(Rochester, MN)  Rochester Community and Technical College is honored to announce two of its students, Sarah Brakebill-Hacke and Munira Alimire, have been awarded prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships. These RCTC students are the only recipients in the state of Minnesota.


Announced today, Sarah Brakebill-Hacke is one of 47 recipients and 2500 applicants of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. This highly competitive national scholarship will provide Ms. Brakebill-Hacke with up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete her bachelor’s degree. 


Sarah is currently a sophomore at RCTC and the 2017-2018 Student Senate President. Ms. Brakebill-Hacke was the only student from Minnesota to be selected for the Cooke Foundation College Transfer Scholarship Program. Last week, Munira Alimire, who is currently a post-secondary enrollment option (PSEO) student, was awarded a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship. Ms. Alimire holds an executive leadership position as the Student Senate Secretary and will also receive up to $40,000 annually to complete her bachelor’s degree. Ms. Alimire has applied and been accepted to several prestigious universities including: Stanford, Yale and Harvard.


In addition to the monetary award, these new Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from foundation staff to guide them through the processes of transitioning to a four-year school and preparing for their careers. The foundation will additionally provide opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of 2,300 fellow Cooke Scholars and alumni.


“Community colleges provide an affordable first step for many students with financial need to begin their higher education journey,” said Harold O. Levy, executive director of the Cooke Foundation. “Cooke Transfer Scholars have demonstrated incredible ability and ambition, and we look forward to supporting their success at universities such as Stanford, Cornell, and MIT.”


This year, nearly 2,500 students applied for the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The foundation evaluated each submission based on academic ability, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The recipients selected have a median adjusted gross income of $5,000 and an average GPA of 3.92. Biological sciences, engineering, and computer/informational sciences are the most popular fields of study among the cohort.




About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded $175 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also provided over $97 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.



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.



RCTC is a member of Minnesota State—a higher education system that includes 30 two-year community and technical colleges and seven state universities serving more than 430,000 students. It is the fifth-largest higher education system of its kind in the United States.