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Raritan Valley Community College student Liam Boyle of High Bridge is one of 60 high-achieving community college students selected from across the country to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.

The highly competitive national scholarship is designed to help Cooke scholars complete their undergraduate educations with as little debt as possible.

The award, which is last-dollar funding after all institutional aid, can provide Boyle with up to $55,000 a year to complete a bachelor’s degree. This fall, Boyle plans to continue his studies in mechanical engineering at Princeton University.

“It’s really an honor to be recognized at this level, and my experience as a student at Raritan Valley Community College is responsible for making it possible,” Boyle said. “In the future, I want to continue working in the medical device industry and use engineering to make a positive impact on healthcare.

“During my time as an intern at Ethicon, I have realized the challenges of developing new, life-saving technologies, and I want to do my part to help bridge these obstacles and ultimately overcome them,” he added.

Boyle, a member of the RVCC Honors College and the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, graduated from the college summa cum laude earlier this month and received the Academic Award for Engineering Science. While at RVCC, he served as co-president of the Engineering Club and participated in a service learning project with the Authentic Engineering Experience, creating a real product for an actual customer.

He recently was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award–Gold Level for volunteering over 300 hours during the 2022-2023 academic year.

“There are so many bright and persistent community college students in our nation who we know will thrive at four-year institutions if they can find a way to transfer without being weighed down by a heavy financial burden,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

“We are excited to welcome yet another cohort of Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars to our community after learning about them through their applications and seeing their unbound potential,” Basili said.

Along with financial support, new Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers. Scholars will additionally receive opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding, as well as connection to a thriving network of more than 3,000 Cooke scholars and alumni.

This year, more than 1,700 students from 448 community colleges applied to receive the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, and leadership.

A list of the 2023 Cooke Transfer Scholars, including their community colleges, can be found here. Three other New Jersey community college students won scholarships as well: Bergen County Community College student Rene Bulnes Moreno; and Union County College students Juni Ilyas and Carine Medellus. 

The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded $250 million in scholarships to more than 3,200 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also provided $125 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

About Raritan Valley Community College

Raritan Valley Community College, located in Branchburg, has been serving as an academic and cultural center for Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for over 50 years. The college has been nationally recognized for its service to the community, environmental stewardship, and commitment to diversity. It is home to a planetarium, science education institute and 3M observatory; a theatre offering professional performances for all ages; and an honors college for high achieving students. The college offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training and professional development courses.