunities Programme, supported by the Keith Howard Foundation, is designed to make it easier for under-represented groups to access higher education.

The programme, which starts in September 2024, offers £400 per month towards living costs for working class white males from the Bradford district. 

The University of Bradford has been ranked first in England on the Social Mobility Index (SMI) for the third year running.

The SMI ranking, produced by the Higher Education Policy Institute, is a way of ranking universities based on the impact they have on people’s social mobility.

The University was ranked top in 2021, 2022 and again in 2023.

Go to to apply for a place on the Howard Opportunities Programme.