Bilborough College student selected from more than 1000 across UK for USA university programme

A Bilborough College student has been selected from more than 1,000 applicants across the UK for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to find out more about universities in America.

Dayna Mooneegan is one of 150 students who have been awarded a place on the Sutton Trust US Programme 2017.

She had to satisfy strict criteria to qualify for the programme which included achieving eight A or A* grades at GCSE.

Dayna also had to fill in a rigorous online application form and complete a video interview before taking part in a four-day residential course in London in April.

The 17-year-old, who is studying History, Economics, Government and Politics and Law at Bilborough College, said: “I heard about the Sutton Trust programme through college and I applied just after Christmas as I’ve always wanted to go to university in America. I didn’t even know that an opportunity like this existed. I have been to America before and visited five States and it was really good; I love the whole school spirit out there.

“I found out by email that I’d been offered a place on the Sutton Trust programme and I was really excited and so pleased.”

The 17-year-old will stay for a week at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston – the top ranked university in the world – and will also get to visit Harvard in July 2017.

Dayna said: “I will be visiting universities in the area and we will be going to a summer fair at Harvard and there will be lots of universities there so we can ask questions and learn all about them. I think we might be going to New York too. I think the opportunity that we are being given is priceless.”

Last year, another Bilborough College student won a place on the Sutton Trust programme. Olivier Niyibizi stayed at Yale University where he lived on campus and took part in a range of activities.

Dayna will sit the ACT, an American University Admissions exam, in London this month which she will be able to submit if she applies to study in America in the future.

Chris Bradford, Principal at Bilborough College, congratulated Dayna on her achievement.

He said: “We are all delighted for Dayna. It’s an impressive achievement. This gives her the opportunity to find out first-hand about the wealth of educational opportunities available at some of the highest-ranked universities in the USA and the world. Our focus is constantly on our students’ progression and achievement beyond Bilborough and it’s great that she’s preparing with such commitment and success for that important next step.”

Alison Lardi, Careers and Progression Manager at Bilborough College, said: “We are delighted that Dayna has obtained a place on the prestigious Sutton Trust US Programme, it is a great achievement for her and we are proud that she will be second Bilborough College students in two years to achieve this. The programme provides students with a fully-funded opportunity to experience life as a US student, as well as excellent mentoring and support to help them with an application to Universities in the US. It also helps our progression staff to provide expert advice to our students and ensures that we can continue to offer a wide range of progression opportunities to all of our students here at Bilborough College.”