Year 13 student Nirva Patel has gained a prestigious scholarship to Oakland University in America to study Communication.
The BTEC Extended Diploma in Sport and Exercise Science student has a scholarship which covers nearly everything, including accommodation, food, academics, athletics and travel, and is guaranteed for four years. The academic fees are usually around $40,000 per year alone.
Having been playing on the British Tour during the Sixth Form at Taunton School, Nirva will study for her degree alongside playing tennis for the OU Golden Grizzlies which compete in the NCAA Division I Horizon League. Division I is the highest level of intercollegiate sport in the US and comprises of the major athletic powers who have larger budgets and more advanced facilities than other universities. There are only 350 universities in this division compared to nearly 5,000 colleges and universities in total.
Nirva says “Playing Division I tennis at university has been a goal of mine for the past three years. I am really looking forward to taking the next step into my tennis career and furthering my studies at university. I was lucky enough to have a range of offers for Division I universities and, though the process of choosing the final one was hard, Oakland University really caught my eye. I really liked the look of the campus and the standard of sport. I am looking forward to study Communication when I go out there, and cannot wait to be able to participate as a part of the Grizzlies team and compete against other high standard universities. I am very excited to utilise the facilities out there in the athletics department and work with well experienced professionals”.
Head of Careers Richard Judd said: “To play Division I sport is to play sport at the highest level. The application is very complex and demanding and very few receive the offer of a full scholarship and so it is a huge achievement for Nirva.”
Founded in 1957, Oakland University is located in Rochester, Michigan; a suburb about 30 miles northwest of Detroit, and the campus size is 1,444 acres, making it nearly 26 times the size of Taunton School.