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All-USA & Coca-Cola Community College Academic Teams
The collaboration of USA TODAY, Follett Higher Education Group, the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, AACC and Phi Theta Kappa leads to students being featured in an April issue of USA TODAY and awarded nearly $350,000 in scholarships. The All-USA Community College Academic Team and the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team programs share a common application and eligibility criteria.
All-USA Community College Academic Team
The All-USA Community College Academic Team is presented by USA TODAY and Phi Theta Kappa and sponsored by Follett Higher Education Group. Twenty students will be selected to the national team, each receiving a $2,500 scholarship and medallion. These students will be featured in the USA TODAY newspaper and presented at the Awards of Excellence Brunch held during the Annual Convention of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team
The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation sponsors the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. In addition, The Coca-Cola Foundation, along with The Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation recognizes the New Century Scholars. Fifty students will be named Gold Scholars, each receiving a $1,500 scholarship, fifty students will be named Silver Scholars, each receiving a $1,250 scholarship, and fifty students will be named Bronze Scholars, each receiving a $1,000 scholarship. A state may have multiple Gold, Silver, or Bronze Scholars. All scholars will also receive special medallions.
The top scoring student in each of the fifty states will be named a New Century Scholar and will receive a $2,000 scholarship. In addition, one student from a Phi Theta Kappa chapter in Alberta, Canada, and one student from a chapter in one of the other seven sovereign nations where Phi Theta Kappa chapters exist will be awarded. New Century Scholars will be presented at the AACC Annual Convention.
Phi Theta Kappa sponsors 37 All-State Community College Academic Team recognition ceremonies, during which scholarships and special recognitions are presented to All-State community College Academic Team winners.
Phi Theta Kappa administers both recognition programs. Selection to both programs is based on the same nomination form and criteria. These nomination forms must be submitted by community college presidents/CEOs or their designees. Eligibility requirements are detailed below.
NOTE: Nominated students who are also Phi Theta Kappa members can qualify for the Guistwhite Scholarship by completing two additional Guistwhite questions online.
2013 Scholarship Recipients
Many colleges have expressed a desire to increase the number and quality of student applications. To facilitate this, nomination applications will be provided online. This will allow institutions to open the application process to all eligible students on campus, to increase the number from which to choose. A college may, however, choose to not open up the application process to all eligible students and may instead self-select two nominees. In either case, students must complete applications online and nominators must submit final nominees by the deadline.
Presidents or designated nominators are invited to submit as many as two nominations from each campus of their institution. Instructions are emailed directly to nominators prior to the opening of the application. The online application will open October 1, 2013, for access by both students and nominators.
Nominators may review a checklist to determine if a student's application is complete, as well as view the student's answers to the questions on the online application. Students are not allowed to request letters of recommendation until the student portion of the application is complete. If the college would like to build in more time to review and process applications prior to the deadline, please consider establishing and publicizing an earlier internal deadline for completion of student applications.
Nominators have until December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm, CST, to review applications and submit the completed applications of their two nominees. Applications must be submitted online; incomplete applications will not be considered.
Every year, the college president or CEO is automatically designated as the Nominator. The college president can change his or her designated nominator by submitting the Nominator Change Form. If the form is not submitted to change the designee, all login information and nominator instructions will be emailed to the college president.
Visit the Directory of Community College Nominators to see designated contacts for the All-USA Community College Academic Team/Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team programs.
In selecting nominees to represent your institution, presidents are asked to consider outstanding academic rigor and grade point averages; participation in honors programs; awards, honors, and recognition for academic achievement, and service to the college and community.
In addition, the focal point of the application is the essay. This should center around one endeavor undertaken by the student that utilized his or her community college education to improve his or her community or school. Judges look for innovative, creative, original and lasting achievements or undertakings.
For in-depth advice, nominators are encouraged to read the Advice to Nominators.
Even if you have nominated in the past, please take a moment to review the eligibility criteria.
Specific eligibility requirements of note:
- Must be enrolled at a community college through December 2013.
- Must have a cumulative college-level GPA of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale for all coursework completed in the last five years (fall 2007-present), regardless of institution attended. If the student has attended more than one school, all transcripts may be recalculated to determine the cumulative GPA for all college-level coursework taken. GPA is evaluated at the point of application and the student must maintain a 3.50 or higher GPA through the fall 2013 semester to remain eligible.
- Students must be on track to earn an associate or a bachelor's degree (or the equivalent of a U.S. associate or bachelor's degree). Students need to have a minimum of 36 semester (or 48 quarter) college-level credits completed at or transferred to a community college by December 31, 2013 and 48 semester (or 72 quarter), college-level credits by August 31, 2014. Students must have a minimum of 30 semester (or 45 quarter), college-level credit hours completed at a community college in the past five years. (Courses must be college-level. Developmental or remedial coursework, such as pre-algebra or basic writing, will be removed when determining number of credits as well as cumulative GPA.)
- To be considered for the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team, the student must be enrolled at least part-time at a two-year or four-year college for the fall 2014 semester. Proof of enrollment will be requested.
- Must not have been nominated previously for the All-USA Community College Academic Team or the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team.
- Must have a community college record free of suspension, probation or other serious disciplinary action. Nominee must not have a criminal record, or if a convicted felon must have all conditions of sentencing, including probation, completed.
- The student must hold temporary or permanent residency in the country of the community college the student is attending or possess a visa considered appropriate by the college. Please see the student application for acceptable documents verifying proof of citizenship.
- Students who attend community college in the United States do not need to be members of Phi Theta Kappa. Students attending community colleges outside of the U.S. need to be members of Phi Theta Kappa and may only apply for the New Century Scholars program. Both students attending in the U.S. and internationally should submit the All-USA Community College Academic Team/Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team nomination form and materials.
Independent judges review the applications and select 20 members for the national All-USA Community College Academic Team. Judges also review and select 50 Gold Scholars to each receive a $1,500 scholarship, 50 Silver Scholars to each receive a $1,250 scholarship, and 50 Bronze Scholars to each receive a $1,000 scholarship for a total of 150 members of the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team. Finally, 52 scholars will be named New Century Scholars and will each receive a $2,000 scholarship. For more information on awards, recognition and media attention, please view the individual programs under "related links" listed below.
Students should complete all materials for the All-USA Community College Academic Team on the Fall Common Application prior to the nominator submission deadline. All nominators must select their two nominees and submit only those with completed nomination materials no later than December 2, 2013 at 5:00 pm, CST. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
For more information about the All-USA Community College Academic Team, the Coca-Cola Community College Academic Team, the New Century Scholars or All-State Community College Academic Team programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or 601.987.5741.