Twenty-one state school and college students will study at prestigious US universities, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Dartmouth, as a result of the Sutton Trust’s first US Summer School at Yale last year, run in partnership with US-UK Fulbright Commission.

The Sutton Trust released full figures on the destinations of the 64 young people who participated in last year’s summer school as the successful students are set to meet the Acting American Ambassador at a reception in their honour this evening.

33 of the 64 participants in last year’s summer school applied for places at US universities, with 24 winning places and 21 deciding to take them up.

The 21 students are accessing financial aid and scholarships totalling over $4.5m (£3m) and most will have their fees and virtually all their living costs paid for by the US universities. 13 students will attend one of the Top 10 ranked US universities or liberal arts colleges, including 9 who are going to Ivy League colleges, and all will attend a university ranked in the Top 100.

The 21 students are all drawn from families with relatively low incomes. 12 have family incomes below £25,000 a year and most are the first in their family to go to university.

Nine of the students turned down Oxbridge offers to take up places in the United States. All the other participants are hoping to go to leading UK universities.  Half are intending to take a UK degree with a period of study in the US, half are interested in applying for postgraduate study in America and a quarter intend to take a US-based internship.

This evening, the Chargé d’Affaires at the US embassy in London, Barbara Stephenson, who is acting ambassador, will host a private reception at the Deputy Ambassador’s residence of Wychwood House for the successful students heading to the US.

This summer, the Sutton Trust US programme will be held at Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in July and August, with 150 students attending. There were over 1,200 applicants for those 150 places.

Last year’s, 64 Year 12 students – mostly 17-year-olds – spent a week in July living on campus at Yale, and visited Trinity College, Wesleyan, Columbia, Harvard and Princeton, as well as having the chance to visit New York City.  They benefited from residential activities and received an intensive programme of support, delivered by the US-UK Fulbright Commission over a number of months before and after their US visit, which covered admission tests, college choices and applications. Over 70% were from homes earning below £25,000.

Sir Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation said today:

“I am delighted that one third of our students are taking up these fantastic offers.  When we started out we had no idea how successful they would be and the results have way exceeded our expectations.  They will act as a beacon for thousands of other state school students to apply to study in the US. Aside from the educational advantages of four year study programmes which combine breadth and depth, the best American universities offer very attractive packages to enable those from low and middle income families to study there.”

Simon Lewis, chair of the US-UK Fulbright Commission said today:

“We are incredibly proud of the first cohort of students. What a success – not only to have a third of the students heading to the States now with such generous financial aid offers, but so many of the others intending to pursue further study abroad opportunities in future, including the Fulbright Awards programme. They are an inspiration for this year’s students and will encourage other British young people to see the US as a real possibility for university.”

Lucinda Denney, an A-level student at Blackpool Sixth Form College, has accepted a place at Yale. The 18 year-old from Fleetwood, Lancashire, is the daughter of a welder and a dental receptionist.

“Basically, there is no way I would ever have been able to apply to university in the US, and get into Yale no less, without being part of the Sutton Trust US Summer School,” Lucinda said. “It provided me with the support I needed to get through such a demanding process and come out the other side having fulfilled every dream I ever had.”


  1. The Sutton Trust is a foundation dedicated to improving social mobility through education. It has published over 120 research studies and funded and evaluated hundreds of programmes for young people of all ages, from early years through to Access to the Professions.
  2. The Sutton Trust has run summer schools in the UK since 1997. Summer schools offer young people from low and middle income backgrounds in year 12 – mostly 17 year-olds – a chance to get a taste of student life at a research-led university. The programme balances busy academic days with social activities and has been successful in encouraging bright state school students from low and middle income families to study at the most selective universities in Britain.
  3. The numbers of UK students going to US universities has grown in recent years, particularly with higher tuition fees at English universities. 4,330 UK undergraduates a year go to US universities, mainly from independent schools. Yale and MIT are among six leading US universities that pay the full costs of tuition and board for all successful applications from low and middle income families. In addition, there are more than 250 American universities and colleges with significant funds available for overseas students, totalling over $500 million (£300m).
  4. The US-UK Fulbright Commission fosters mutual cultural understanding througheducational exchange between both nations.
  5. A full list of students going to US universities with their original schools is attached. More detailed case studies can be provided on request.
NameAgeUS College AttendingHome TownSchool
Stephanie Addenbrooke17Yale UniversityBirkenhead, MerseysideUpton Hall School, Merseyside
Iain Barr18Yale UniversityHigh Peak, DerbyshireCheadle & Marple Sixth Form College, Cheshire
Daniella Bennett19Amherst CollegeLondonMossbourne Academy, London
Nick Bonstow18Harvard UniversityTorbay, DevonTorquay Boys’ Grammar School, Devon
Billy Cavell17Yale UniversityRomford, EssexSt Edward’s CE Comprehensive  School, Essex
Eleanor Cheyne18Georgia TechBromley, LondonNewstead Wood School For Girls, Kent
Lucinda Denney18Yale UniversityFleetwood, LancashireBlackpool Sixth Form College,  Lancashire
Benjamin Devaney18Colorado CollegeWolverhampton, West MidlandsWednesfield High School, West Midlands
Harry Edwards18UNC Chapel HillGomersal, West YorkshireGreenhead College, West Yorkshire
Jennifer Evans18Dartmouth CollegePontypridd, Rhondda Cynon TafBryn Celynnog Comprehensive School, Rhondda Cynon Taff
Allie Hexley18MITBirmingham, West MidlandsSutton Coldfield Grammar School For Girls, West Midlands
Blake Howell18Stanford UniversityCamberley, SurreyFarnborough Sixth Form College, Hampshire
Sarah Hucklebridge18Wellesley CollegeMansfield, NottinghamshireMinster School, Nottinghamshire
Emma Jenkins18University of PennsylvaniaLichfield, StaffordshireKing Edward V I School, Staffordshire
Robert Jones18Connecticut CollegeDagenham, EssexRobert Clack, Essex
Samuel Marley18Northeastern UniversitySheffield, South YorkshireWales High School, South Yorkshire
Katie McMahon18Columbia UniversityTruro, CornwallTruro College, Cornwall
Elliott Miller17Middlebury CollegeCoventry, West MidlandsBlue Coat CE Comprehensive School, West Midlands
Corey Peterson18Trinity CollegeLondonWoodhouse College, London
Jack Shaw18Lafayette CollegeSpondon, DerbyshireThe JCB Academy, Staffordshire
Joseph Vinson17Yale UniversityBarnet, LondonQueen Elizabeth’s Boys’ School, London

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