Delgado Student among Undergraduate Transfer Scholars Honored by Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

June 30, 2021

The Virginia-based Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has announced that 72 high-achieving community college students nationwide are recipients of the prestigious Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The highly competitive national transfer scholarship will provide selected students with up to $40,000 a year to complete their bachelor’s degrees.

Shaina Kaye of Delgado Community College in New Orleans is one of the recipients. She is the only Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholar selected in Louisiana this year.

“We know how much exponentially harder this past year has been on students. It’s an honor to award this group of individuals as they have achieved so much both in the classroom and in their daily lives,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “We are proud to welcome this new class of Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars to our community and are excited to support them as they transition to four-year institutions.”

“I'm honored to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship,” Kaye said. “I believe deeply in the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s mission to increase low-income students’ access to top American universities.”

As a Delgado student, Kaye was named to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society’s All-USA Academic Team in 2020. The All-USA program is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students seeking an associate degree or credential. Only 20 students were selected to the team with Kaye from more than 2,000 applications nationwide. She was the only Louisiana student selected.

Among her many, varied interests and activities, Kaye is a poet who writes on the intersections of Judaism, gender, sexuality and adverse childhood experiences. Her website provides details.

Today, nearly half of the students pursuing college choose to attend two-year institutions. Research commissioned by the Foundation found that community college students who transfer to selective institutions have equal to or higher graduation rates as students who enrolled directly from high school or transferred from four-year institutions. Yet, at the nation’s top colleges, only five percent have transferred from a community college. The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship seeks to increase the number of community college students completing their education at top four-year institutions.

In addition to 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 Cooke Scholars and Alumni.

To date, over 1,000 students from all over the country have received the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Over 1,300 students from 370 community colleges applied for the 2021 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The Foundation evaluated each submission based on students’ academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, and leadership.


Shaina Kaye of Delgado Community College
Shaina Kaye of Delgado Community College is the only Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholar selected in Louisiana this year.

Delgado Community College celebrates 100 years of service to the New Orleans region in 2021. The oldest and largest community college in Louisiana, Delgado provides instruction online and at seven locations. Delgado offers students the most comprehensive array of education and training services available in the New Orleans region. Additionally, Delgado has articulation agreements with most of the state’s four-year colleges and universities that allow students to transfer their Delgado credits to bachelor’s degree programs. As well as offering degrees and transferable college credits, Delgado provides diplomas and certificates in many professional and technical areas. Workforce development is a priority at Delgado, hence the college’s well-known motto: “Education that works!”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $222 million in scholarships to over 2,800 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $115 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.