Taylor Swift donates £23,000 to help student go to university

Vitoria Mario is not eligible for maintenance loans or grants having only lived in the UK for four years

The US pop star made the contribution via a Go Fund Me page raising money for Vitoria Mario.
Photograph: Isabel Infantes/PA

An aspiring mathematician who lives in London has thanked Taylor Swift for making her “dreams come true” after the singer donated £23,000 towards her university education.

Vitoria Mario, who is Portuguese but has lived in the UK for four years, said she was ineligible for government funding and her family could not afford to support her while she studied at Warwick University.

Swift made the contribution via a GoFundMe page. Alongside the donation for £23,373, the US pop star wrote: “Vitoria, I came across your story online and am so inspired by your drive and dedication to turning your dreams into reality.

“I want to gift you the rest of your goal amount. Good luck with everything you do! Love, Taylor.”

Mario said she has not spoken to Swift yet but was keen to thank her because “she actually made my dream come true”.

She added: “I feel like at some points I was worrying too much about the money, what I have to do, if I have to look for a job, and now I can just do more maths, prepare myself for uni, so I can just be really prepared when it comes.”

The 18-year-old, who lives in Tottenham, north London, was awarded two A*s and an A in her A-levels. She said her father has died and her mother lives in Portugal.

Mario, who lives with relatives, wrote on the fundraising site that her family cannot afford to support her and she needs funds to help pay for her accommodation, a laptop, textbooks and general living costs.

“Though my story is not unique, my dream of becoming a mathematician is not only a chance at social mobility for my family and I, but to inspire people who have been in similar positions to aspire to be the best version of themselves and strive for their dreams despite gender/racial inequality, immigration issues and financial barriers,” she wrote.

She added that she has always been “studious” and was unable to speak English when she moved to the UK in 2016.

“Moving away from her was a challenge but it was a sacrifice worth being made in my family’s eyes,” she added.

Mario estimated she would need £24,000 for accommodation, £3,000 for equipment and £13,000 for general living costs including food, transport, gas and electricity. Thanks to Swift’s donation she has now reached her fundraising target.