Coca-Cola scholarship opportunity at BC

In anticipation of the mountain of tuition, housing and textbook costs to be paid when transferring to a four-year school or university, students search for the best scholarship to help provide their academic needs.The Nov. 1 deadline for the coveted Coca-Cola scholarhips is quickly approching.

The scholarship is run through Bellevue College’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, but the two candidates selected from BC will be chosen from the student body at large. There are two spots available for each community college in the state.

The applications are sent through the All USA/Coca-Cola Community College scholarship foundation. Those accepted to the All-USA  Academic team are recognized in USA Today on a scholarship page. Some students chosen for the team achieve a gold, silver, or bronze ranking with which an additional scholarship is given.

There are several eligibility requirements to consider when applying for the scholarship. Students must have a cumulative college-level GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale for all coursework completed in the last five years.

An applicant must be on track to earn an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Temporary or permanent residency is also required.

Judging criteria include academic excellence, intellectual rigor, community leadership and a description of how the student extended their education beyond the classroom to benefit society. It is a merit-based scholarship based on what students have done while attending community college.

The centerpiece of the nomination is the 500-word essay describing the nominee’s most significant endeavor while attending community college.

“I want students to know about his, and even if they are not yet eligible to apply this quarter, it is something that they can work towards. It can be something they shoot for next fall,” said Katherine Oleson, the Communication Studies Faculty and Chair, as well as the advisor for the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society at BC.

Last year, two BC students were given scholarships from the Coca-Cola Scholar’s Foundation.  Casey Pinckney and Anh Nguyen from Phi Theta Kappa were the two lucky students to receive the prestigious Coca-Cola scholarship. “Both are very active women in many different ways on campus,” said Oleson.

Casey Pinckney, who achieved a bronze ranking with the All-Washington Academic Team, tutored math in the BC Academic Success Center and is an accomplished harpist. Anh Nguyen came to Bellevue from Vietnam and actively volunteered for Student Programs and served as president of the International Student Association during her time at BC. “It’s been really rewarding for me as an advisor and faculty member to see students get recognized for the things they do in the community. It gives me hope in humanitarian progress to see the amazing things that students can do,” said Oleson.

On March 22, both Pinckney and Nguyen were invited to the 2012 All-Washington Academic Team Recognition Program in Olympia, where Trustees and Chairs from the Trustees Association of Community and Technical Colleges, as well as Gov. Christine Gregoire were in attendance to celebrate the accomplishments of students from each community college.

“I really enjoy helping students. One of the ways to do this is to encourage them to apply for scholarships and be proud of what they’ve done. To me, it’s part of our duty and mission of a community college to help students in the classroom, students who are looking to transfer, and students who are applying for scholarships. It’s really rewarding for me to see students recognized at the state level,” said Oleson, adding that, “people think they’ll never have a chance [to be awarded a scholarship], but you don’t know until you apply.” Applying for the All USA/Coca-Cola scholarship can be good preparation to compile ideas and activities in one place.

To create an account and begin the application, students can visit .