Moriah Walton of Wylie nearly collapsed when she heard she won the largest private transfer scholarship for community college students in the U.S.
Walton is one of only 85 college students in the nation selected for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, and her win marks the third time in three years that a Collin College student has received the scholarship.
“I didn’t think I could afford a university. This is like the Rhodes Scholarship for me. This is perfect timing!” she exclaimed.
The Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship helps students with tuition, living expenses, books and fees for the final two to three years of courses required for baccalaureate degrees. Criteria for the scholarship include academic ability and achievement, financial need, self-confidence, resilience and the desire to engage in and contribute to the world. The competition is judged by a panel of distinguished university faculty and admissions professionals.
Walton will receive up to $30,000 a year to complete her bachelor’s degree. She plans to transfer to a university to pursue a degree in communication. Ultimately, she plans to write the great American novel.
A published writer, Walton writes for the Wylie Connection in addition to working 50-60 hours a week at a host of jobs including babysitting, tutoring and waxing floors to pay for her education at Collin College. Impressed by her great need and tenacity, her professors helped her acquire scholarships from the Collin College Foundation. A Phi Theta Kappa committee member, Walton is currently the vice president of the Student Government Association, and she was elected to state office. She has also served as an orientation leader and student ambassador at the college.
Last year, Collin College graduate Jennifer Buchan of Frisco won the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. The previous year, Collin college graduate Cameron Woolley of Plano won the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship.
According to Collin College District President Cary A. Israel, “It takes great perseverance and strength of character to work, attend college full time and serve the community. Moriah sets a superb example for her four siblings and students across the country, and she is very deserving of this award. It is no accident that three students in a row have won this award. We have exceptional students and a dedicated, quality faculty at Collin College.”