Prestigious scholarship covers full tuition cost for students transferring
Central Bureau Chief
All of the students who pass through Broward College have different paths in mind. But one of the most common ones is to study two years at BC to get an Associates in Arts (AA) degree and then transfer to a Florida public university to get a bachelor’s degree from that university.
The Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship (JKC) exists to aid these cases. The scholarship, provided by the Landsdowne, Virginia-based JKC Foundation, provides financial aid to students based on academic merits and financial situation. They also take into consideration qualities such as their skills in leadership, recognition awarded and their perseverance.
According to the JKC website, students who apply have up to three years to get their bachelor’s degrees, after which they can apply for up to $50,000 a year for four years. The scholarship goes beyond just paying the tuition as it also covers academic advising and stipends for studying abroad or getting internships.
The scholarship is also a source of pride for BC, as many of its students have been awarded the JKC Scholarship throughout the years, placing BC as second in the nation with the number of awarded students.
Two BC students were among the 75 students who were awarded with the scholarship last year. Their names are Quratulain Amin and Yanelle Cruz Bonilla.
Amin was born in Karachi, Pakistan and moved to the United States in 2014. She is a member of the Robert “Bob” Elmore Honors College and Phi Theta Kappa Honor, where she serves as Vice President. She plans to transfer to the University of Miami to graduate in Biomedical Engineering with a goal of becoming a cardiac surgeon.
Amin remembers the joy she felt when she earned the scholarship.
“I was very happy, but I am not going to lie that in the beginning I did not believe that I won it,” Amin said. “I remember when I heard the news; I asked a couple of times if I am the one who received it. Getting the JKC was a dream which came true so I was happy. I felt like I got a chance to achieve my future goals.”
Overall, Amin feels very grateful towards BC for having the chance to fulfill her dreams and being able to fit in.
“Coming from another country, I was scared if I would be able to mingle here or understand the culture here because it was completely different for me,” Amin said. “But, Broward College accepted me with open arms and gave me all the opportunity that I deserved.”
Cruz was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Despite many financial issues and hardships, she was able to graduate with a 4.0 GPA in May 2016. She plans to continue her studies with the goal of becoming a social policy analyst and researcher, hoping to inspire change for minorities.
Cruz says that to get the scholarship, doing work and commitment beyond BC helps.
“I advise you not to get discouraged if you don’t have a perfect GPA or an extremely long resume,” Cruz said. “I think showing a commitment to your community is important so seek out volunteer opportunities about causes you are passionate about, and expand your world beyond BC. There are many amazing organizations I got to volunteer and work with in the Fort Lauderdale area that helped me build experiences and memories that I could talk about in my application.”
Although it’s not mandatory to be part of the Honors College to get the scholarship, it’s recommended to be as it indicates to the Foundation that the applying student has a good academic standing, according to Satchell Mede, coordinator of the Honors College.
“Part of the scholarship application is to show the rigor of your academic courses.” Mede said. “Being an Honors student helps with this portion because it indicated to the JKC foundation that you are not only taking a full load of courses, but that they are honors courses. Most of the applicants, finalists and recipients that apply from Broward College come from our Honors college because of our same GPA requirement (3.5 or above) and the honors courses that we offer which serve as a proof of academic rigor that JKC is looking for.”
For students interested in learning more about the scholarship, how to apply and further reading, they can visit the official website of the JKC Foundation at http://www.jkcf.org.