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Oakton Student Receives Prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship

Oakton Community College sophomore and Skokie resident Hollie Wagner is one of only 73 scholars nationwide to receive the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The award provides up to $30,000 annually for a student to complete a four-year degree. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent establishment dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need.

Wagner, an honors student majoring in liberal arts, boasts a 3.90 GPA. At the College, she also is active with Students for Social Justice and the Performing Arts at Oakton. Wagner recently directed The Vagina Monologues and helped coordinate the College’s participation in One Billion Rising, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

This fall, Wagner plans to double major in political science and philosophy. While she is still considering her options, she has narrowed her choices to New York University, University of New Mexico, University of Hawaii, The New School for Social Research, and Stony Brook University.

“I’ve been taking classes at Oakton for a long time, while juggling several jobs,” said Wagner. “I’m very grateful for the scholarship because I can finally just focus on my education. Receiving the scholarship also reinforced my conviction that hard work does pay off in the end. And without this support, there is no way I would have been able to continue my education.”

To be eligible for a transfer scholarship, a student must:

  • Be a current student at an accredited U.S. community college.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.50.
  • Plan to transfer to a four-year college or university.
  • Be nominated by a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation faculty representative.

A review panel of distinguished university faculty and admissions professionals from across the nation judge nominees using such criteria as academic achievement, critical thinking ability, financial need, will to succeed, and breadth of interest and activities.

“Hollie is really a remarkable person,” said Tom Bowen, co-director of Oakton’s Honors Student Organization. “I nominated her because she demonstrates all the characteristics of a strong student dedicated to a life of learning, as well as a deep commitment to transforming the world guided by the basic principles of peace and social justice.”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded more than $13 million to more than 400 students since the undergraduate transfer scholarship program was instituted in 2002.

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There’s no height that Cliff Casey, manager of Advising Services, won’t scale – for himself or for Oakton students.

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