Front Range Community College students received full scholarships to attend CU Boulder – Natural Self Esteem

Arianna McCarty and Adithya Bhaskara will begin classes at the University of Colorado Boulder this fall, not only skipping many of the foundation courses that freshmen must take, but also attending without additional tuition and fees thanks to a scholarship program and support from Front Range Community College.

“Front Range as a whole gave me an opportunity to continue my education,” McCarty said.

Arianna McCarty, 16, is one of two campus students from Front Range Community College in Boulder County who received a Boettcher Scholarship this year. The scholarship covers tuition and fees for students attending a Colorado university. (Arianna McCarty/Photo Courtesy)

McCarty and Bhaskara, who are part of Front Range Community College’s Boulder County campus concurrent enrollment program, recently received full scholarships through the Boettcher Scholarship Program, which offers approximately 42 scholarships annually to students attending universities or colleges in Colorado. That year, the program offered 50 scholarships — the largest cohort in history, according to its website.

Front Range spokeswoman Jessica Peterson said the college does not track the number of Front Range students who have received the Boettcher Scholarship. She added the school’s longtime president, Andy Dorsey, recalls other Front Range students receiving it in years past.

Although they worked hard to earn the scholarship, both McCarty and Bhaskara agreed that Front Range and the opportunities it offers students helped their applications stand out from the other 1,500.

“The opportunities I’ve been given, especially in math, are really unprecedented compared to what I’ve experienced before,” said Bhaskara. “I was really happy that I was able to do the concurrent matriculation program. It really opened a lot of doors for me.”

McCarty, 16, a senior at Centaurus High School, said she has about 60 to 70 college credits under her belt because of the concurrent enrollment program, which gives high school students the opportunity to take college-level courses at either their high school or at a front-range campus.

Adithya Bhaskara, 18, a concurrent student at Front Range Community College's campus in Boulder County, was awarded the Boettcher Scholarship this spring.  (Adithya Bhaskara/Photo Courtesy)
Adithya Bhaskara, 18, a concurrent student at Front Range Community College’s campus in Boulder County, was awarded the Boettcher Scholarship this spring. (Adithya Bhaskara/Photo Courtesy)

During her time at Front Range, she developed a close relationship with her math teacher, Ken Monks. He wrote McCarty’s recommendation for the Boettcher Fellowship, and she also nominated him for the Boettcher Foundation’s 2022 Teacher Recognition Award, which he received.

“Ken was one of those people who got you excited about studying,” McCarty said.

Monks said the Front Range Boulder County campus will use the $500 grant he received as part of the award to start a math competition for middle school students.

“The fact that (McCarty) took the time to submit a nomination form was almost better than the nomination itself,” Monks said. “I can use that $500 to help find the future (McCarty’s).”

Bhaskara, 18, graduates from Silver Creek High School this month. He planned to attend college even if he didn’t get the scholarship, but he said the aid quickly validated his decision to attend CU Boulder, where he will study both computer science and math.

“Even if you’re not sure if you’re going to get it, the answer is definitely ‘Apply,'” he said. “It led to this whole sea of ​​possibilities.”

McCarty said she was thrilled when she received a package saying she was a fellow, but she was still reluctant to stay in the state to study chemical and biological engineering. A major motivating factor that keeps her in Colorado — aside from the scholarship — is the guarantee that all of her front range credits will be transferred to CU Boulder.

“I have that flexibility and I can start to dive into what really interests me,” she said.

The number of concurrently enrolled and non-concurrently enrolled students who have transferred from Front Range Community College Boulder County campus to CU Boulder has steadily increased over the past several years. In 2019, 6.5% of Front Range graduates transferred to CU Boulder; In 2020, 6.7% of graduates switched; and the following year, 8.1% of graduates transferred to CU Boulder.

“It’s cool because a community college fulfills so many different roles,” Monks said. “You do the professional (or) technical side, and then you also meet four-year-old students and try to build bridges that way. (McCarty and Bhaskara) both love a challenge, so now they will have the time to fully engage in these academic challenges.”

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