Faiza Manzoor 18, from Rochdale who completed her A levels at Loreto College has won a place and a financial aid package to study at a top US university after participating in the Sutton Trust US Programme, run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

Faiza will take up her place at Stanford University, California this autumn.

Last year, Faiza was one of 150 students selected for the programme, which included a week-long trip to the United States to visit a variety of universities and meet admissions officers from colleges across the US. They competed with over 1,000 applicants to win a place on the programme and spent a week staying in the dorms at Yale University, Princeton University or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The students benefited from residential activities and received an intensive programme of support, delivered by the US-UK Fulbright Commission over several months before and after their US visit, which covered admission tests, college choices and the application process.

The aim of the Sutton Trust US Programme is to encourage British state school students from low and moderate income homes to consider studying at American universities.

Faiza is one of 75 teenagers from the 2018-19 cohort to have won a place at a top US university. More than three quarters (80%) will be among the first in their family to go to university and over 40% are eligible for free school meals. They will enrol at 48 different universities – including Princeton, Harvard, Yale and Stanford – accessing around $20m in financial aid over the four years of their degrees.

Faiza from Rochdale, at Loreto said, “I was in complete shock at gaining admission to my dream University! It was an intense process that would not have been made possible without the support of my teachers, my counsellor and the continued guidance and expertise of the Sutton Trust US Programme and US-UK Fulbright Commission. I chose to study in the US because of the academic freedom it offered me in allowing me to pursue different areas of study, before declaring a major only at the end of my second year.”

The Sutton Trust US programme is made possible through generous support from donors including: the Robertson Foundation, founding corporate partner Bank of America Merrill Lynch, longstanding supporters Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing, Martin and Antoinette Sullivan, The Neuberger Berman Foundation and EducationUSA.

Year 12 students can apply for next year’s programme this autumn.

Sir Peter Lampl, founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust, said:

“America’s leading universities want to attract the most talented students, whatever country or social background they come from.

“I’m delighted that an incredible 75 state school students from the UK have won places to study in the States. They’ll enjoy a broad and varied curriculum, exciting enrichment opportunities, as well generous funding for both tuition and living costs.”

“I hope many more young people will be inspired by their success – background should be no obstacle to such amazing achievements.”

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, said:

“I am delighted to see the record-breaking success of this year’s cohort. The students will be benefit from the very best that American higher education has to offer, at highly-selective liberal arts colleges, research institutions, and women’s colleges across the United States. I can’t wait to see what they achieve over the next four years and beyond.”

The US Programme is based on the Sutton Trust’s successful flagship programme in the UK which now runs at 13 leading British universities and has benefited over 20,000 state school students.