Skip to main content

April 27, 2022

Astha Thapa used JCCC’s resources for a winning application for KU’s International Excellence Award.

When Astha Thapa arrived in Kansas from Nepal, she didn’t know where her ambitions would take her. But she knew she could start as an ambassador—a Student Ambassador at JCCC.

She also ran for Vice President of Student Senate and won. She’s been co-chair of Inter-Club Council and assisted on countless other teams and initiatives.

“As a community college student, I knew I had to build a solid foundation to tussle against the world that is outside JCCC,” she said. “Building my foundation through leadership at JCCC, I felt ready to take every challenge that comes my way.”

Her hard work and involvement paid off. A full ride scholarship is waiting for her.

Finding the Best Transfer Scholarship

Astha started preparing for her life after JCCC. She wanted to transfer to the University of Kansas (KU) and study Computer Science. In researching her plans, she also learned of KU’s International Excellence Award. The full tuition scholarship awards high-achieving international students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Astha knew she had to apply. It wouldn’t be easy.

“Students from across the world apply for the award,” Astha explained. “The decisions are based on academic grades, GPA, community service, extra-curricular activities and service leadership.”

It was a daunting application involving letters of recommendation, a résumé and multiple essay prompts. Already very involved in JCCC, Astha knew where she could turn to for help.

JCCC Has Resources to Help You Succeed

Astha used many individualized assistance services at the Academic Resource Center to put together her best application, beginning with the Writing Center. This free resource offers individualized feedback about your writing from skilled Tutors and Writing Specialists.

“Brian Longfellow from the Writing Center has watched me put my entire life onto pieces of paper trying to ready my applications,” said Astha. “For his help, I am ever so grateful.”

Astha also knew the Career Development Center is equipped with coaches who assist with résumés and cover letters. Given how heavily the scholarship emphasized an impressive résumé, Astha knew Career Development Coach Ashley Kretzschmer could help her narrow down her three-page résumé to the top relevant experiences.

“We were able to highlight her most impressive accomplishments, ones that would make her achievements stand out when compared to other international students' achievements,” said Ashley.

With Ashley’s advice, Astha was ready to hit “Submit.”

Support at JCCC Comes from Everywhere

As more and more people at JCCC heard about Astha’s application, encouragement poured in, including frequent check-ins from JCCC President Dr. Andy Bowne.

“Dr. Bowne was checking on me every week to see if I was okay emotionally and mentally while working on my application,” said Astha. “I’m thankful for that.”

In addition, Astha had her brother Ashish, who is a JCCC alumni, members of Student Senate and the staff of Student Life cheering her on every step of the way.

It’s no wonder that, when asked where her favorite campus spots are, Astha is quick to say, “Billington Library, the Academic Resource Center, and the Career Development Center.”

And the Scholarship Goes to …

You guessed it — Astha! Hard work and forethought helped her earn KU’s International Excellence Award.

While she is excited to transfer and pursue her dream of becoming an engineer, she says she will miss the diversity of experiences at JCCC.

“I like to see community colleges breaking the barriers of what a traditional classroom should look like,” she said. “At JCCC, students are high schoolers, teachers, staff, nurses, mothers, fathers, teenagers. It allows me to believe that there's no certain recipe or time for success.”

Astha said this inclusive environment motivated her to work hard alongside her classmates.

“My favorite part about being a Cavalier is being able to participate in an educational environment where people from all walks of life, ages and backgrounds come for a common goal of being educated.”

Apply for Scholarships Today with JCCC’s Resources!

Scholarships like Astha’s are waiting for you. Check out our Student Resources and get started on your application today!