British state school students from low- and middle-income backgrounds have won funded places at US universities via a programme aimed at encouraging academically talented students of limited means to consider studying in America.
The Sutton Trust, with the help of corporate sponsors and other donors, has enabled 58 of the 175 state school pupils who participated in its 2014 US summer programme to study for undergraduate degrees in the US.
The cohort will take up places at 39 different institutions, including 19 Ivy League universities, across 18 states.
Seven of the students received prestigious merit scholarships, including the Morehead-Cain Scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Woodruff Scholarship at Emory University.
Almost three-quarters (74 per cent) of the winning students are from families with household incomes of less than £25,000 per year and nearly half (48 per cent) have claimed free school meals or educational maintenance allowance.
Across four years of undergraduate degree study, the cohort will receive more than $14 million (£9.1 million) in financial support from institutions and scholarships. It is expected that many of them will complete their studies debt-free.
The winners were announced at a reception held on 9 July at US ambassador Matthew Barzun’s London residence, Winfield House. All had participated in the Sutton Trust’s US Summer School, spending time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale University or Harvard University, where they were given an intensive programme of support, including help with applications, university choices and admissions tests.
Another batch of 150 state school pupils have been selected from 3,700 initial applicants to take part in the Sutton Trust’s US Summer School this August.
Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said: “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.”