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James Shelley17-year-old James Shelley from Newport, who is completing his A levels at Christ the King College, has won a place and a financial aid package to study at Claremont McKenna College in California after participating in the Sutton Trust’s US Programme run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

Last summer, James was one of 175 students selected for a summer school in the US at either Yale or Harvard University, or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), spending a week living on campus and visiting a number of other American campuses. James 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 the application process.

James competed with 2,200 applicants to win one of 175 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 2014-15 programme cohort comes from across the UK and 70% of the students will be the first in their family to go to university.

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James from Newport, at Christ the King College said:

  1. “I chose to study in the US because I feel that the liberal arts and sciences undergraduate degree is perfect for me. I am honoured to be a recipient of the prestigious Interdisciplinary Science Scholarship at Claremont McKenna College and I am overwhelmed that I have been offered this incredible opportunity which has been made possible with the support of the Sutton Trust US Programme. I am extremely excited to broaden my knowledge, expand my education and experience a new culture!”

James is one of 38 students who have been selected under the early application deadline to US universities, and more students will be applying by the January deadlines with results available later this spring. (The biographies for all admitted students and scholarship finalist can be found online at: https://bit.ly/EarlyAdmissionsBios2014).

The 38 participants admitted early have been offered a total of approximately $8.5 million (£5.5 million) of financial aid from the universities over the next four years. They have been accepted to a range of leading institutions.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is the US programme’s Founding Corporate Partner; their investment has been matched by Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing who have supported the programme since its launch.

Of the 38 accepted students, about two-thirds of participants are from households that earn less than £25,000 a year, and about 70% will be the first in their family to go to university.

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

“I am delighted that 38 students from our 2014 US programme have already been offered places at top American universities. In just three years the scheme has grown from 64 students participating to 175 places being available this year. As today’s figures show, it’s not just increasing numbers of students being able to access the programme that we’re celebrating – it’s also increasing levels of success in gaining places at these elite universities.

It is 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 private schools. The level of financial aid available to students on our programme means many will be able to graduate debt-free from some of the best universities in the world.

The new partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin, puts the US programme in an excellent position to continue to thrive and expand in future years.”

Applications for this year’s programme close 27th January 2015 and can be completed online (https://us.suttontrust.com)

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.  Applications for the UK programme are also open now until 9 March 2015 at www.suttontrust.com.

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