Contributed by the Jack
Kent Cooke Foundation
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today that Lauryn Marshall of Southern Union State Community College is among the semifinalists selected for its highly competitive Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Through this award, the Foundation supports exceptionally talented community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees.
Today, nearly half of postsecondary students begin their college journey at a two-year institution. Research commissioned by the Foundation found that community college students who transfer to selective institutions have equal to or higher graduation rates as students who enrolled directly from high school or transferred from four-year institutions. Yet, at the nation’s top colleges, only 5% have transferred from a community college. The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship seeks to increase the number of community college students completing their education at top four-year institutions.
This year’s 406 semifinalists were chosen from a pool of over 1,500 applicants attending 398 community colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Lauryn is one of three students selected from Alabama. “This accomplishment moves me one step closer to achieving my goal of graduating college debt-free. I am honored to be selected as a semifinalist for this national scholarship and will work diligently to represent Opelika well through the remainder of this process,” Marshall said.
“The research is clear: our community colleges are full of talented students with a diversity of experiences that contribute to their educational journey. We see this in our applicant pool every year and are excited to recognize this group of semifinalists for their academic achievements,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are especially impressed by the incredible perseverance and drive these students have exhibited during such an unprecedented year.”
The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients will be announced in April. In addition to financial support, selected Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from the Foundation to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their careers. Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of over 2,800 fellow Cooke Scholars and Alumni.
Cooke Transfer Scholars are selected based on their exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service and leadership. Students must be currently enrolled in community college and residing in the United States. If selected as a finalist for this scholarship, Lauryn will receive up to $40,000 for up to three years.
A list of this year’s Cooke Transfer Scholar Semifinalists, their community colleges and their state of residence can be found here: www.jkcf.org/our-stories/2021-cooke-transfer-scholar-semifinalists/. Learn more about the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship at www.jkcf.org/our-scholarships/undergraduate-transfer-scholarship/.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $222 million in scholarships to over 2,800 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $115 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.