Prestigious Cooke Scholarship
Susan Hogue, who enrolled at Cowley six years ago because she was “tired of sitting at home bored,” is one of only 25 community college students nationwide to be awarded the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship in 2005. Hogue, 43, a secondary education major who lives in Winfield and graduated with the Class of 2005, is a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar, which means she can be awarded up to $30,000 per year to continue her education.
Hogue said she plans to transfer to Southwestern College and major in business education. “I am in complete shock,” said Hogue, who received the honor April 19 during Cowley’s annual Celebration of Excellence, the honors and awards banquet. “I’m so proud of this school. I’ve learned an awful lot.” Dr. Pat McAtee, Cowley president, announced Hogue’s award. The packed Earle N. Wright Community Room then gave Hogue, who was accompanied by her three young sons, a standing ovation. “We are so very proud of you,” McAtee said. “This is a first for our college.” Each year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program awards approximately 25 scholarships to students attending community colleges or two-year institutions who plan to transfer to four-year institutions. Each award covers a portion of educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, required fees, and books for the final two to three years of the baccalaureate degree. The amount and duration of awards vary by student based on the cost of attendance and the length of the program, as well as other scholarships or grants received. The maximum available per student is $30,000 per year.
This is the largest scholarship offered in the U.S. to community college transfer students. Students interested in the scholarship must be nominated by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation faculty representative at their college. Lisa Grose, scholarship coordinator at Cowley, nominated Hogue for the award. “This is wonderful,” Grose said. “Susan’s essay she wrote was very good, so I knew she would get some attention. I’m so proud of her.” The scholars come from community colleges in 18 states. They were selected from among 791 nominees nominated by 519 community and two-year colleges across the country. Because institutions on average reviewed more than three candidates internally before submitting their nominees, the number of students considered for the award numbered in the thousands.
There is no larger scholarship, or one involving such intense competition, available
to community college students. Hogue, who grew up in Colorado, has five children.
Her husband Mark is a charter pilot at Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita. April
19 was the couple’s 10th wedding anniversary. “He’s gone all
the time, so it’s been a challenge raising the kids and staying home all
the time,” Susan Hogue said. “Because of that, I’ve taken a
lot of my classes online.” Hogue began her quest for an associate’s
degree in spring 1999. Her first class was Principles of Macroeconomics. It was
the only “B” she has on her transcript. “I took the class for
the fun of it,” Hogue said. “I had taken all the tests and attended
every class, but I skipped the final and still got a B. I had no idea that was
the beginning and would lead to this.” Hogue’s three sons—Derek
8, Hunter 7, and Jess 4—were well-behaved during the two-hour, 15-minute
banquet on April 19. Hogue also has two daughters. Bre Annah Wickline, 21, is
in the Navy. Madeline Hogue, 13, is a student at Winfield Middle School. Wickline
and her husband are taking online classes from Cowley while stationed in Italy.
Hogue had heard about the scholarship when she went to Southwestern College for a visit. She decided to apply. “I didn’t expect this at all,” she said. “I realized that if it’s meant for me, it will happen. “I have to tell you, I kind of thought it (the application) looked good, then I began to get worried that I would get it and that I’d have to finish this degree.” The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation created the program to make sure financial obstacles do not prevent high-achieving community college students from advancing their education and pursuing their dreams, said Matthew J. Quinn, the Foundation’s executive director.