STEM Students Receive Significant Scholarship from Stephen & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

Four of the five Cohen Scholar recipients. MANHATTAN.EDU/COURTESY

By: Angelina Persaud, News Editor

The Stephen and Alexandra Cohen Foundation has awarded $828,000 in scholarships to five freshmen students in the School of Engineering and the School of Science at Manhattan College. This amount covers up to 90% of tuition expenses for four years. 

The scholarship was created with the intention of recognizing the academic potential and accomplishments of underserved students from various high schools in New York. 

Alexandra Cohen, president of the foundation, was a communications student at the college. 

“We are proud to partner with Manhattan College and support high-achieving students fulfill their dreams of attending college,” Cohen wrote in a statement to the college. 

The students selected for the scholarship began their application process during their senior year of high school and had to continuously work with the college’s admissions office to ensure they met the requirements. The two major requirements of the scholarship entailed that the student lives and attends school in the New York City area and is a commuter student to the college. 

The freshman recipients of the Cohen Foundation Scholarship are Melanie Beharry, Rodrigo Barberan, Ethan Perez, Julio Marmol Herrera, and Jared Bravo. 

Rodrigo Barberan, a biochemistry major, recalled the initial moment he discovered he was accepted for the scholarship and the impact it had on him. 

“I was really grateful and I was just so amazed. The day that I learned that I actually received the scholarship, me and my family went in person to the admissions office and paid the deposit there. And that’s when they gave us an updated statement and it showed that I was chosen for the scholarship,” Barberan said.

Barberan also spoke about the impact the scholarship will have on his academic and personal life. 

“Personally, it just took off a lot of stress when it came to the financial situation. That was a really big concern when it came to my parents, determining what colleges would be most affordable in our situation,” Barberan said. “And academically, it kind of puts a good amount of pressure on me, just so that I live up to the scholarship and do as best as I can. I want to make sure that it doesn’t go to waste and that I use it to its fullest potential.” 

Jared Bravo, a civil engineering major, also spoke about his experience with the scholarship program and how it has led to a transformative start to his academic journey at the college. 

“I don’t really have to worry about how much it’s going to affect my parents in terms of loans. I didn’t have to take out a loan, which is great. I don’t have to worry about debt coming right out of school. I just have to do my best in all of these classes,” Bravo said. 

He also emphasized the communication between students and the admissions office when it came to discussing the scholarship.

“There are many great people here. I’m part of CSTEP as well, and people are really nice. They really check in on you through meetings and want to see you succeed,” Bravo said. 

Both students credited their guidance counselors and their families for helping them reach this point in their academic journeys. 

“I would have to first thank my guidance counselor because he was the one that brought it to my attention. So without him I probably would have never known that the scholarship exists. And kindly my parents too just because they were a big motivation for me because they were always pushing me to get the best education I can considering that they came from another country,” Barberan said. 

“I’d like to thank the financial aid office for their help and for walking me through the whole process. And of course my family for their support,” Bravo said. 

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