Sutton Trust US Programme

Supporting bright state school students from across the UK to apply to and secure funding at top US universities.  

The Sutton Trust US Programme is designed to support high achieving state school students from across the UK to explore US study and access leading universities. 

It includes two residentials in the UK, before all students spend a week in the US staying on campus at a leading US university and visiting a variety of other American universities. 

An optional second year of the programme supports students to apply to US universities alongside their UCAS options. 

Since the programme started, more than 400 participants have been offered places and funding at top US universities.

Brief history

The Programme is founded and funded by the Sutton Trust, the UK’s leading social mobility charity, and delivered in partnership with the Fulbright Commission, who are experts in helping UK students study in the US. 

It is free to take part in the programme.

To be eligible, students must:

  • Currently be in Year 12 in England and Wales, S5 in Scotland or Year 13 in Northern Ireland 
  • Attend, and have always attended, a state-funded school or college i.e. non-fee paying
  • Not hold US citizenship
  • Be from a low or middle income family (generally, this will mean a household earning £45,000 or less)
  • Be interested in US culture and higher education 

Please see our


page for more information

Application criteria

We are looking for applicants who also meet the criteria below. The more of these you meet, the more likely you are to secure a place: 

  • Would be the first generation of their family to attend university
  • Have been eligible for Free School Meals 
  • Attend a school or college with a below-average A Level or Higher point score and/or a low rate of progression into higher education 
  • Have attended schools with a lower than average progression to higher education, or a higher than average proportion of students who qualify for Free School Meals 
  • Live in a neighbourhood with a low rate of progression into higher education and/or a high level of socio-economic deprivation 
  • Have excellent GCSEs or S4 qualifications. This means you have achieved or close to the grades below. In England and Northern Ireland: at least eight GCSEs at grade A or 7 or above, or near this level. In Wales: at least eight GCSEs at grade A or above, or near this level. In Scotland: at least six B passes at National 5 or above, or near this level. 


We open applications to the programme every November, with deadlines falling in late January or early February. 

For more information, please visit the Sutton Trust US Programme website.