US Sutton Trust Programme 2014 Watch

_Katie
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(Original post by YNM96)
I know that they look at grades in the context of the school you attend, is your school high achieving?
It's not 'low achieving', but not high achieving either. It's a non-selective comprehensive.
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scrlk
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Rather interesting selection criteria I guess.

Hopefully a successful applicant can chime in a little on their background & application (after the champagne celebration!); I'm interested in what kind of people they were looking for since there's no feedback.
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AspiringMedic8
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(Original post by scrlk)
Rather interesting selection criteria I guess.

Hopefully a successful applicant can chime in a little on their background & application (after the champagne celebration!); I'm interested in what kind of people they were looking for since there's no feedback.
I got eight grade ones in my standard grades, I'm not on free school meals or EMA, my household income is between £25k and £30k per year (gross), I live in a single parent household, my parents never went to university, I go to a relatively high achieving, comprehensive school which sends loads of people on to university but not many to Russell Group, none to Oxbridge and none to the US. I have loads of extra curriculars, I had 10 but could only put 8 on the form so sort of combined a few, I used up all of the word count on every question, had a lot of books/papers to say I had read, answered every question completely honestly, even if some of the answers were embarrassing, and had an amazing teacher reference (I didn't read it, but I knew she had given me a great one!). I also put a lot of time into researching the specific university for the video.

Good luck in your future studies


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scrlk
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(Original post by AspiringMedic8)
I got eight grade ones in my standard grades, I'm not on free school meals or EMA, my household income is between £25k and £30k per year (gross), I live in a single parent household, my parents never went to university, I go to a relatively high achieving, comprehensive school which sends loads of people on to university but not many to Russell Group, none to Oxbridge and none to the US. I have loads of extra curriculars, I had 10 but could only put 8 on the form so sort of combined a few, I used up all of the word count on every question, had a lot of books/papers to say I had read, answered every question completely honestly, even if some of the answers were embarrassing, and had an amazing teacher reference (I didn't read it, but I knew she had given me a great one!). I also put a lot of time into researching the specific university for the video.

Good luck in your future studies


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My application broadly followed what you mentioned in your post but mine was more engineering focused; I guess from your username your one was definitely medical based!

However, my background isn't the Trust's 'ideal' target demographic - my 6th form does send people to Russell Group and Oxbridge (no US though) and my family background is run of the mill (apart from the immigrant side of things).

I'm guessing you've decided what one you want to visit out of the ones they offer?

Regardless - good luck as well, and I guess we could definitely see a Dr. AspiringMedic8 in the future!
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YNM96
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(Original post by scrlk)
My application broadly followed what you mentioned in your post but mine was more engineering focused; I guess from your username your one was definitely medical based!

However, my background isn't the Trust's 'ideal' target demographic - my 6th form does send people to Russell Group and Oxbridge (no US though) and my family background is run of the mill (apart from the immigrant side of things).

I'm guessing you've decided what one you want to visit out of the ones they offer?

Regardless - good luck as well, and I guess we could definitely see a Dr. AspiringMedic8 in the future!
You really seem to be taking it well. I mean I've calmed down now, but at first I was completely enraged.
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Dexterous
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(Original post by YNM96)
You really seem to be taking it well. I mean I've calmed down now, but at first I was completely enraged.
Lol, this was me yesterday when I found out
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scrlk
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(Original post by YNM96)
You really seem to be taking it well. I mean I've calmed down now, but at first I was completely enraged.
I could have said I've booked a one way ticket to Switzerland and a well known clinic.

To be honest I was pessimistic about getting it to start with, I've got a mere 6 A*s and 2 As (not exactly Oxbridge/super star tier) and my background sealed my fate; there are other people who are arguably much more deserving of getting in as it would give them a boon to social mobility (i.e. meeting the stated aim of the Sutton Trust).

I still really want to go to MIT/Stanford et al for an engineering degree but I've kinda put it off the table, as apart from browsing their websites and reading about the application process I have no real firm idea about how to take a stab to get in (don't want to waste my money on SATs/ACTs if I don't stand a chance). There's always a chance to go to those institutions to take a graduate degree which I will probably aim for in the future.

Luckily I also applied to a Headstart course that I eventually got a place on so it's hardly the end of the world.
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AspiringMedic8
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(Original post by scrlk)
My application broadly followed what you mentioned in your post but mine was more engineering focused; I guess from your username your one was definitely medical based!

However, my background isn't the Trust's 'ideal' target demographic - my 6th form does send people to Russell Group and Oxbridge (no US though) and my family background is run of the mill (apart from the immigrant side of things).

I'm guessing you've decided what one you want to visit out of the ones they offer?

Regardless - good luck as well, and I guess we could definitely see a Dr. AspiringMedic8 in the future!
Thanks, I'm so grateful for getting a place!

Define "run of the mill?" Remember the Sutton Trust wanted candidates to meet all or all but one/two of the criteria for admission. My school is successful, so I didn't meet that criteria, but I met every other one apart from having been looked after in care.

Mines was broadly based, if I choose to study in America then I want to experience languages, sciences and social subjects. A medical degree in the US would be way too much hassle! I doubt the fact you picked engineering disadvantaged you, though, there's people on the programme who are interested in that.

Good luck, you didn't succeed this time, but there's plenty of other opportunities available. Keep applying for these sorts of things!

(Original post by YNM96)
You really seem to be taking it well. I mean I've calmed down now, but at first I was completely enraged.
Why? We all applied knowing that the programme was insanely competitive - 2,500 applicants for 200 places! If you don't assume that you'll get in, then it won't be painful if you don't manage
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YNM96
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(Original post by scrlk)
I could have said I've booked a one way ticket to Switzerland and a well known clinic.

To be honest I was pessimistic about getting it to start with, I've got a mere 6 A*s and 2 As (not exactly Oxbridge/super star tier) and my background sealed my fate; there are other people who are arguably much more deserving of getting in as it would give them a boon to social mobility (i.e. meeting the stated aim of the Sutton Trust).

I still really want to go to MIT/Stanford et al for an engineering degree but I've kinda put it off the table, as apart from browsing their websites and reading about the application process I have no real firm idea about how to take a stab to get in (don't want to waste my money on SATs/ACTs if I don't stand a chance). There's always a chance to go to those institutions to take a graduate degree which I will probably aim for in the future.

Luckily I also applied to a Headstart course that I eventually got a place on so it's hardly the end of the world.
Yeah, I too have kinda disregarded USA as a place of study (that is undergrad study), I've completely shifted my aim to getting the highest possible A level grades. But come on 6 a stars and 2 as is very good, unless you also got Cs.
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scrlk
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(Original post by AspiringMedic8)
Thanks, I'm so grateful for getting a place!

Define "run of the mill?" Remember the Sutton Trust wanted candidates to meet all or all but one/two of the criteria for admission. My school is successful, so I didn't meet that criteria, but I met every other one apart from having been looked after in care.

Mines was broadly based, if I choose to study in America then I want to experience languages, sciences and social subjects. A medical degree in the US would be way too much hassle! I doubt the fact you picked engineering disadvantaged you, though, there's people on the programme who are interested in that.

Good luck, you didn't succeed this time, but there's plenty of other opportunities available. Keep applying for these sorts of things!
'Run of the mill' for what would traditionally be classed a 'standard' applicant at a highly competitive uni - parents went to uni, nuclear family, good combined income before tax (for reference my parents are at around £60k pre-tax - http://www.theguardian.com/society/d...y-you-compared), good school with a track record of successful Russell Group and Oxbridge applicants per year.

I said that I'd love to study economics and history alongside Engineering as I really like those subjects but I can't take them at A-Level as I'd probably drive myself in to an early grave! Chem/Phys/Maths/F. Maths is hard enough. Still read up on them when I have the time just to have something else to learn about than my usual subjects.


(Original post by YNM96)
Yeah, I too have kinda disregarded USA as a place of study (that is undergrad study), I've completely shifted my aim to getting the highest possible A level grades. But come on 6 a stars and 2 as is very good, unless you also got Cs.
You might be right in saying my results were good apart from a C in French *cough* but for these really competitive Unis (Oxbridge and the equivalent US ones) it's simply not good enough. I mean, look at these people with 8 A*s, usually 10+ and I really don't stand a chance!

Like you I've put all my focus on getting those all important AS Level grades to keep doors open for the UCAS process.
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YNM96
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(Original post by scrlk)
'Run of the mill' for what would traditionally be classed a 'standard' applicant at a highly competitive uni - parents went to uni, nuclear family, good combined income before tax (for reference my parents are at around £60k pre-tax - http://www.theguardian.com/society/d...y-you-compared), good school with a track record of successful Russell Group and Oxbridge applicants per year.

I said that I'd love to study economics and history alongside Engineering as I really like those subjects but I can't take them at A-Level as I'd probably drive myself in to an early grave! Chem/Phys/Maths/F. Maths is hard enough. Still read up on them when I have the time just to have something else to learn about than my usual subjects.




You might be right in saying my results were good apart from a C in French *cough* but for these really competitive Unis (Oxbridge and the equivalent US ones) it's simply not good enough. I mean, look at these people with 8 A*s, usually 10+ and I really don't stand a chance!

Like you I've put all my focus on getting those all important AS Level grades to keep doors open for the UCAS process.
If you can get 90%+ ums for as and do lots of extra-curricular stuff (in relation to what you hope to study) I don't see how you couldn't get an offer at oxbridge.
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RagaZ
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(Original post by scrlk)
Rather interesting selection criteria I guess.

Hopefully a successful applicant can chime in a little on their background & application (after the champagne celebration!); I'm interested in what kind of people they were looking for since there's no feedback.
what do you want to know?
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AspiringMedic8
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(Original post by scrlk)
'Run of the mill' for what would traditionally be classed a 'standard' applicant at a highly competitive uni - parents went to uni, nuclear family, good combined income before tax (for reference my parents are at around £60k pre-tax - http://www.theguardian.com/society/d...y-you-compared), good school with a track record of successful Russell Group and Oxbridge applicants per year.

I said that I'd love to study economics and history alongside Engineering as I really like those subjects but I can't take them at A-Level as I'd probably drive myself in to an early grave! Chem/Phys/Maths/F. Maths is hard enough. Still read up on them when I have the time just to have something else to learn about than my usual subjects.




You might be right in saying my results were good apart from a C in French *cough* but for these really competitive Unis (Oxbridge and the equivalent US ones) it's simply not good enough. I mean, look at these people with 8 A*s, usually 10+ and I really don't stand a chance!

Like you I've put all my focus on getting those all important AS Level grades to keep doors open for the UCAS process.
If it's any consolation, I think your application would have been really good, but the fact that your parents' combined income is £60k a year probably rejected you from the programme before they even read what you had written. I think the restriction on household income was £42,000 per year (gross), which was quite fair, since the Sutton Trust is a social mobility charity and their main aim is to help people from non-privaledged backgrounds get into university. As I said, your application could have been outstanding, but your income and the fact your parents went to university excluded you from the outset
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scrlk
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(Original post by AspiringMedic8)
If it's any consolation, I think your application would have been really good, but the fact that your parents' combined income is £60k a year probably rejected you from the programme before they even read what you had written. I think the restriction on household income was £42,000 per year (gross), which was quite fair, since the Sutton Trust is a social mobility charity and their main aim is to help people from non-privaledged backgrounds get into university. As I said, your application could have been outstanding, but your income and the fact your parents went to university excluded you from the outset
Yeah, I mentioned that fact in one of my earlier posts:
(Original post by scrlk)
'there are other people who are arguably much more deserving of getting in as it would give them a boon to social mobility (i.e. meeting the stated aim of the Sutton Trust).'
Arguably the most useful thing I've gained from this application is some idea what the UCAS application process might be like.
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SuttonTrustStudent_2013
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Hi everyone! Just wanted to say that I won't be attending this residential (too many other commitments unfortunately) so I won't get to talk to you guys in person but you are all at the beginning of such an incredible journey. If you didn't make it onto the programme, it wasn't solely because your grades weren't good enough or your family income was too high. The fact you applied means you are dedicated and motivated and the ST felt that there were others that may have been more suited to the programme. Decisions were based on a whole range of factors so don't let this knock your confidence at all! If you truly want to study in the US then hard work will get you there Granted, it will be harder without the programme but still 100% possible. Also, if you got rejected you may have been placed on a short waitlist so if anyone does drop out, you still have a chance of making it onto the programme

Okay apologies for the length of this post! I've listed a few tips mainly directed at those who didn't make it and I hope they're useful!

1. Start to think if you could actually move to the US. It will waste a lot of time, effort and money if you begin the process only to realise halfway through that this might be too much. Could you realistically manage moving if perhaps you could only come back home once a year?

2. Start saving now! Be prepared to sacrifice birthday and Christmas money and save your wages. Short term, you'll need to pay to take the tests, pay for revision material and any resits, send off the results to colleges, pay the application fee, pay to send finance material off etc etc. Long term, you'll need to buy a passport and visa as well as sending your stuff over to the US if you end up moving there.

3. Start thinking about your extracurriculars. Do yours prove you're a well rounded individual? Do you have an impact on your community? Do you have a leadership role? How have you impacted other people and how have you been impacted yourself?

3. Plan to take your exams as soon as possible because then if you need to retake you have more time. You'll need to do the ACT with writing OR SAT and maybe SAT11. Get some prep material and book a seat in plenty of time as they fill up quickly!

4. Have a think about which teachers will support you on this process. You'll need 2 teacher references and a counsellor (I would choose Head of Year or something similar). They will provide various documents which will be sent off the unis. Please note that references in the US are completely different to UCAS and it is really important to get this right! If you submit a UCAS reference, US colleges will not be impressed because it is not what they are looking for at all. Obviously you are just at the beginning of the process so don't worry about this immediately. Just something to consider!
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JF97
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Hey guys, with the first residential looming I thought it might be a good idea to alleviate some of the nerves. So, where abouts are people travelling from on Thursday? When are you planning to arrive in London? And also, (especially males!) what sort of clothes are you taking with you? I know the email we received says 'smart-casual' but are you planning on actually wearing proper shirts and such, or just smart polos and jeans etc?
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SuttonTrustStudent_2013
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(Original post by JF97)
Hey guys, with the first residential looming I thought it might be a good idea to alleviate some of the nerves. So, where abouts are people travelling from on Thursday? When are you planning to arrive in London? And also, (especially males!) what sort of clothes are you taking with you? I know the email we received says 'smart-casual' but are you planning on actually wearing proper shirts and such, or just smart polos and jeans etc?
Ladies: DO NOT WEAR HEELS! You will destroy your feet and more importantly, the heels! And if any of you are traveling from the same place you could arrange to meet up? Trust me, if you've never traveled this far by yourself, you do not want to get lost in central London
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Caitlin.thomas98
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I've been thinking of applying for next year's programme, and I noticed that on the form they ask about holidays. My family is currently just under the maximum household income, but we have been on a lot of extravagant holidays (Florida, Caribbean etc) as my granddad, who has now sadly passed away, paid for all of them. Do you think this will affect my chances of getting through greatly, or is it just a minor problem?
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Coke1
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(Original post by Caitlin.thomas98)
I've been thinking of applying for next year's programme, and I noticed that on the form they ask about holidays. My family is currently just under the maximum household income, but we have been on a lot of extravagant holidays (Florida, Caribbean etc) as my granddad, who has now sadly passed away, paid for all of them. Do you think this will affect my chances of getting through greatly, or is it just a minor problem?
It shouldn't affect your chances of getting through- just be honest and explain your situation.

They mainly want to know, because US Universities will ask for how much money you spend on things such as entertainment, shopping, etc when determining how much financial aid you should recieve.
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Coke1
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(Original post by SuttonTrustStudent_2013)
Hi everyone! Just wanted to say that I won't be attending this residential (too many other commitments unfortunately) so I won't get to talk to you guys in person but you are all at the beginning of such an incredible journey. If you didn't make it onto the programme, it wasn't solely because your grades weren't good enough or your family income was too high. The fact you applied means you are dedicated and motivated and the ST felt that there were others that may have been more suited to the programme. Decisions were based on a whole range of factors so don't let this knock your confidence at all! If you truly want to study in the US then hard work will get you there Granted, it will be harder without the programme but still 100% possible. Also, if you got rejected you may have been placed on a short waitlist so if anyone does drop out, you still have a chance of making it onto the programme

Okay apologies for the length of this post! I've listed a few tips mainly directed at those who didn't make it and I hope they're useful!

1. Start to think if you could actually move to the US. It will waste a lot of time, effort and money if you begin the process only to realise halfway through that this might be too much. Could you realistically manage moving if perhaps you could only come back home once a year?

2. Start saving now! Be prepared to sacrifice birthday and Christmas money and save your wages. Short term, you'll need to pay to take the tests, pay for revision material and any resits, send off the results to colleges, pay the application fee, pay to send finance material off etc etc. Long term, you'll need to buy a passport and visa as well as sending your stuff over to the US if you end up moving there.

3. Start thinking about your extracurriculars. Do yours prove you're a well rounded individual? Do you have an impact on your community? Do you have a leadership role? How have you impacted other people and how have you been impacted yourself?

3. Plan to take your exams as soon as possible because then if you need to retake you have more time. You'll need to do the ACT with writing OR SAT and maybe SAT11. Get some prep material and book a seat in plenty of time as they fill up quickly!

4. Have a think about which teachers will support you on this process. You'll need 2 teacher references and a counsellor (I would choose Head of Year or something similar). They will provide various documents which will be sent off the unis. Please note that references in the US are completely different to UCAS and it is really important to get this right! If you submit a UCAS reference, US colleges will not be impressed because it is not what they are looking for at all. Obviously you are just at the beginning of the process so don't worry about this immediately. Just something to consider!
Yes I second all of this! One thing I would add, is that NOW is the time to bump up your extra cirriculars if necessary! US Uni's are huge on 'first, best and only'. For example, FIRST person to start an economics society at my school. Recently winning a competition at your race, making you the BEST. The ONLY person to win an award for something. Things like these really impress US Uni's.
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