Twelve state school and college students have already won places at top US universities, including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Dartmouth, the Sutton Trust announced today, as it unveiled early success stories from its first ever US summer school run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

All students have received generous financial aid packages from these universities. The total value of the offer for the 12 students is over $2 million (£1.24m). Following the success of the 2012 programme, the Sutton Trust is providing 150 US summer school places based at Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in August 2013.

The Trust also announced today that there will be a record 1700 places at its nine UK summer schools this year, with Edinburgh and King’s College London joining Bristol, Cambridge, Durham, Imperial, Nottingham, St Andrews and UCL in the programme.

Harry Edwards, 18 an A-level student at Greenhead Sixth Form College in Huddersfield, has been offered a place at Harvard and is also in the running for the prestigious Morehead Cain scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. From Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, Harry’s parents work in IT.

“I was absolutely ecstatic to be accepted by Harvard and be a finalist for the Morehead Cain. It felt like the culmination of years of hard work and I just can’t wait to go to the US next year,” Harry said. “The summer school was a life-changing experience for everyone involved.”

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.”

She will be joined at Yale by Iain Barr, 17, from High Peak, Derbyshire, who is a student at Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College, and by Joseph Vinson, 17, from Barnet in North London, who is studying at Queen Elizabeth’s Boys’ School.

Jennifer Evans, 17, from Bryn Celynnog Comprehensive, Pontypridd will go to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Elliott Miller, 17, from Blue Coat CE Comprehensive in Coventry has accepted a place at Middlebury College, Vermont, and Ben Devaney, 17, from Wednesfield High School, Wolverhampton has accepted a place at Colorado College. Rob Jones, 17, from Robert Clack School in Dagenham, East London will go to Connecticut College.

Other Sutton Trust students who applied for early entry decisions have been offered places at Columbia University (New York), Chicago, Oglethorpe University (Atlanta, Georgia) and Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Last year, 64 Year 12 students – typically 17-year-olds – spent a week in July living on campus at Yale, and visited Trinity, Wesleyan, Columbia, Harvard and Princeton, as well as having the chance to visit New York City.

They also received an intensive programme of support, including residential activities, covering admission tests, college choices and applications, before and after their US visit. Their average family income was £25,000 a year and most will be the first generation in their families to go to university.

Ten of the 22 students who applied for early entry are still in the running for places, with 11 more applying this month for US universities. Others from the summer school will go to UK universities but plan to return to the US for study during their degrees, internships and postgraduate courses.

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

“I congratulate each of these students on their tremendous achievements. I am sure they will have life-changing experiences from attending American universities, and act as a beacon for thousands of other state school students. Our summer schools offer a fantastic opportunity for some of our brightest young people to get a taste of life at Britain’s and America’s greatest universities, and to consider studying at them.

“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:

“The results of the pupils’ applications are really positive and very encouraging.  To have half of our applicants admitted in the early admissions round and for them to receive such generous financial aid really underlines the quality of the participants and value of the programme. We hope these students will inspire many other bright young people to apply for US study.”


  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 – typically 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. Those interested in applying for a place at a US or a UK summer school this year should visit for more details. Applications for this year’s UK summer schools close on 11 March and they are targeted at state school students with good GCSE or equivalent grades who will be the first generation in their families to study at university. Priority is given to those in low performing schools and poor neighbourhoods.  Applications for the US programme close on 18 February 2013. It is targeted at students in state schools with family incomes around £45,000 or lower. The US summer school in 2013 is being offered at both Yale and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with 150 places on offer this year.
  4. 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).
  5. The US-UK Fulbright Commission fosters mutual cultural understanding througheducational exchange between both nations.
  6. Some case studies can be found here
  7. Guest blogger, Lucinda Denney, talks about her experiences in the Sutton Trust blog

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