CSCU Foundation Awards New Students First Scholarship

The Students First Scholarship is designed to meet the needs of each student that may be unique to them. The scholarship award can be applied to tuition, fees, tutoring services, textbooks, or laptops.

In a joint effort between the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) Foundation and the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR), the Students First scholarship was awarded today to two outstanding Connecticut Community College students. The $2,020 scholarship was created in honor of retired CSCU President Mark E. Ojakian and his dedication to placing the needs of students first. 

The inaugural scholarship winners are Joanna Chojnowski-Schroeder of Tunxis Community College (TCC), and a student who goes by the initials “L.B.” of Middlesex Community College (MxCC). 

“The opportunity to work with Merle Harris and the Board of Regents to create a new and exciting scholarship from the ground up was amazing,” said CSCU Foundation President Helen G. Sneed.  “We designed the Students First Scholarship to reflect the diversity and non-linear journey many students take to community college and beyond. We wanted to provide an award that was helpful in the 21st century with an eye on the digital divide. I am extremely grateful and proud of what we accomplished and how both students can continue to redesign their futures. The two students selected were both outstanding for different reasons. They were selected from a pool of 51 student applicants.”

Chojnowski-Schroeder is graduating in May from TCC with an associate degree in business studies and will transfer to Central Connecticut State University in the fall. “L.B.” is graduating from MxCC in May with an associate degree in political science and will transfer to Central Connecticut State University in the fall. 

The Students First Scholarship is designed to meet the needs of each student that may be unique to them. The scholarship award can be applied to tuition, fees, tutoring services, textbooks, or laptops.

The scholarship is inclusive of all students throughout the 12 Connecticut community colleges who earn an associate degree and apply for transfer to Central, Eastern, Southern, Western Connecticut State Universities or Charter Oak State College. Students from all majors including general studies who have earned a 2.50 GPA or higher may apply.  Students are encouraged to share obstacles they’ve overcome, their community service, and leadership roles as part of their essay.  

The $2,020 scholarship will be awarded annually each May to eligible student applicants. For more information on the Students First Scholarship, visit https://www.ct.edu/foundation/sf.

For more information

For more information, please contact Leigh Appleby, Director of Communications at 860-723-0617, applebyl@ct.edu