Burlington’s Kayla Cornale is passing up TD Canada Trust’s $60,000 scholarship — and a coveted spot at McMaster University — to enroll at Stanford in California, which is also offering to subsidize her studies.


“It was a tough decision to make,” said Cornale.


McMaster offered her an entrance scholarship in its elite interdisciplinary arts and science program.


Stanford wooed her in style. It offered her an academic scholarship and the opportunity to do research in autism, which has been her focus in high school.


Cornale won the Canadian prize for inventing the Sounds Into Syllables system that teaches autistic kids language through musical notes. It pays post-secondary tuition, $5,000 a year for living expenses and includes summer jobs at the bank. It has just one string attached: stay home.

The renewable entrance scholarship was as good as McMaster could do, said Dr. Peter Sutherland, director of the program.