Six high school graduates win first ever full ride merit scholarships from HACC
HARRISBURG, Pa. – For the first time in the 51-year history of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, six future students are receiving full-ride merit scholarships. HACC will fund two years of these individuals’ education – enough to complete an associate degree.
The recipients, all residents of Central Pennsylvania, are:
• Timothy Delp of Kirkwood, who is enrolled at HACC’s Lancaster Campus
• Alexander Jonovich of Myerstown, who is enrolled at HACC’s Lebanon Campus
• Maria Camila Ruiz Rojas of York, who is enrolled as a HACC Virtual Learning student
• Nathan Tasker of Hanover, who is enrolled at HACC’s Gettysburg Campus
• Amanda Tran of Etters, who is enrolled at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus
• Matthew Williams of Red Lion, who is enrolled at HACC’s York Campus
The full-ride merit scholarship was created by the HACC Foundation to provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors enrolled full time at HACC. Each scholarship covers tuition, books and fees, making the value of the scholarship up to $25,000 per student for the two years. It may vary based on the cost of textbooks.
The scholarship automatically renews each term for up to six consecutive terms if the student maintains eligibility. A full-ride merit scholarship was awarded to one student for each of HACC’s five campuses and Virtual Learning.
More than 60 future students who met the eligibility criteria applied for the scholarships. Each applicant was required to complete an online application and submit an essay.
Following is additional information about the recipients:
• Delp was accepted to the University of Pittsburgh and the University of South Carolina but chose to study engineering at HACC. “I can’t afford four years at a school with such high tuition,” he wrote in his essay. “Student loans can be hard to deal with, and that’s how I’m going to have to pay for all of my schooling. If I could get two years of college to get my general education courses out of the way, or even earn an associate degree at HACC for free, it would be a huge help.”
• Jonovich, an art major, wants to be a conceptual artist in the video game industry. “I plan to learn as much as I can at the community college level before transferring to a four-year college to major in illustration,” he wrote in his essay. “Having scholarship assistance would be very helpful as I try to achieve my goals. I could spend more time improving my drawing skills and less time working a job to pay for it. Being able to go through several years of college with a decreased (if not completely absent) amount of debt would be phenomenal, to say the least.”
• Rojas applied for a full-ride merit scholarship so she could focus on her education and not worry about the financial aspect. A communications major who plans to complete her associate degree online, Rojas wants to focus on human resources to eventually help and communicate with others. “I plan on continuing my education after high school graduation at HACC and then transfer to a four-year college where I will finish my bachelor’s degree,” she wrote in her essay.
• Tasker plans to complete his two-year degree in HACC’s Math/Computer Science Program and then transfer to a local university. “I hope to graduate from college without debt,” he wrote in his essay. “This is not simply for the financial freedom personally, but to lay the groundwork for a home where my children will not be burdened by the same financial difficulties by which others have been bound. My pursuit of this scholarship is multigenerational, reaching not only to my children but to all those whom I am able to serve in my career.”
• Tran, the daughter of immigrants, watched how hard her parents have worked to support their family. “My goal is to earn the education that my father encouraged me to gain and continue to work hard, so I can tell my parents that all of their teachings and encouragement has paid off – and that because of them, I was able to become as successful as I am,” Tran wrote in her essay. “It’s for them that I am, and will, continue to work insatiably hard in school and life. The scholarship will push away the mountains of stress and anxiety I have about being able to afford my tuition.”
• Williams, a music lover and the oldest of seven children, wants to compose, produce and market his music and write music for film or television. Due to the large size of his family, formal music instruction has not always been accessible. “Financially, my goal during college is to graduate debt free, so having the benefit of a scholarship would be incredibly helpful,” he wrote in his essay. “My parents have encouraged my college pursuit and will support me any way they can, but … I am trying to secure some money myself for my college expenses and not add an extra burden on them.”
The recipients of the scholarship are required to:
• Reside in one of the 10 counties in HACC’s service region
• Be enrolled in 12-15 credits each term for no more than six consecutive terms
• Have a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 3.0
• Have specific test scores determining eligibility for the college-level reading and writing
• Maintain a 3.0 GPA while at HACC
• Participate in at least two HACC student organizations
In addition to the full-ride merit scholarships, HACC offers more than 200 other scholarships through the HACC Foundation. The next scholarship cycle opens Aug. 4, 2015.