JWCC student semifinalist for prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

Catharine Miller

Catharine Miller is one of 459 semifinalists who attend 215 community colleges in 38 states. | Photo courtesy of John Wood Community College

QUINCY — The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation recently announced today that Catharine Miller of John Wood Community College is among the semifinalists for its highly competitive Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Through this program, the foundation awards community college students demonstrating exceptional academic ability, leadership, service and a determination to complete their bachelor’s degrees at top four-year institutions.

This year’s 459 semifinalists were chosen from a pool of more than 1,700 applicants. They attend 215 community colleges in 38 states.

Some of the latest research from the American Talent Initiative estimates roughly 50,000 high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds could transfer to four-year colleges each year but don’t, often due to cost. The Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is designed to create a clear pathway to a four-year degree by offering up to $55,000 per year along with academic advising and access to a network of peers.

In a press release, Miller said, “I am incredibly grateful to be a semifinalist for such an amazing scholarship. At JWCC, I made many connections that have strengthened my character and resources for the future. Because of the mentorship and other resources that the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship provides, I knew that I had to go for it.

“When looking into the scholarship and seeing that this is nationwide, I got nervous. I have always been a girl from a small town who was told you could do whatever you put your mind to, but this seemed like a big challenge. Nevertheless, I put my all into the application and was over the moon to discover that I was a semifinalist.”

Miller plans to continue her education at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., to become an elementary education teacher.

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship offers unparalleled support to community college students. Selected scholars will receive educational advising from the foundation’s deans of scholar support to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their future endeavors. They will have access to opportunities for internships, study abroad, graduate school funding and the connection to a network of more than 3,000 fellow Cooke scholars and alumni.

“By lifting the financial burden of pursuing a four-year degree off their shoulders, our goal is to help students take full advantage of a four-year college experience without taking on student debt,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Cooke Foundation. “This year’s selected semifinalists reflect the deep bench of talent across our community colleges today. We’re looking forward to getting to know them better in our final application review process.”

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship recipients will be announced in April.

To learn more about the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, visit https://www.jkcf.org/our-stories/transfer-semifinalists-2023/.

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