GCSE middle-achievers most likely to be put off by tuition fees rise

The TES is reporting new figures that suggest students who gained average results at GCSE were the most likely to be put off from applying to university because of the rising cost of tuition fees…

…The analysis is the first to link GCSE results with the likelihood of applying to university, and shows that applications from the highest-performing students remained broadly constant over the increase in fees and applications from the lowest performers actually increased. However, a slump in applications was concentrated among students who had a GCSE score of between 40 and 56 points.

For students with 56 points – roughly the equivalent of nine B grades – applications fell by 5.9 per cent in 2012 and have since levelled off, with a similar pattern for students with 48 points. Students with 40 points also experienced a drop, although subsequent increases have reversed this trend.

The GCSE points scores range from one for a G grade to eight for an A*.

The biggest increase in applications has been from students with 32 points, with 20.4 per cent of students applying for university this year, more than treble the 5.7 per cent who applied in 2006.

James Moncrieff, assistant principal at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Sixth Form College, said the increase in fees had made some students think twice about applying for university.

He suggested that schemes to widen participation in higher education among some previously under-represented groups – such as through bursary schemes – may have helped offset the effect of fees on lower-performing students…

More at: GCSE middle-achievers most likely to be put off by tuition fees rise


Interesting that applications from both high and low achievers are looking quite robust but the middle achieving group has dropped off. Is this in any way a healthy outcome in that they are perhaps asking if university is really right for them or should more be done to encourage them into higher education? Please let us know what you think in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Higher Education and Secondary.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Unless you have a specific career in mind that requires a degree, why bother incurring £40k debt when job not guaranteed?

  2. amandajaymiles

    SchoolsImprove My children, both high-achievers, were put off going to Uni because they didn’t want the burden of repaying a huge loan.

  3. fry_jezmondfry

    SchoolsImprove feel like I’ve already seen evidence of that trend in our leavers this year #expensiveeducation

  4. data_fiend

    andylutwyche SchoolsImprove What about for the love of learning? And you don’t know whether you may need a degree for a future career

Let us know what you think...