RCTC Students Named Semifinalists For Nation’s Largest Transfer Scholarship Program

(Rochester, MN) Rochester Community and Technical College is excited to announce that two RCTC Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honors students have been named semifinalists for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. Sarah Brakebill-Hacke (Rochester, MN) and Tanner Garity (Rochester, MN) are two of only five semifinalists from Minnesota selected to advance to the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship program. A total of 534 semifinalists from a pool of 2,500 applicants from across the United States have been selected to advance for this scholarship, the largest transfer scholarship program in the nation.


This highly competitive scholarship will offer selected finalists as much as $40,000 per year for up to three years to complete their bachelor's degrees at selective four-year colleges and universities. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation awards up to $40,000 scholarships to help exceptional community college students with financial need transfer to four-year schools. Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will be selected in April 2018, based on their academic performance, leadership, perseverance, and service to others.


"Community colleges hold many of the nation’s most gifted students,” said Harold O. Levy, Executive Director of the Cooke Foundation. “Yet too often these students are denied the opportunity to fulfill their potential due to lack of adequate resources and support. Our scholarships help to remove these barriers so that talented students with financial need have a chance to complete their college education and pursue their goals and dreams.”


Cooke Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus intensive academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad opportunities, and the ability to network with other Cooke Scholars and alumni. After earning a bachelor’s degree, these Cooke Scholars will also be eligible to apply for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to a total of $75,000. For more information on the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation go to http://www.jkcf.org/scholarship-programs/undergraduate-transfer/.



Phi Theta Kappa is the international honor society founded to recognize and encourage academic achievement among two-year college students. It offers opportunities for the development of leadership and service, the exchange of ideas in an intellectual climate, fellowship for scholars, and simulation of interest in academic excellence. Part-time, full-time and international students currently enrolled at RCTC and working on a certificate, diploma, or degree are eligible if they meet one of these requirements: at least a 3.5 GPA after 12 credit hours (1000 level or higher) at RCTC or at Least a 3.4 GPA after 16 credit hours (1000 level or higher) at RCTC.


Rochester Community and Technical College (formerly Rochester Junior College) was a founding member of Phi Theta Kappa with the formation of the Omnicron Chapter in January 1927. The RCTC chapter is among the oldest in the nation. 


For more information about RCTC’s PTK program, contact jamie.mahlberg@rctc.edu or 507-280-5074.



Established in 1915, RCTC is the largest higher education provider in the fastest-growing city in Minnesota, serving more than 8,000 students a year in credit courses and nearly 3,700 in non-credit continuing and workforce education programs. RCTC combines the best in liberal arts, technical, and life-long learning with more than 70 credit-based programs and over 100 credential options. RCTC’s expansive 518-acre campus includes university partnerships, a diverse student body, and a vibrant student life program. RCTC provides a unique learning environment that offers the feel of a four-year university campus with the commitment to access and opportunity of a two-year college.


The Minnesota State system consists of 37 colleges and universities with over 16,000 employees offering nearly 4,000 educational programs to nearly 400,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system in the United States.


RCTC is a member of the Minnesota State system.