I turned down an Eton scholarship and now I’m going to Harvard

Brainiac heading to the world’s best uni after rejecting public school


A daring sixth former who turned down a £100,000 scholarship to Eton is now going to Harvard after getting an unconditional offer.

And he hasn’t even got his A level results yet.

Connor Rice, 18, who is predicted to get four A*s on results day tomorrow, will be going to the best uni in the world next year – where only six per cent of applicants get a place.

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Smart guy Connor outside the local college he rejected Eton for

Connor told The Tab: “I was ready to apply to Stanford, Princeton and had an interview at MIT.

“But getting into Harvard means I didn’t need to do any of that.

“I wanted to apply to America in general when my teachers suggested Harvard. I was just like ‘well I can try’.”

Egghead Connor from Belper in Derbyshire has come a long way since turning down a scholarship at Eton two years ago.

“It was so surreal compared to what I’m used to. Being the only state school student, it didn’t feel like I fit in.

“Eton was only a passing comment from my teacher, I’d never heard of it until I mentioned it to my mum.

“All of a sudden I was offered a place, but at the age of 15 it meant moving to London.”

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He’s already got the uni stash

But after rejecting the offer, Connor had a big backlash from people he thought were friends.

He said: “People were pretty harsh about it. Some called me stupid, which was kind of ironic in the situation.

“They said they would never have turned it down, but I went for four days and didn’t enjoy it – I just thought i’d be miserable.

“And I don’t think I would be going to Harvard if i’d gone to Eton.

“I’ve heard they’re a lot more strict, so I don’t know how I’d have done grades wise.”

Connor shunned UK unis like Oxford and Cambridge, choosing to head stateside because the style of teaching suited him more.

He said: “I’d like to major in neurosceience, but in America you do a bit of everything at the start then narrow it down.

“That’s better for me because I wasn’t 100 per cent sure what I wanted to do.”

What’s more, the sixth former even discovered it would cost less to go and study over the pond.

“I told my friends I was looking at America, but they Googled it and saw it was around $60,000 a year.

“But I looked at the scholarships and grants. Compared to here I’m paying near to nothing to go to Harvard – it would be more expensive in the UK.”

While most A level students are pulling their hair out and collectively bricking it in anticipation of tomorrow’s results.

But chilled Connor already has his place confirmed at Harvard.

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Connor is expected to get four A*s in his A levels

He said: “I don’t feel like I’m allowed to say I’m worried, but that’s understandable because for me if I don’t get the grade I want it’s only going to bug me.

“But if they don’t hit a grade boundary they might not get into uni, so I have to respect that.”

“I have kind of an unconditional offer as they don’t tend to base it off A levels, but an entrance exam instead.

“If they see a ‘significant drop’ in your grades they’ll talk to you about it, but other than that it’s secure so the pressures off a bit.”

Amazingly Connor hasn’t actually been to visit the Harvard campus, and his only experience of America is a family holiday to Florida.

He said: “I’ve not been over, I was interviewed in Manchester by one of the alumni.

“When I went to Florida I absolutely loved it. The people were incredibly friendly.

“I get to visit next April and will start in August, but I’d like to do some pre-semester courses and might go early to make some extra money cleaning dorms.”

Connor is expected to pick up four A*s in Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics on results day tomorrow.