Published On: Mon, May 28th, 2018

Reinstated Initiative Opens Door to Princeton for PBSC Grad

Palm Beach State College recent grad Vinicius Wagner is on an emotional high these days.

Wagner recently learned he was one of only 13 students accepted to Princeton University as a transfer student this fall. Wagner wasn’t just accepted, he was also offered a full scholarship which will cover his tuition, housing, and meals.

The University, which had not admitted transfer students since 1990, opened the admission process for the students again last fall, particularly encouraging applications from students from low-income backgrounds, community college students and U.S. military veterans.

Wagner, who was part of the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Honors College and graduated with his Associate in Arts degree May 9, was among 1,492 transfer students who applied nationwide.

“When I found out I was accepted, I was in complete disbelief,” Wagner said. “I had to re-check my application portal every few minutes to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Eventually it hit me, and I felt that this journey I had been on for so many years had finally progressed to a whole new and exciting chapter.”

Wagner was also in disbelief just a little over a month ago when he learned he was one of only 47 nationwide to earn the 2018 Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship.
He’ll use the scholarship, which provides him with up to $40,000 annually for a maximum of three years to complete his bachelor’s degree, for books and other costs.

“I think the two biggest parts that stood out on my application was my commitment to community service at PBSC and the diversity of experience I would bring to the campus being a first-generation, low-income and immigrant student,” said Wagner who was born in Brazil and raised in Deerfield Beach, Fla.

Wagner, who plans to study applied physics at Princeton, will be among transfer students who come from states including Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York and Hawaii. In addition to Palm Beach State, students were chosen from community colleges including Miami Dade College in Florida, Fresno City College in California and Tompkins Cortland Community College in New York.

Before Wagner starts his studies at Princeton, he will participate in a 10-week paid summer internship as part of the LIGO Summer Undergraduate Research Program at the California Institute of Technology.

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