Student’s Ivy League place

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A former Harrogate pupil has become a named scholar at Ivy League University.

Fionnuala Murphy, who has just completed her first semester at Dartmouth College in the US, was recently named to the Donald J. and Emmy Chamberlain Clausing Scholarship, awarded on merit.

The journey to the Ivy League started in January of Year 12 when still a student of St Aidan’s and St John Fisher Associated Sixth Form, Fionnuala applied to the Sutton Trust’s US Programme run in partnership with the US-UK Fulbright Commission.

She was one of 150 students selected for this distinguished programme out of over 1,600. The Sutton Trust summer school at Yale University included application talks, a private admissions fair during a day at Harvard College, and cultural visits such as to Central Park and the Rockefeller Center in New York.

Following this, Fionnuala decided to apply to the US as her top university destination and completed her college applications, a four-hour standardised admissions exam, and an interview in London for her first choice - Dartmouth.

Fionnuala was admitted to Dartmouth with an annual scholarship in excess of $50,000 of which this latest institutional scholarship forms a key part. The aim of the Sutton Trust’s US Programme is to encourage academically talented, low and middle income British students to consider studying at American universities.

The former Harrogate pupil is one of 62 teenagers from the 2016-2017 cohort to have won a place at a top US university.

Getting admitted to Dartmouth, an Ivy League university which is twice as selective as Oxbridge, was a dream come true for Fionnuala.

She credits Sutton Trust and the Fulbright Commission for helping to make this a reality. Fionnuala chose the US for its academic flexibility, among other qualities.

Penny Egan CBE, Executive Director of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, said: “We are delighted to continue partnering with the Sutton Trust to widen access to educational opportunities between the US and the UK.

“Fulbright has always stood for developing leadership through intercultural education and these exceptional students will return to the UK as graduates equipped to collaborate across borders. We are enormously proud of them and look forward to celebrating their achievements in the years to come.”