Overview of the Coca-Cola Scholars Program
In the Fall of 2018, the first cohort of the Coca-Cola First Generation and underrepresented students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Scholars program (Coca-Cola Scholars Program) was established at Kennesaw State University.
The cohort of eligible thirty-five incoming KSU students were identified through an application and rigorous selection process to participate in this scholarship program. The requirements as a participant are as follows:
- Be and maintain enrollment as a full-time undergraduate at KSU
- Demonstrate financial need when entering the program as determined by the Office of Student Financial Aid
- Be eligible to receive the HOPE Scholarship upon admission
- Maintain a minimum adjusted GPA of 2.75 at KSU
- Identify as a First-Generation college students matriculating in any major or as an Underrepresented student in a STEM major
The goal of the program is to provide financial assistance and student support services as scholars progress toward degree completion.
Participants accepted into the Coca-Cola Scholarship Program receive $5000 annually for four to five years, depending on the required length of their selected degree program. Since participants must be HOPE-eligible, the scholarship funds are intended to supplement the HOPE funding and can be used for tuition, fees, books, and other academic related expenses.
Through this program, students have access to additional funding for education abroad, undergraduate research and/or experiential learning. With these funds, scholars are encouraged to choose the experience which best suits their major and personal circumstances.
Scholarships are not transferable to another institution.
In addition to offering financial support for these students, the Coca-Cola Scholars Program offers on-going services and resources designed to promote the academic success of the students.
These services include:
- Owl Advising – Academic advisors are available to Coca Cola Scholars in their first year as a resource providing guidance on required general education courses aligned with their specific degree interest and directions on potential degree programs for those students who have not declared a major.
- Graduation Coach – Graduation coaches are in place to lend assistance and to mentor students through any obstacles they may face during their transition into college. Additionally, they provide information on academic resources and support services that will enhance students’ academic success and progress toward degree completion.
- Workshops – Workshops are available to expose students to professional development topics and provide life-skills enhancement that will facilitate in the success of the Coca-Cola Scholars as they progress through college as well as use these skill sets beyond the college experience.
- Mentoring Receptions – Students will participate in an annual mentoring reception that allows them to connect with one another, campus leaders, program’s faculty and staff as well as with representatives from the Coca-Cola Company and Foundation.
- High Impact Practices – Students will be invited to participate in campus high impact practices, key initiatives that have been shown to greatly benefit college students’ growth and development. These programs include involvement in learning communities, undergraduate research, and diversity/global learning (e.g., study abroad, campus diversity ambassadors).
- Student Academic Mentors – Coca-Cola scholars will be matched to a first-generation student at KSU who will serve as a student mentor.
Kennesaw State University intends to continue their partnership with the Coca-Cola Company and its Foundation and plans to have future cohorts. Information on potential recruiting of new scholars will be shared once plans are confirmed.