Tears welled up in Jennifer Buchan’s eyes when Collin College leaders surprised her in class with the news that she had won the largest private transfer scholarship for community college students in the United States.

Buchan, who lives in Frisco, is one of 73 college students in the nation selected for the prestigious Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, and her win marked the second time in two years that a Collin College student has received the scholarship.

Buchan will receive up to $30,000 a year to complete her bachelor’s degree. She plans to transfer to Austin College or the University of North Texas to pursue a degree in English or history. Ultimately, she plans to earn a doctorate and teach.

“Students like Jennifer deserve all the praise in the world,” said Mac Hendricks, who chairs the Collin College Board of Trustees and helped Collin College district president Cary Israel surprise Buchan. “This scholarship will not only help one student achieve her dreams, but it will ultimately provide our community with a professional educator who will change the lives of hundreds of future students.”

A published writer, Buchan has a 4.0 GPA and worked several jobs while attending Collin College. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and was named a Collin College Emerging Scholar.

Last year, Cameron Woolley of Plano won the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship during his tenure at Collin College and he is currently attending Southern Methodist University. He plans to earn degrees in economics and philosophy and intends to practice law.

According to Collin College District President Cary A. Israel, “Jennifer has earned this award, and we are so proud of her volunteer efforts, academic excellence and valor in adversity. The fact that two students from this college have received this award back-to-back is a testament to the many gifted students and dedicated faculty at Collin College.”

He also emphasized that earning a bachelor’s degree is becoming an economic impossibility for many individuals today, so scholarships are critically important. 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.


About Collin College

Collin College serves about 53,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin College is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. Visit collin.edu.

Student Jennifer Buchan smiles after learning that she won the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.