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Rebecca wins fantastic opportunity to study at American university

Student Rebecca Wiggins will be off to the USA next year to study at an American university after winning a place through the Sutton Trust Programme.

Rebecca, formerly of Frances Bardsley School, will also receive a generous financial aid package which means she will graduate debt-free!

The upper sixth student, from Hornchurch, who is studying for A Levels in Physics, Maths, Computing and German, won the place at Pomona College, just outside of Los Angeles, after attending a series of residential visits on the Sutton Trust Programme where she took part in workshops and assessments.

She said: “I still can’t believe that I will be going to study in California this year! I first found out about the Sutton Trust and the opportunity of studying at an American university from the Careers department at College, but I never thought I'd actually get to attend one!

“I think the broad curriculum that US universities offer will suit me as I love way too many subjects to study only one. I'm also really looking forward to the small class sizes and student-professor interaction that Pomona offers. It was ranked the number one university in America for progression and outcomes by Forbes this year, so although it’s not that well known, it’s an outstanding university.

“Because it’s quite small, the community spirit is great and I can't wait to experience living in the USA and to meet all of the amazing people I'll be spending the next four years of my life with!"

Rebecca wins fantastic opportunity to study at American university | January 2016

Rebecca was delighted to be awarded a scholarship which covers tuition, accommodation, food, books and some personal expenses, which she said was a fantastic bonus and means she does not have to worry about the financial implications.

She said: “I intend to get a job on campus anyway once I’m there, but the only thing I’ll have to pay for will be for flights if I want to come home at certain times during the year. It will mean, thanks to the Sutton Trust, that I will leave uni at the end of four years without any debt, which is amazing.”

In her spare time, talented linguist Rebecca is teaching herself Japanese. She also tutors GCSE Physics students, runs the Dungeons and Dragons Club at College and makes time for socialising with her friends as well as studying hard for her forthcoming A Level exams. She will be the first person in her family to attend University.

She says she wouldn’t have been so successful if it wasn’t for her teachers and the Careers staff at College. She said: “My time at College has been great. I chose to go to Havering Sixth Form because I wanted to get away from the rigid environment of school and the College offered more freedom. The environment has suited me better and there are so many opportunities to get involved with initiatives and programmes, like the Sutton Trust, that I wouldn’t otherwise have known about.”

Rebecca is looking forward to the liberal arts curriculum which US universities offer which means she does not have to choose one subject – she can study many during her time there and she is considering Chemistry and Spanish. She will probably major in Computer Science or Physics, which is the area she sees her future career in.

The Sutton Trust Programme is run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission. Last summer, Rebecca was one of 150 students selected for a summer school in the US at Yale University. She competed with over 1,600 applicants to win a place on the programme and spent a week living on campus and visiting a number of other US universities as well as getting the chance to spend some time in New York.

Rebecca, along with the other selected students, 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 her US visit, which covered admission tests, college choices and the application process.

For more information about the Sutton Trust Programme see