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HCC student awarded Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

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HCC student awarded Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship

Margaret Mothershed, a recent graduate of Hagerstown Community College, is one of four community college students in Maryland to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, worth up to $55,000 a year, to complete a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university.

The Cooke Foundation selected 100 outstanding community college students to receive the scholarship, from a pool of more than 1,200 students at 332 community colleges nationwide. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, and leadership.

Mothershed, 20, of Maugansville, graduated from HCC in May, with a 3.94 grade point average, earning associate degrees in environmental studies and political science. After graduation, she plans to complete her bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and a master’s degree soon after. Mothershed hopes to work in the environmental policy field for a government agency or an NGO.

In the 2020-21 academic year, four-year colleges and universities saw nearly 200,000 fewer transfer enrollment applications nationwide, reflecting the pandemic’s disruptive effect on students and their plans for college. Despite that decline, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation welcomed its largest class of Scholars to date, highlighting the talent and achievement of hundreds of community college students across the country. In light of growing financial hardship for so many families, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation also increased the maximum award amount by an extra $15,000 to ensure students can focus on their studies while enrolled.

“Today, almost half of all college students begin their academic career at a community college. We know our community colleges are full of high-achieving students, and we’re committed to playing our part to ensure those students succeed,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “Congratulations to a cohort of students who have persisted in the midst of such unprecedented disruptions in our lives. We welcome you into our community and look forward to learning alongside you.”

New Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Along with financial support, Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of over nearly 3,000 Cooke Scholars and Alumni.

The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded $230 million in scholarships to nearly 3,000 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $125 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. To learn more, visit

(May 24, 2022)