What is Catchment Areas, ELDS and Merit List? - SCHOOLCONTENTS.info
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What is Catchment Areas, ELDS and Merit List?

Admission is given based on three factors - Ratio 45:35:20

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 35% 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.

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

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. Federal 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 - 45:35:20. 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 mentioned 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 the change of state/local government.

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  1. Good morning sir, I applied for medicine in Delsu, and I have bought the Post utme form, but I want to change the course to nursing, still desame university, but I just want to change the course only, but I have bought the Post utme form, so what do think is the solution sir.

    1. It's not advisable after the post UTME has already completed.

    2. So sir I can't change to nursing

    3. How told you that you wouldn't change to nursing?

    4. So sir, I can't change the course

    5. You can always change to any course you want - so far you have the requirements for the course.

  2. Hello. Please I got a total aggregate of 75.05 and the merit for computer engineering in Unilag is 76.025. I lost by 0.975 points. I am from Cross riveR state, I was wondering if I would get in. I'm very worried.

    1. Only if the cut-off mark for this year is not up to that. You may be luck if they reduce the cut off mark.

    2. Did you end up getting in?

  3. Would it be possible to change my course and institution to another different school(private school) if i have changed before even after completing almost a year in the previous school and I wrote jamb in 2020 so what type of procedures would I take

    1. Yes, the posts below will guide you better.



  4. So it mean that you should persevere to be on merit list if your state is not in catchment...

  5. If I have 66% out of 72% I'm still free to gain admission to unilag to study accounting

    1. If you score less than the required course, you won't be offered the admission obviously.

  6. I thought the catchment policy and ELDs policy have be abolished?

  7. Goodday sir i have a total score of 54 but the aggregate score for the course is 57 but i am under their cashment area do you think i will be offered the course?

  8. Good day sir I applied for nursing in uniben and my post utme score is 70 and aggregate is 68.63 but the cutoff is 70 and am in their cashement area do u think I would be given


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