Student at Leeds college wins scholarship to America worth £60,000 a year to follow her dream of being a scientist
A student at a Leeds college has won a scholarship worth around £60,000 a year to study computer science in America.
Chloe Smith, who is doing A-Levels at Elliott Hudson College in south Leeds, will fly to Chicago in August to start a four year undergraduate degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in computer science and electrical engineering.
The 18-year-old was one of 20,000 people applying for a place where only four per cent of applicants are successful.
She was accepted and the university will cover her tuition fees, living costs and medical insurances that come to $84,000 dollars a year.
Without the scholarship, the teenager from Batley, says she could never have gone and would have had to get a loan to pay tuition fees at a UK university.
Miss Smith, who is studying A-Levels in maths, further maths, physics and computer science, said not many UK universities offer the subject she wants to pursue, other than Oxford, but it wasn’t “her vibe”.
She said: “I looked at universities abroad and America and the first one that comes up is MIT. The minute I found it I thought this is where I have got to be but I didn’t think I would get in. I thought it is worth a shot but the chance is crazy.”
She added: “Without that, I would not have been able to go. Graduating with no debt is the part that stands out.”
When Miss Smith, who attended the Ruth Gorse Academy for secondary education, does jet out to America it will be the first time she has been to another country.
She said: “I don’t even know what to expect. I have never been to another country, never mind America. It really is a shot in the dark. Outside university, the culture I find really interesting, it will be fun for definite.
“It is a lot to take in, the idea of going to a different country, rather than a university a couple of miles down the road which my parents would have preferred. I am the first in my family to go to university so I think it was quite a shock to them.”
Miss Smith has wanted to be a scientist since she was a child and when she finishes her studies the dream is to have her own robotics or tech company potentially working in space.
She added: “When I was six I wanted to be a scientist. I don’t know what type of scientist, I didn’t know there were different types. I have always been better at maths than English and at GCSE wanted to do computer science and a couple of years later I am going to MIT to study it.”
David Holtham, principal at Elliott Hudson College, said: “We are incredibly proud of Chloe and what she has achieved at securing a fully-funded place at MIT. Exceptionally driven, Chloe has worked hard, not just in her academic studies but in her enrichment activities, to achieve her dream.
“We hope to welcome Chloe back to Elliott Hudson College to share her experience and journey, in the hope of inspiring the next generation to apply to Ivy League and Oxbridge Universities.”