Yale to host U.K. high school students

A U.K. charity announced Tuesday that it will pay for low-income students in the United Kingdom to study at Yale this summer as part of a program intended to expand to other schools across the United States.

The Sutton Trust, which supports education and social mobility programs for low-income students in the United Kingdom, will sponsor around 60 high school students to spend a week in New Haven and take classes run by the program on Yale’s campus. The Trust already runs similar programs at seven U.K. universities, and Yale will be the first American school to host a program.

In the past, administrators have said Yale would consider adding summer programs as a way to raise revenue for the University, but Kellie Elliott, Yale’s director of conferences and events, said the partnership was motivated by Yale’s international recruiting goals.

“Yale is trying to be more international, with the [Singaporean] campus and so forth, so this way we have a chance to bring international students here to demystify the whole college experience,” Elliott said. “I think they’re going to go to a lot of cultural classes, and to learn the differences between studying in the United States and studying in Europe.”

Elliott said Yale was approached in September by Sir Peter Lampl — the Sutton Trust’s founder and a friend of Jeffrey Brenzel, dean of undergraduate admissions at Yale. The University then spent the next seven months evaluating the curriculum the Sutton Trust had offered to institutions in the United Kingdom.

Brenzel could not be reached for comment Monday.

Elliott added that the program has not given Yale any specific syllabi for the classes it would teach, but she said Yale expected to receive them in the coming weeks.

While Elliott admitted that the week-long program may be too short to get a full experience of the American education system, she said the program is expected to expand to three weeks if this year’s trial proves successful.

“A lot of first-year programs tend to test the water and see what the draw is, because while they’re very successful in the U.K., this will be the first [U.S.] campus that they’re on,” Elliott said.

Ronald Ehrenberg, director of Cornell’s Higher Education Research Institute, said more students in the United Kingdom are considering studying in the United States since the cost of education in the United Kingdom has increased in recent years as U.S. colleges have increased their financial aid packages.

Given this rising interest among U.K. students in attending U.S. universities, Lampl said in a press release that he expected the program to expand to several elite U.S. schools.

“Studying at a U.S. university is an appealing prospect to many U.K. state school students,” Lampl said in a press release. “If successful, we intend to establish many more U.S. summer schools next year and beyond — opening a pipeline for U.K. students to reap the benefits of higher education at leading U.S. universities.”

The program’s website says it will give preference to students who will be the first in their families to attend college and whose households make roughly $63,000.

Still, Ehrenberg said studying in the United States may not be the best option for needy students, since many colleges do not offer need-blind admissions for international students.

“Cornell, for example, offers all U.S. citizens need-blind admissions and then meets the full need of all of these students,” Ehrenberg said. “However, for international students we have a fixed total financial aid budget which limits the number of needy foreign students we actually can admit.”

Yale, on the other hand, offers need-blind admission to international applicants and will meet 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students.

Applications for the Sutton Trust’s Yale program are due April 15.

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