mc mu scholarship 2015Photo: Freeholder Lillian G. Burry (second from left) and Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso (second from right) congratulate 2015 scholarship recipients Brendan O’Gibney of Highlands, Renee Moffett of Belford, Kayla Zajonc of Hazlet and Owen Daly-Forseth of Oakhurst at the Scholarship Luncheon at Monmouth University on April 23, 2015 in West Long Branch, NJ. The Board of Chosen Freeholders sponsor a $50,000 annual scholarship program that benefits Brookdale Community College graduates who elect to continue their college education at Monmouth University.

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded scholarships to 15 students at a Scholarship Luncheon at Monmouth University last week.

To keep Monmouth County’s best and brightest students in Monmouth County, the Board of Chosen Freeholders sponsor a $50,000 annual scholarship program that benefitsBrookdale Community College graduates who elect to continue their college education at Monmouth University.

The scholarship recipients are Jose Castro-Velasquez of Neptune City, Samantha Citarella of Red Bank, Owen Daly-Forseth of Oakhurst, Isabella Furmato of Farmingdale, Richard Gunther of Wall, Brian Maisonave of Howell, Claudia Masco of Ocean, Katrina Mavrode of Middletown, Jennifer Mitchell of Rumson, Renee Moffett of Belford, Brendan O’Gibney of Highlands, Stephanie Sabatini of Matawan, Dianna Scarpa of Oakhurst, Renee Tawil of Long Branch and Kayla Zajonc of Hazlet.

“Many students who choose to further their education out of state do not always return to Monmouth County upon graduation,” Freeholder Lillian G. Burry said. “Since Monmouth County has some of the finest educational institutions anywhere, our children should be encouraged to attend school here and, hopefully, they will live and work in Monmouth County after they graduate.”

The scholarships are awarded annually to Monmouth County residents who graduate Brookdale with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.5, with plans to attend Monmouth University, West Long Branch, on a full-time basis.

“This initiative was created to keep our best students in Monmouth County,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to Brookdale Community College. “This seamless and affordable transfer opportunity from Brookdale to Monmouth University will enable some of our best students to earn baccalaureate degrees locally.”

“This program will ensure we keep the best and brightest students here by providing these scholarships for our future community leaders,” Monmouth University President Paul Brown. “I am grateful to the freeholders for recognizing the need to invest in our college students.”

According to research by the New England Economic Review, national trends indicate that students who leave their home state for college are more likely to live and work near where they attend college than where they attended high school, prompting the freeholders to act.

“This is an excellent way to invest in our students and encourage them to stay not only New Jersey, but in Monmouth County,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso. “By rewarding academic excellence now, communities throughout Monmouth County will be rewarded in the years ahead when these same students buy their own homes and begin working and raising their families here.”

The criteria that has been established for the scholarships is as follows:

    Student must have permanent Monmouth County address and lived there for 12 months
    Must graduate Brookdale, completing either an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or Associate in Fine Arts degree
    Must have cumulative GPA of 3.5 or better
    Maintain a full-time course load at Monmouth University (minimum of 12 credits)
    Must have demonstrated a financial need, with preference being given to federal Pell grant or New Jersey TAG grant recipients

Additionally, the scholarship awards may be renewed annually, providing the funding remains available and the students maintain a GPA of 3.5 or better at Monmouth University.