Nia Owen, 18years, from Crymych who is completing her A levels at Ysgol Gyfun Emlyn has won a place and a financial aid package to study at Oberlin College, Ohio after participating on the Sutton Trust’s US Programme run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.
Last summer, Nia as one of 150 students selected for a summer school in the US at either Yale University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), spent a week living on campus and visiting a number of other American universities. Nia 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.
Nia competed with 1,200 applicants to win one of 150 places on the programme. The aim of the US Programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities. The 2013-14 programme cohort comes from across the UK and 70% will be the first in their family to go to university.
Nia said, “This is a dream come true, I’ve always wanted to study in America, especially as they have such great opportunities for Film and Photography. Without the Sutton Trust I would have never been able to realise my dream and despite the hard work and vigorous application process I am relishing the prospect of studying in the US.”
Nia is one of 34 students who have been selected under the early application deadline to US universities, and more students will be applying by the January deadline with results available later this spring.
The 34 participants admitted early have been offered a total of about $7.5 million (£4.5 million) of financial aid over the next four years. They have been accepted to a range of top institutions including: Barnard, Bowdoin, Brown, Bryn Mawr, Carleton, Claremont McKenna, Columbia, Dartmouth, Duke, Harvard, Lafayette College, Middlebury, New York University Abu Dhabi, Northwestern, Oberlin, Princeton, Skidmore, Smith, Soka University of America, Tufts, Trinity College, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, University of Pennsylvania, Williams and Yale.
Of the 34 accepted students, about half of these participants are from households that earn less than £25,000 a year, and over half will be the first generation in their family to go to university.
Sir Peter Lampl, Chair of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“I am delighted for Nia and want to congratulate her on this tremendous achievement. I am sure she will have life-changing experiences from attending a leading US university. Aside from the educational benefits of four year study programmes, which combine breadth and depth, many American universities offer very attractive financial aid packages to enable those from low and middle income families to study there.
“Our US summer school programme is going from strength to strength. As well as offering a fantastic opportunity for some of our brightest young people to get a taste of life at leading American universities, it also lights a beacon for thousands of state school students who are genuine candidates for these universities.”
J Jeffry Louis, Chair of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, said:
"We are delighted by these early university admissions results. To have 34 of our applicants admitted in the early admissions round and for them to receive such generous financial aid is a wonderful achievement and a testament to the high calibre of the programme participants. They will certainly inspire other British pupils to consider the States for their studies."
In summer 2014, the programme will expand. There will be 175 places for British students, with 75 at Yale, 50 at the MIT, and 50 at Harvard, which most recently joined the programme - having been a big supporter since it started in 2012.
The US Programme is based on the Sutton Trust’s successful flagship programme in the UK which now runs at ten leading British universities and has benefited over ten thousand state school students.