Scholarship takes students from community college to Penn State Beaver

Alexis sits at the Lion Shrine on the Beaver campus wearing a navy and white Lion Ambassadors t-shirt.

Alexis Zurynski, a fourth-year student at Penn State Beaver, started her post-high school education at Community College of Beaver County. A scholarship program offered through Penn State helped her transfer to the Beaver campus to earn a four-year degree.

Credit: Penn State Beaver

MONACA, Pa. — Alexis Zurynski knew she wanted to get a four-year degree after she graduated from Central Valley High School, but she wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to study. 

The cost of higher education was a concern, so she decided to attend Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) while she made some decisions about her future.

During her second year at CCBC, Zurynski met Debra Seidenstricker, an admissions counselor for adult and transfer students at Penn State Beaver. Seidenstricker was visiting CCBC to talk to students who were interested in transferring.

Zurynski said she had already been thinking about Penn State Beaver, so she stopped to talk to Seidenstricker. “I really connected with Debra,” Zurynski said. She learned more about the transfer process, and then learned about the RaiseMe Transfer scholarship.

RaiseMe Transfer is a scholarship for students attending community college in Pennsylvania who want to transfer to a Penn State Commonwealth Campus. 

Zurynski said the application process was easy to complete. She was asked a series of questions about what she was already doing as a community college student, including classes and grades, jobs, extra-curricular activities and projects.

“I just put all of my information about stuff I’d already done. I didn’t even have to write an extra paper,” Zurynski said.

Zurynski said the system then awarded her points for everything she entered, and that determined the amount of her scholarship. 

Eligible students can earn up to $7,000 over two years through the RaiseMe scholarship.

Zurynski, who will graduate in May 2024 with a business management and marketing major, said the scholarship “means the world. Honestly, it really does.” She said her parents work hard, but money can be a struggle. She said every little bit helps, but the RaiseMe scholarship was a significant help. 

Zurynski made sure to get involved at Penn State Beaver. She is president of the Lion Ambassadors, a member of the Business Club, and she works in the Admissions Department.

She said she would encourage community college students to attend Penn State Beaver, especially if they want to stay in the area and are looking for a smaller campus where they have a chance to connect with their professors.

RaiseMe Transfer is a new program. For fall 2023, 32 students were awarded RaiseMe scholarships totaling more than $75,000 across the Commonwealth Campuses.