Understand Catchment Areas, Less Educated States and Merit Admission (2021/2022)

Admission is given based on three factors – Ratio 45:25:20:10


In short, you’re on this page to understand what admission on Merit, Catchment areas and Educationally Less Developed States is all about. These terms have to do with the allocation of admission spaces for prospective candidates in our universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

If you’ve been seeking admission for some years now, you could have come across these terms. Let me show you what they are if you’re just finding out for the first time.

Before some schools will admit new admission seekers, they first divide their proposed lists into what they will give on merit, catchment areas, and less educated states.

1. Merit Admission List

By merit, these are candidates whose scores meet or beat the departmental cut-off marks. Hence, such candidates can’t be limited by anything. I call this “sure admission”! This division is usually 45% of the entire admission list. This is in accordance with the JAMB and Federal Government directive.

2. Catchment Areas

For Catchment areas, some schools recognize the states where they’re situated and neighboring states under this category before other states. Hence, they consider indigenes from these states lesser marks than merit departmental cut-off marks. This division accounts for 25% of the total admission list.

3. Educationally Less Developed States 

By the Less educated states or educationally less privileged states, this is the category of applicants from states of the nation categorized as those who are not well educated and needed to be encouraged. Meanwhile, the federal government has encouraged schools to lower their requirements for the candidates from these states in order to accommodate them. This division accounts for 20% of the total admission list.

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4. NUC Vice Chancellor’s Discretion

Yearly, the head of NUC can decide the category of candidates to the rest 10% belongs. This was referred to the discretion of the Vice-Chancellor of the National Universities Commission.
Some schools strictly comply with this formula while some recognize the catchment areas and leave the less educated states unfavoured and vice versa. Let’s see the list of well-known schools and their catchment areas.
While some schools are very open about how they divide their lists among these three categories, some may not come open about it.

List of Nigerian Universities and Their Catchment Areas

  1. Ahmadu Bello University: Kaduna Adamawa, Bauchi,  Benue, Borno, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Gombe, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Nasarawa, Yobe, Zamfara, Taraba
  2. ATBU: Bauchi Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe
  3. BAYERO: Kano Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara
  4. FUTA: Ondo Ekiti, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ondo
  5. FUTMinna: Minna Niger, Benue, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Zamfara
  6. FUTO: Imo Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo, Enugu
  7. FUT Yola: Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe
  8. OAU: Osun Ekiti, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ondo
  9. UDU: Sokoto Jigawa, Kwara, Kebbi, Katsina, Kano, Kano, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Niger, Sokoto, Zamfara
  10. UNN: Enugu Abia, Anambra, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Rivers
  11. UNIBEN: Edo Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Rivers
  12. UNICAL: Cross-Rivers Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Rivers
  13. UNIJOS: Plateau Benue, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau
  14. UNILAG: Lagos Ekiti, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ogun
  15. UNILORIN: Ilorin Benue, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Plateau, Sokoto, Zamfara
  16. UNIMAID: Borno Adamawa, Borno. Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe
  17. UNIUYO: Akwa-Ibom Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross-River, Delta, Edo, Rivers
  18. UNIZIK: Anambra, Abia, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo
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      Universities that Don’t Use Catchment Areas

      Here is the list of schools that don’t reckon with catchment areas but only less privileged states

      1. University of Abuja (UNIABUJA)
      2. University of Ibadan (UI)
      3. The Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (UMUDIKE)
      4. The University of Agriculture, Makurdi (MAKURDI) 
      5. University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) 
      6. The Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
      7. Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE)

        Educationally Less Developed States

        Now, let’s see the list of states categorized as less educated or less privileged states.

          1. Adamawa, 
          2. Bauchi, 
          3. Bayelsa, 
          4. Benue, 
          5. Borno, 
          6. Cross-River, 
          7. Ebonyi 
          8. Gombe, 
          9. Jigawa, 
          10. Kaduna, 
          11. Kano, 
          12. Katsina, 
          13. Kebbi, 
          14. Kogi, 
          15. Kwara, 
          16. Nasarawa, 
          17. Niger, 
          18. Plateau, 
          19. Rivers, 
          20. Sokoto, 
          21. Taraba, 
          22. Yobe, 
          23. Zamfara.


                When a friend of yours gains admission and you think you’re cheated for being deprived, his success could have emerged from the ratio formula – 45:25:20:10. If you take a closer look, you may finally see beyond your nose.

                After taking everything else into consideration – good O’level results, UTME score, and Post UTME score, your chance to be given admission may still depend on the factors mentions above and the ratio of science, commercial, and art students to admit.

                If your total aggregate mark is perfect for your course, in any school, no one can deny you. But if limited by this, you can take advantage of these institutions that favor more catchment areas and less privileged states. In order to do this, you must have claimed any of these states during UTME registration or earlier done change of state/local government.

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