Studying in the US

The Sutton Trust’s partners in delivering the US programme, the US-UK Fulbright Commission, has more information on some of the benefits of studying in the US, the available options, and the advice and guidance they can provide.

The Trust believes that studying in the US might be an attractive option for many British students because of the breadth of the Liberal Arts undergraduate degree and the generous financial aid packages on offer. There is also a wide range of top-ranked universities in the US for students to choose from. It won’t be right for everyone, but we believe the opportunity to study in the US should be open to talented students from low and middle income homes too.

Why Go Abroad

In a recent survey, The Fulbright Commission found British students were most attracted to the availability of funding for bachelor’s study in the US, as well as the reputation and flexibility of its degrees. Studying or working abroad for a summer or semester is also a fun and exciting way to learn about a new culture, all while expanding your CV and developing the international perspective and skills employers seek.

Also, millions of dollars in scholarships are offered each year to international students on the basis of their academic success and financial need.

Application Process to US Universities

If you are interested in applying to the US, first, review Fulbright’s suggested application timeline to find out when to get started and for an overview of the process. The process follows a similar timeline to the UK in that there are early deadlines (usually 1 November) and regular deadlines in January.  However, you should leave more time to choose universities, take admissions tests and put together individual applications for each university.

Visit the applying section of Fulbright’s website to find out about the typical US university application requirements, admissions tests, essay tips and more. The Sutton Trust US Programme is intended to help with all of this. 


The average cost of tuition at US universities is higher than in the UK. However, each year international students receive significant amounts of financial assistance toward their studies in the USA. Every year over 600 US universities offer international students scholarships of $20,000 or more. Of these 600 universities, 179 offer scholarships of $20,000-$30,000 per year, 64 offer scholarships between $30,000-$40,000 per year, 124 offer scholarships greater than $40,000 per year or more and 250 offer a ‘full ride’. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit, financial need and/or talent (in the arts or sports for example). The important things to remember are that you apply for funding at the same time you apply for admission to university and that you need to put in the time needed to select universities based on the funding they offer international students and/or to apply for external scholarships. All of which the Sutton Trust’s US Programme will help you with.

Visit the funding section of Fulbright’s website for more general information.