Taylor Swift Gives $30,000 Toward Student’s U.K. University Dream

LONDON — Vitoria Mario had secured a place to study at one of Britain’s top universities, but didn’t have money to cover the cost. In hopes of achieving her dream, she started a GoFundMe page to raise the 40,000 pounds (about $52,000) she needed. But with the start of her […]

LONDON — Vitoria Mario had secured a place to study at one of Britain’s top universities, but didn’t have money to cover the cost.

In hopes of achieving her dream, she started a GoFundMe page to raise the 40,000 pounds (about $52,000) she needed. But with the start of her course looming, by Thursday she had reached only about half of her target when a donation of £23,373 came in.

The name attached to it: Taylor Swift.

“Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality,” the singer wrote on the fund-raising page. “I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor.”

The good news for Ms. Mario came as hundreds of thousands of students across England have had their entry to universities disrupted — first by the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the cancellation of the exams usually taken to secure college places, and then by the government’s use of an algorithm to determine the students’ scores that was eventually abandoned after contentious results.

Ms. Mario said on her fund-raising page that her efforts had also included emailing hundreds of people at top corporations to ask for financial support, but that she was either turned down or heard nothing back. She also traipsed around some of London’s most affluent areas, slipping letters into residents’ mailboxes. But still, she heard nothing.

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