Dyersburg State Community College’s (DSCC) Alexis Smith was named a semifinalist for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Transformative Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

Ms. Smith is the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) President and the Student Government Association (SGA) Vice-President at Dyersburg State.

“Alexis Smith is a gifted student who is goal-oriented. She has led in academics and every aspect of student life. She excels in supporting others, taking risks, and leadership. This scholarship is a major award for the elite students at Community Colleges in the U.S. This honor is well deserved,” stated Brigham Scallion, DSCC Associate Professor.

On March 14, 2024, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation named 459 community college students as semifinalists for its highly competitive Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This scholarship aims to help community college students who have demonstrated exceptional academic ability, leadership, and service transfer to top four-year institutions and avoid student debt. The award, which is last-dollar funding after all institutional aid, can provide as much as $55,000 per year for two to three years to complete a bachelor’s degree at any accredited four-year undergraduate institution in the U.S. 

This year’s 459 semifinalists were chosen from a pool of more than 1,600 applicants and attended 194 community colleges in 37 states, plus Washington, DC, and the Northern Mariana Islands. This comes at a time when only about a third of students starting in community colleges transfer to four-year schools, and only 16% earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship represents a unique opportunity, providing crucial support for transfer students to overcome these barriers and successfully attain their bachelor’s degrees.

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship offers unparalleled support to community college students. In addition to the generous financial support, selected Cooke Transfer 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 careers. They will also have access to internship opportunities, study abroad experiences, graduate school funding, and the invaluable connection to a robust network of more than 3,100 fellow Cooke Scholars and Alumni.

The finalists for the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship will be announced in May.