Universities Minister Jo Johnson said the figures were improving.
The charity Teach First compared official child poverty figures with university participation rates.
Mr Johnson said the government#8217;s higher education reforms aimed to ensure that universities #8220;look beyond just access #8211; and focus on attainment, retention rates and readiness for the world of work.
Figures from the Office of Fair Access to Higher Education (OFFA) show that universities in England spent £725m in 2015-16 on measures to help more disadvantaged students get into university #8211; but the report asks if the money could be spent more effectively.
#8220;Recent UCAS data shows that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to go to university than ever before, but we agree there is more to do,#8221; said Mr Johnson.