72 British state school students win places at top US universities in the Sutton Trust US Programme’s most successful year to date

72 British state school pupils will enrol at top US universities this summer after being admitted with generous financial aid packages. They were supported through the application process by the Sutton Trust US Programme, run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

The 72 students were from a group of 150 selected for the programme, which brings together some of the brightest and most talented UK state school pupils for an 18-month journey exploring US higher education and which supports students in applying to American universities. The programme includes a week-long trip to the United States to visit a number of universities and meet admissions officers from colleges across the country.

The students benefited from residential activities and received an intensive programme of support, delivered by the US-UK Fulbright Commission, covering admission tests, college choices and the application process. More than 1,000 people applied for the 150 places on the programme.

The aim of the Sutton Trust US Programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities. Of the 72 students enrolling this summer, more than three quarters (76%) will be among the first in their family to go to university and more than two thirds (65%) are from households with an income of less than £25,000. They will access around $19.9m in financial aid over the four years of their degrees, or an average of $276,500 per student.

The students have been accepted to 47 top universities across the USA including: Barnard College, Middlebury College, University of Chicago, Harvey Mudd College, University of Notre Dame, Denison University, Georgetown University, Bryn Mawr College, University of Richmond, Harvard College, Princeton University, and NYU Abu Dhabi. The students’ achievements were celebrated at a reception at the US Embassy in London on Thursday 21st June.

“The programme has allowed me to rediscover the infinite possibilities of the directions that I am able to take within my own life - whether it be academically, job orientated or extracurricular.

It’s changed my perspective, I do have control over what I’m able to do and achieve, and all I need to do is take the risk that comes with opportunity in order to attain any goal.”

Jordana Deighton from Sheffield will be going to Claremont McKenna College, California

"This programme has completely changed my life. I never imagined that one day I would be moving to the USA to study. The USA has always appealed to me because it has so much more to offer. Being accepted into Bryn Mawr College will allow me to explore different subjects and not just focus on one, carry out undergraduate research alongside professors and access incredible opportunities like internships at NASA.

The Sutton Trust US Programme has allowed to me not only achieve my American dream but also develop my confidence. Before joining the programme I was very quiet and used to keep to myself, but now I am much more vocal. The staff have always encouraged me, believed in me and helped me find my true self. Without it I wouldn’t have achieved my full potential!”

Hafsah Manzur from Glasgow, Scotland will be attending Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania

"The programme to be me has been an invaluable network of staff, students and friends; a community of people with the same level of passion, ambition and curiosity about the world. From spotting a yellow backpack at King’s Cross on the way to a residential, to posting our ACT questions in the Facebook group, we’re always ready to help and support each other. These are friends we have made that we’re stuck with for life, from all over the UK and soon-to-be all over the US!

The programme has given me perspective, shown me that the rewards of hard work are unparalleled and I am nothing less than honoured to be a part of the family.”

Lydia Hewitt from Teesside will be going to Denison University, Ohio

"Being on the programme taught me that I didn't have to choose a single route through my education and into my future.

As well as being introduced to a new style of academics, I've also begun to appreciate more the value of soft skills and adaptability, all of which I'll need in my later life.

The programme provided me with all the support I needed, and more, to apply for places and funding at top US universities. Without it, I could never have even begun the process.”


Masi Nagdee from Manchester will be going to Princeton University, New Jersey

“The Sutton Trust US Programme has provided me with the closest support network of both students and staff that I could have asked for, and this community has been an invaluable part of my journey.

The staff have been overwhelmingly supportive with the guidance and knowledge that they have provided at every step of the way, and I would never have been able to achieve my goal of attending a US institution without their patience, personal advice and expertise. It has meant that an entirely new, and initially very confusing, admissions and education system was essentially 'unlocked' for me in a way that could not have been made more accessible.”

Amy Drake from Somerset will be going to Northwestern University, Illinois

“I can honestly say that the Sutton Trust US Programme has changed my life. These past few months have been some of the most challenging yet amazing months of my life as I worked towards completing my US university applications.

I could not have asked to be part of a better programme because it is filled with truly inspiring young people with similar aspirations that have supported me and motivated me in so many different ways. The programme has been such an enriching experience and has helped me to grow into the person I am today and it opened my eyes to a world of opportunities within my reach if I set my mind to it.”

Nataly Ojeda Mosquera from London will be going to New York University – Abu Dhabi

Meet all the students going to the US this summer.

Speaking of the students’ success, Sir Peter Lampl, founder of the Sutton Trust, said:

"Every year, the Sutton Trust US Programme gives talented teenagers the opportunity to change their lives. The achievements of this cohort, the majority of whom are from backgrounds with family income of less that £40,000, are truly remarkable. 72 out of 150 young people from across the UK have won places at leading American universities and colleges. They'll take up places at Harvard, MIT, Stanford and Yale, as well as at selective smaller colleges like Barnard and Middlebury. They will benefit from the breadth and depth that these universities offer as well as the invaluable experience gained from living in the States."

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, added:

“As we mark the US-UK Fulbright Commission’s 70th anniversary year, we are delighted to celebrate in partnership with the Sutton Trust the efforts and achievements of the young people headed to the US later this year. US universities appreciate the diverse skills, ambitions and academic potential of this group of students and their education will continue to build on the special relationship between the US and the UK.”

Applications for next year’s programme will open in November. Students can register their interest now. (http://us.suttontrust.com)

The Sutton Trust US Programme was inspired by the Sutton Trust’s successful flagship programme in the UK which now runs at 11 leading British universities and has benefited over ten thousand state school students.

The Sutton Trust US Programme is made possible through support from its founding corporate partner, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, whose investment is matched by Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing who have generously supported the programme since its launch. The programme is also supported by the Robertson Foundation, Jerry del Missier, Martin and Antoinette Sullivan,The Neuberger Berman Foundation and EducationUSA.

For further information, please contact Kirsty Callaghan at the US-UK Fulbright Commission on 0207 498 4020 or press@fulbright.org.uk