58 bright British state school students from low and middle income backgrounds have won places at prestigious US universities through the Sutton Trust US Programme.

Of the successful students, three-quarters (74%) are from families in the lowest income band (under £25k p.a) and half (48%) have claimed free school meals or educational maintenance allowance. Across their four years of study, the students will receive over $14m of financial support from US institutions and scholarships with many of them graduating debt-free.

Details of the successful students were announced as they met US Ambassador Matthew Barzun at a reception at his London residence, Winfield House, on Thursday 9 July. The reception celebrated the students’ achievements and the success of the Sutton Trust’s US Programme, run in conjunction with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

The aim of the US Programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities. Last summer, all 58 students participated in the Sutton Trust’s US Summer School at either the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),Yale University, or Harvard University.

The participants all benefited from residential activities and received an intensive programme of support, including help with applications, college choices and admissions tests.

The students will be enrolling at 39 different colleges in 18 states; 19 of these students will be attending an Ivy League Institution. Seven students received highly-competitive and prestigious merit scholarships including the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Woodruff Scholarship at Emory University.

150 state school students have been selected from 3,700 initial applicants to take part in the Sutton Trust’s US Summer School this August.

The programme is made possible through support from its founding corporate sponsor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Their investment is matched by Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing who have supported the programme since its launch. The programme is also supported by an anonymous donor, the London Stock Exchange, Big Change and EducationUSA.

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

“I am delighted that 58 students out of 175 from our 2014 US programme have been offered places at top American universities. It’s wonderful to see students from low and middle income families getting the opportunity to enjoy the breadth and depth offered by US degree programmes, which have long been popular amongst those from UK private schools. The level of financial aid available to students on our programme means many will be able to graduate debt-free from top American universities.”

J Jeffry Louis, Chairman of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, said:

This is a remarkable achievement on many levels. These 58 students represent all regions of the UK. Nearly three quarters of them come from lowest household income band (less than £25k) and two thirds of them are the first in their families to attend college. Collectively, they have been awarded $14 million worth of financial aid packages.

The success of this cohort is a testament both to the continued quality of the Sutton Trust programme in supporting them through the application process but also to the desire of a wide range of US universities to have bright, state educated UK students on their campuses. We hope their inspirational success will encourage other young British people to realise that an American higher education is an attainable ambition.”

Alex Wilmot-Sitwell, President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said:

“Bank of America Merrill Lynch has a long-standing commitment to helping drive youth employment through education so I am delighted to see the success of our partnership with Sutton Trust. This programme will afford these young people such tremendous opportunities that will shape not just their careers, but their lives. I commend the Sutton Trust for their work, and I particularly look forward to following the careers of these 58 students.”

Jordan Clark, a student from Nottingham who has won a place at Northwestern said:

“I can’t wait to head over to Chicago in the fall, but none of this would have been possible without the Sutton Trust US Programme. With their help and advice throughout the application process, I have been lucky enough to secure significant funding towards my university education. They really have turned my dreams into reality!”


  1. View the biographies of all the Sutton Trust US Programme 2014-15 participants who have accepted places at US universities.
  2. The Sutton Trust is a foundation set up in 1997, dedicated to improving social mobility through education. It has published over 150 research studies and funded and evaluated programmes that have helped hundreds of thousands of young people of all ages, from early years through to access to the professions.
  3. The US-UK Fulbright Commission is a not-for-profit organisation funded by both governments to promote educational exchange between the US and the UK. The Commission offers prestigious awards for postgraduate study and research in the US, as well as an Advisory Service and is the government recognised source of US study information in the UK. The Fulbright Advisory Service is part of the Education USA network of over 450 advising centres worldwide.
  4. Developing solutions for social and economic challenges is at the core of Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Corporate Social Responsibility platform. In more than 90 countries around the world, they partner with employees, clients and stakeholders to help make financial lives better. The company focuses on responsible business practices, environmental sustainability, advancing opportunity in local communities through education and employability programmes and investing in global leadership development. They realise the power of our people and value our differences, recognising that our diversity makes us a stronger firm and allows us to better service our stakeholders. By harnessing intellectual resources, sharing knowledge and connecting capital with need, they provide opportunities that effect positive change. Learn more at bankofamerica.com/aboutor follow them on Twitter @BofAML.
  5. Provided below is a list of the Sutton Trust US Programme 2014-15 participants who will be attending a US university.
Student Name US University UK School Hometown Country
Patrick Frenett Amherst College Waingels College Reading England
Eleanor Bailey Barnard College Redcliffe Sixth Form Bristol England
Joshua Hunt Bates College Franklin College Grimsby England
Jardelle Johnson Brown University King Edward VI Handsworth School Birmingham England
Cameron McKie Brown University Hartismere School Wickham Skeith England
Kamara Simms Bryn Mawr College Camden School for Girls Camden England
Jack Hardwick Carleton College Greenhead College Mirfield England
James Shelley Claremont McKenna College Christ the King College Newport Isle of Wight
Samuel Cordner Columbia University Notre Dame High School, Norwich Norwich England
Eleanor Dowd Dartmouth College St Paul’s School for Girls Birmingham England
Carnun Marcus-Page Dartmouth College Woodhouse College Tottenham England
Alexander Waterhouse Dartmouth College Devonport High School for Boys Plymouth England
Rachael Murtagh Duke University – Robertson Scholarship Recipient Lord Wandsworth College Long Sutton England
Elle Winfield Duke University – Robertson Scholarship Recipient The Hayfield School Doncaster England
Kieren Helmn Emory University – Woodruff Scholarship Recipient Runshaw College Preston England
Joshua Cussen Grinnell College St Bartholomew’s School) Andover England
Melissa Woodward Hamilton College Winstanley College Atherton England
Alice Donnellan Harvard College Torquay Boys’ Grammar School Teignmouth England
Kai Potter Harvard College Feltham Community College Feltham England
Scott Sussex Harvard College Godalming College Chertsey England
Antonio Exposito Lafayette College Our Lady’s High School Cumbernauld Cumbernauld Scotland
Conor Kirby Massachusetts Institute of Technology Mossbourne Community Academy Hackney England
Hollie Haigh Middlebury College The Liverpool Blue Coat School Liverpool England
Firas Ashraf New York University Abu Dhabi Littleover Community School Derby England
Gugandeep Banga New York University Abu Dhabi Cranford Community College Ealing England
Vishal Gaglani New York University Abu Dhabi Wren Academy Barnet England
Jordan Clark Northwestern University  – Brian D’Arcy James Scholarship Recipient South Nottinghamshire Academy Nottingham England
Saif Hassan Bhatti Northwestern University Pimlico Academy Pimlico England
Hallaamal Keir Occidental College Temple Moor High School Leeds England
Jordan Timms Pepperdine University Jersey College for Girls Jersey Channel Islands
Aarondeep Bargotta Princeton University The Coventry Blue Coat Church of England School and Music College Coventry England
Connor Bridges Princeton University Robert Clack School Barking England
Amy Hudson Princeton University Blessed Hugh Faringdon Catholic School Reading England
Krzysztof Norko Princeton University St. Andrew’s High School Coatbridge Scotland
Rebekah Birch Rhodes College King Edward VI School Lichfield Lichfield England
Isaac Davis Roanoke College Ysgol Bro Gwaun Gwaun Valley Wales
Aimee Hall Skidmore College Wednesfield High School Wolverhampton England
Chantelle Leswell Smith College Beath High School Cowdenbeath Scotland
Lisa Mcmillan Smith College Cathkin High School Cambuslang Scotland
Kirsty McLaren St Olaf College Birkenhead Sixth Form College The Wirral England
Marianne Lotter-Jones Swarthmore College Brockenhurst College Poole England
Ben Mellor Trinity College Scarborough Sixth Form College Scarborough England
Michael O’Donoghue Trinity College Brighton and Hove Sussex Sixth Form College Brighton England
Jonathan Kimber Union College Bournemouth School Bournemouth England
Rachel Bailey University of Chicago St John Bosco Arts College Liverpool England
Caitlin Hogan University of Chicago Highbury Grove School Hackney England
Phillippa Owens University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Morehead-Cain Scholarship Recipient Runshaw College Newburgh England
Alex Norman University of Pennsylvania The Sixth Form College Farnborough Ascot England
Ricky Brown University of Richmond – Boatwright Scholarship Recipient Greenford High School Chiswick England
Lucy Davies-Kumadiro Vanderbilt University Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College Loughborough England
Georgia Murray Vanderbilt University Eckington School Sixth Form Sheffield England
Tanpreet Hunjan Washington and Lee University – Johnson Scholarship Recipient The Rochester Grammar School Strood England
Kyiah Ashton Wellesley College Redcliffe Sixth Form Bristol England
Heather McCafferty Whitman College Sanquhar Academy Sanquhar Scotland
Ellie Atkinson Yale University Llantwit Major Comprehensive School Cardiff Wales
Gabriella Fenton Yale University Penwith College, Penzance Newlyn England
Matthew Peoples Yale University St Columb’s College Derry Northern Ireland
Lucy Wilkins Yale University Brookfield Community School Chesterfield England