A STUDENT from Bolton has been offered a place at the world famous Princeton University.

Rebecca Richards, from Heaton, was one of just 1,900 students to be accepted at the prestigious American university this year from more than 26,000 applications.

The 18-year-old left Bolton School last summer and although she was set to study physics at the University of Warwick, she decided to take a year out after achieving four A* grades at A-level.

She then applied to a handful of Ivy League universities in the United States — and won a place at Princeton, which is in New Jersey.

Rebecca, from Heaton, who was a deputy head girl at Bolton School, said: “I am still planning to study physics, but the beauty of the US system is that I don’t have to specify my major until my second year.

“This means that I can take a wide variety of classes and keep my options open. I’d really like to pick up a language and do some more biological and medical physics, such as bioengineering.”

Bolton School has a policy of encouraging pupils to consider continuing their studies abroad, particularly in America.

Rebecca was introduced to the idea of studying at an Ivy League university at the age of 15 and set her heart on it in the sixth form — more so after missing out on a place at Cambridge University.

Rebecca, who is currently enjoying her gap year with plans to travel across South East Asia and Australia, said: “The application process is very different to the UK, but school was incredibly supportive and helped me so much with my references and the reports that had to be sent.

“The staff didn’t hesitate to write references and go through the US application system.

“I am very excited. I will of course miss my family and it will be very different.

“Many students probably would like to go, but then think it will be expensive — but there is support and financial packages available.

“If you want it enough then go for it. It’s an opportunity that cannot be missed.”


  • Princeton University was established in 1746.
  • Its Graduate School was established in 1900.
  • It is a private university and a member of the Ivy League athletic conference.
  • Christopher L. Eisgruber became the university’s 20th president last year.
  • Schools within the university include the School of Architecture, School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
  • Student enrollment for the 2012/2013 academic year: 7,912 — 5,264 undergraduates and 2,648 graduates.
  • International students make up about 11 per cent of undergraduates.
  • Its 10 libraries house more than 13 million books.
  • The university is home to the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
  • It is a national centre for nuclear fusion and plasma research.