The purpose of the President’s Challenge Scholarship in Honor of President Emeritus Robert T. Brown, referred to as PCS, is to assist Ulster County students with overcoming financial barriers associated with attending college. Students are identified in eighth grade by their sponsoring school districts and receive guidance counseling and mentoring through the completion of high school.
PCS is an award-winning, community program, a scholarship to attend SUNY Ulster, launched by the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. in 2016 and supported by community donors and sponsors. As we grow this program, our goal is to reach as many students as possible, to remind them that we believe in them and to encourage them to find that most special place inside of themselves, that place where they believe in themselves. We began with six (6) students from Rondout Valley Central School District and we endeavor to grow to at least five (5) students in each central school district and ten (10) students in the City of Kingston district. At the end of four years we expect to have 50 students, annually, participating in this scholarship.
We believe that the good that will be born of this outreach cannot be measured. But, we will try. We hope you will join us.
How was the PCS founded?
SUNY Ulster President Dr. Alan P. Roberts established the PCS in May of 2016 to assist at risk college-bound high school students with a two-year, tuition-free, community college education upon their graduation from high school and enrollment at SUNY Ulster.
In Honor of SUNY Ulster President Emeritus Robert T. Brown
In May of 2017, the President’s Challenge Scholarship was dedicated in Honor of President Emeritus Robert T. Brown.
Bob held the position of President of Ulster County Community College for twenty-four years and served on the Board of the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. from 1982 to 2005, at which time was appointed Director Emeritus for his many years of service and leadership. Bob returned to the Foundation Board for three consecutive 3-year terms before resigning from the board in 2016.
The Foundation Board of Directors acknowledges Bob Brown’s extraordinary leadership, service, and advocacy on behalf of accessible higher education and, in particular, community college education having served as SUNY’s first Vice Chancellor for community colleges and having helped to create a strategic plan for community colleges.
In 2016, Bob generously contributed to this scholarship’s administration fund to help launch the PCS initiative.
2016-2017 Pilot Year - Rondout Valley Central School District
The inaugural President’s Challenge Scholarship in Honor of President Emeritus Robert T. Brown, known as PCS, has been offered to Rondout Valley Central High School 8th graders who fit the following requirements:
Six Rondout Valley Central School District (RVCSD) students were selected through the completion of an application, an essay, an interview process, and selection by a committee. Sponsoring school mentoring services will be provided by RVCSD (the sponsoring school) through the completion of high school to better prepare the student for a two-year college education and entrance to SUNY Ulster.
2017-2018 - Rondout Valley Central School District
Five Rondout Valley Central School District (RVCSD) students were selected through the completion of an application, an essay, an interview process, and selection by a committee for the 2017-2018 academic year.
School District Process
In general, the timeframe will be driven by the eighth grade graduation if possible. Note that for the 2017-2018 school year, we hope to launch the program, after summer fundraising, to Ellenville and Kingston students who graduate from the 8th grade in 2017 and attend as 9th graders in the Fall 2017. To the extent possible, our Foundation will do the same for any other school district in which 5 donors become available by the Fall of 2017 permitting us to support an inaugural class of PCS scholarship recipients (5).
We hope to launch in the remaining school districts over the next 12 to 36 months.
School District Process:
Information Session - Students and Parents
Applicant Process and Selection
Round 1: Application and Essay
Written application and essay submitted to the Junior High School principal.
Round 2: Top 15 Selection
The Faculty Committee will rate the essays and identify top students to move on to the next round.
Round 3: Top 10 Selection
The District Scholarship Committee reviews top fifteen (15) candidates and ten (10) select students.
Round 4: Interviews
Round 5: Eighth Grade Graduation
Round 6: SUNY Ulster Fall Scholarship Ceremony
Students who win PCS scholarships might qualify for other scholarships or programs which may become available in the future. PCS scholarship is for tuition at SUNY Ulster. In the event the student qualifies for other scholarship or award, the Board of Directors of the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc. has the authority to redirect the scholarship funding to books, fees, transportation or other costs of the student’s associated with their education. In the event funds remain available after these fees are paid, then the remaining funds can be made available to other PCS students, in the same school district, who have “Taken the Challenge.”
How much does it cost to sponsor a student?
The cost to sponsor a student’s two-year tuition at SUNY Ulster within this scholarship program is $7,200. Donors make a one-time payment or may fund their scholarship in four (4) annual payments of $1,800.
Groups of donors may also co-sponsor a student. Each member of the group can decide how they would like to make their donation (in full or in four annual payments). Please see group sponsorship options below:
A sponsorship shared by two individuals/couples is $3,600 each (and can be paid annually for four years at $900 per year).
A sponsorship shared by three individuals/couples is $2,400 each (and can be paid annually for four years at $600 per year).
Those interested in sponsoring a student are asked to sign a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)/pledge form. The MOA requires sponsors to name their scholarship and identify which school district they wish to support. Sponsors can choose to make their gift/donation when they execute the MOA or at a later date. Pledge payments can be made online or by check made out to the Ulster Community College Foundation, Inc.
To request an MOA for a student sponsorship, please reach out to the President’s Challenge Scholarship Program Coordinator at 845.687.1927 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants are identified by each school district in the spring of their 8th grade year. The top ten candidates go through an interview process and five recipients are selected by the school district and SUNY Ulster representatives. Scholarship awards are presented to the student recipients at their Moving- Up Ceremonies in June of each year. During these ceremonies, the student’s sponsor is also revealed (unless the sponsor wishes to remain anonymous). Sponsors will then receive notification along with a copy of the student’s application essay. Sponsors will have an opportunity to meet their students at events in the fall and spring. Events are held on the SUNY Ulster campus and at the school districts.
Any PCS scholarship proceeds remaining after the student receives federal and state non-loan funding may be used to support the student recipient’s indirect costs to attend college (i.e., textbooks, fees, transportation, etc.). Remaining scholarship proceeds, if any, may also be redirected to another student in need from the same school district (with Foundation Board Approval).
To connect with the Executive Director of Institutional Advancement and External Relations, Lorraine Salmon, call 845.687.5093 or email email@example.com.