Eligibility and Selection

To be eligible to apply applicants must:

  • Currently be in Year 12 or equivalent (eg S5 in Scotland, Year 13 in Northern Ireland)
  • Attend a state school or college
  • Not hold US citizenship
  • Be from a low income family (generally, this will mean a household earning £45,000 or less)

We are looking for applicants that meet all or most of these criteria:

  • England and Northern Ireland: Have achieved at least eight GCSEs at grade A or 7 or above
    Wales: Have achieved at least eight GCSEs at grade A or above
    Scotland: Have achieved at least six B passes at National 5 or above
  • Show a commitment to the programme and interest in US culture and higher education
  • Have a strong school reference

We welcome applicants from all areas of the UK, and individuals from a broad range of ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds are encouraged to apply. 

Selection Criteria

Students will complete an online application modelled on the US Common Application and Financial Aid forms. This will help us to conduct a holistic review of your application, and will get students in the mind set of the US admissions process.

We will select students based on similar criteria to what US universities are looking for:

  • Academic performance and potential
  • Extracurricular involvement, including school and community activities, work experience, paid work and other interests
  • Character: Leadership, service, work ethic, enthusiasm, drive to succeed
  • Commitment to the programme through demonstrated interest in US higher education and culture


We consider each student’s achievements in context. If your community, school or background has somehow limited your opportunities, we will take this into account. In the same way, if you have gone to a good school with many opportunities, we want to ensure you have taken advantage of these.

What would make me unsuitable for the US Programme?

In the US, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and law are only offered at the post-graduate level. For students who are confident they want to study medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary medicine, the US Programme may not be the best choice for you. For these subjects, most British students find courses in the UK to be shorter and more affordable, and if they are interested in the US they tend to choose to study in the US short-term as part of a UK course or for their post-graduate studies/research. Students interested in law may study a related field at the undergraduate level and then return to the UK to complete a law conversion course, so the programme may still be for them, but they’ll want to consider this before applying.

Applying to US universities is a more in-depth application process than UCAS, so we are looking for academically able students who are committed to putting in the time and effort required to make the most of this great opportunity and are eager to learn about the possibility of studying in the US. In this, applicants will be expected to participate in all elements of the programme. See the format and key dates page for more information

If you are not yet in Year 12, you are a bit ahead of the game for this year’s programme. You may register your interest for the 2019 programme by completing this online survey.


Eligibility FAQs

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