1. Student applications 

When students apply to a Sutton Trust programme, they share information with us such as their home postcode, school and their socio-economic status (see our more information on targeting below) 

We have used this data to compile our geographical views and our targeting information. 

There are some gaps in our individual student data prior to 2006. In these instances we have projected total number of beneficiaries supported based on our known programme cohort sizes. 

We have included averages of the last three cohorts for student eligibility information to ensure that the data we use is comparable across cohorts. 

2. Higher Education Access Tracker (HEAT) 

We are able to track the university destinations of Sutton Trust students who took part in a programme from 2006 onwards. 

The Higher Education Access Tracker allows us to see if students progress to university, where they go and gives some very initial employment data.  

We have collected this data for students on programmes between 2006 – 2016 and have used this tracking data to produce our information on the destinations of students e.g. % that enrol at university. 

This data will be updated each year in line with the latest release of HEAT data. 

3. External evaluations 

To ensure that our evaluations are both robust and independent, we work with external evaluation partners to assess the impact of our programmes. 

These partners include university researchers, expert evaluation organisations and consultants such as The Boston Consultancy Group. 

The statistics we have provided on our impact are taken from these external evaluation reports and vary based on the methodologies and control groups used to test our impact. 


When students apply to a Sutton Trust programme, they are assessed against five criteria to determine their eligibility for the programme. These criteria are: 

  • Eligibility for free school meals 
  • Being first generation to attend HE 
  • Attending a low performing and/or disadvantaged school 
  • Living in a disadvantaged area or an area with low university progression  
  • Achieving five or more 6s and above at GCSE 

The more of these criteria a student meets, the more likely they are to gain a place. Measuring disadvantage is not an exact science so we take into consideration a range of factors when selecting students but as an indicator, we aim to have 80% of our students meeting 3 or more of our 5 criteria in each cohort.