DMACC Student Receives a Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

Posted 4/13/2017

​​​​​​This Prestigious Scholarship Could be Worth as Much as $320,000

Rashida Anderson-Abdullah is surprised after learning about the scholarship

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) student Rashida Anderson-Abdullah of Ankeny has been awarded a 2017 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, worth up to $40,000 a year, to complete a bachelor's degree at a four-year college or university.

In addition, after earning a bachelor's degree, Anderson-Abdullah may be eligible for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to $50,000 a year for up to four years.

“The undergraduate scholarship is for up to $40,000 a year for three years and the graduate scholarship is for up to $50,000 a year for four years, so the total of this scholarship is possibly as much as $320,000," said DMACC Boone Campus Physics and Mathematics Professor Dr. Nancy Woods.  “This is clearly one of the most lucrative scholarships out there.  This is a life-changing award—one that only the best and brightest can earn.  The Cooke Scholarship allows our graduates to dream big and to reach to complete their bachelor's degrees at our nation's top four-year universities.  This scholarship will cover a significant share of Rashida's educational expenses—including tuition, living expenses, books and required fees so that she can achieve a bachelor's degree.  We are all very excited for Rashida!"  

Anderson-Abdullah has been a DMACC Urban and Ankeny Campus student. She was notified of winning the scholarship when DMACC administrators, faculty and others surprised her with the big announcement, amid balloons, cookies, punch and flowers during her Ankeny Campus Macroeconomics class.

The Cooke Foundation selected 55 outstanding community college students from around the nation from a competitive pool of nearly 3,000 applicants to receive Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships this year. All of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars have financial need and strong records of academic achievement as shown by grades, leadership skills, awards, extraordinary service to others and perseverance in the face of adversity.

The Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is the largest private scholarship in the nation for students transferring from two-year community colleges to four-year institutions that award bachelor's degrees.

“Our Undergraduate Transfer Scholars have a proven record of accomplishment at elite colleges and universities and have gone on to successful careers in many professions," said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “This is among the most prestigious scholarships in the country and we are extremely proud of the talented students who have been selected."

Cooke Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad, and opportunities to network with other Cooke Scholars and alumni.

According to the American Association of Comm​unity Colleges, “nearly half of all undergraduates in the United States attend community colleges," amounting to 12.3 million students.

This marks the second time that a DMACC student has received a Jack Kent Cook Transfer Scholarship.  DMACC Boone Campus student Joshua Stevens, now the QA Manager at World Food Processing at Liguria Foods, Inc. in Humboldt, Iowa won the Jack Kent Cook Scholarship in 2013.  Stevens graduated, in 2016 from the University of Iowa, as a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, majoring in Business Statistics. Previously, he graduated from DMACC in 2013.

The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has provided over $152 million in scholarships to nearly 2,200 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also awarded over $90 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.​


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