Celebrating our Recipients

Excellence achieved.

At UHart, we are committed to making your education affordable and attainable.

We offer scholarships that can be as much as full tuition to students who display academic merit, artistic talent and performance, or program-specific interests.

Each year, accepted students with high academic success are invited to a scholarship competition for National Honors recognition. These University scholarships are renewable for four years when the recipient maintains a 3.25 cumulative GPA. The competition includes three components: students complete an essay, participate in an interview with a faculty member, and attend a scholarship program where they can meet current students, and other accepted students. These scholarships empower students from varied backgrounds and interests to make the most of their UHart experience.

Sara Costa '26

Sara Costa Headshot

Sara Costa ’26, a student-athlete and Computer Engineering major from Yorktown Heights, NY, was drawn to UHart because she could continue to play lacrosse, but also be a part of a rigorous engineering program. During her campus visit, once she saw the new Hursey Center— her favorite aspect of campus—she knew that UHart would be a great fit. Not only would she be able to continue playing sports at the collegiate level, but she would be able to learn in state-of-the-art spaces with equipment to create and innovate. She discovered that there were many helpful resources available to her as an engineering major and athlete. When asked what it meant to her to be a recipient of the full scholarship through the competition, she responded that “it meant a lot.”  “I will be able to save money to afford graduate school to obtain my master’s degree in engineering in the future. Without the scholarship, I probably wouldn’t be playing lacrosse in college or have met the friends I have today.”

Matthew Elwell BSBA ’25 MBA ‘26

Matthew Elwell Headshot

Matthew Elwell BSBA ’25 MBA ‘26 is a finance major from Plymouth CT. Matthew learned about UHart from a friend and after taking a tour and meeting with professors from the Barney School, he knew that being a student was more than just being a student—that you were part of a greater community where your teachers get to know you as a person. That community is one of his favorite aspects of campus because he is able to make connections every day, both academically and socially. Being the recipient of a full scholarship to UHart has meant the world to him. He and his mother used to always joke that if he wanted to go to college, he would need to get a full-ride to able to attend, and he did just that! Through this achievement he is able to focus on the joys of being a college student. “All those worries are now alleviated and I can focus on doing my work and having fun at UHart.”

“I’ve met an amazing network of friends, been supported by amazing faculty, and had great opportunities to get involved on campus and in the community. I wouldn’t change my experience for the world!”

Alissa Hoffmann,

Lily Turmel BSBA '25 MBA '26

Lily Turmel Headshot

Lily Turmel, BSBA’25, MBA ’26, a Business Analytics and Managerial Economics student from West Springfield, Massachusetts, is taking advantage of the 3+1 program at the Barney School of Business where she will be able to earn her undergraduate and MBA in just four years. When looking for schools that she wanted to attend, she found that UHart was one of the few colleges that had everything she was looking for—great internship opportunities, a beautiful campus, and small class sizes. Lily’s favorite aspect of UHart is the community and relationships she has been able to build. “As a member of LEAD and the track and field team, I have formed valuable friendships and found people that push me to be the best version of myself. As a recipient of a full-tuition scholarship, Lily has been able to completely focus on her academics and time at UHart. “When I was surprised at school as a winner (of the competition), it was as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders, knowing I could attend UHart with less burden to worry about.”

Eric Goodman '26

Eric Goodman Headshot

Eric Goodman ’26, a first-year student from Suffern, NY was a recipient of a full scholarship at the 2022 Scholarship Competition. Eric is currently studying marketing at the Barney School of Business and credits his choice to attend UHart in knowing that he could earn his undergraduate degree and his MBA in just four years through the 3+1 program. In addition, he knew he wouldn’t just be a number— that his teachers would be there for him every step of the way. Though UHart was not initially at the top of mind for schools, once he took a campus tour he realized that there was much more to the campus than met the eye. His favorite aspect of UHart is the networking he has been able to do both academically and socially. “UHart has helped me make many friends both in a business sense and social sense because it fosters an environment for interactions. Being able to have outlets where I can be myself and make friends is one of my favorite parts.” When asked what it meant to be a recipient of the full scholarship, Eric responded “It meant a lot to me. Seeing my academic achievements and hard work paying off was extremely heartwarming. I pride myself on my academics and being recognized for it made it worth the work put in.”

Courtney Korner '26

Courtney Korner Headshot

Courtney Korner ’26 is a nursing student and full-tuition scholarship recipient from Goshen, CT. Courtney was drawn to the University of Hartford because of the welcoming atmosphere and small community feel. She knew in her junior year, after a campus tour, that UHart was where she wanted to go. When asked what her favorite aspect of UHart is, she said “I love the small class sizes where every one of my professors knows me by name. Everyone has the opportunity to actively participate during class because we aren’t just numbers in a lecture hall. I also like how approachable and friendly every member of the staff is.” As a first-generation college student, the scholarship has allowed Courtney to attend her top choice school where she feels she “has the greatest chance of success without financial pressures affecting her decision.”

Taylor Depaolo-Daily '26

Taylor headshot

Taylor Depaolo-Daily ’26, from Southington, is in her first year at the University of Hartford after being the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship in the 2022 competition. Taylor is studying Digital Media Journalism with a focus on sports production. She was drawn to UHart by the people and opportunities that the school has to offer through its partnerships with ESPN and the Student Television Network. In her short time here, she has already taken advantage of those opportunities as a member of the Student Television Network and as a RedKey Tour Guide. Her favorite aspect of the University of Hartford is how welcoming everybody us. “It is easy to create new friends on campus whether they are in their first year or not. It is also very easy to get access to teachers to ask questions—they respond fast and are always approachable.” When asked what it meant to be a scholarship recipient, Taylor commented “We all know how insanely stressful the college application process is along with waiting for acceptances, merit scholarships, financial packages and just finding the right fit that you can afford. I thought that UHart is where I wanted to land, and winning this scholarship assured me that I had found a school that valued all of my accomplishments and wanted me to be a part of their campus as much as I wanted to be there.”

Paige Gagnon '25

headshot of Paige

Paige Gagnon ’25, from Manchester, was drawn to UHart when her great-uncle, a UHart alumnus, recommended that she apply. Shortly after applying, she heard from many of her parent’s friends— who were also alumni about how much they loved their college experience, and how welcoming the community is. Paige has found that to be true during her first semester. Among her favorite things at UHart, beyond the community, is the food, the resources that the UHart library has to offer, and the scientific equipment she has access to through the labs she is taking.  When asked about what it meant to her to be a full-scholarship winner, she remarked “It means a lot to me. Without this scholarship, I would not have been able to afford to come to UHart, and I would not have met such amazing, supportive friends and staff. This scholarship also gives me the opportunity to take classes outside of my major that I have an interest in, such as classes on ancient societies or art classes. As a Health Professions: Pre-Optometry major, her plans for after graduation include optometry school, residency, and then joining a practice as an optometrist.

Akosua Adu ‘25

headshot of Akosua

When looking for a school for her undergraduate degree, Akosua Adu ’25, wanted somewhere that put an emphasis on community. She has found that with UHart being a smaller school— she doesn’t feel like a number in a lecture hall, but instead as an individual worth getting to know by her professors. She also loves how diverse the school is. In fact, that is one of her favorite parts. “I love that I’m surrounded by people who look like me all the time. I love how people of color are represented in the student body as well as the staff. It goes to show the progress of our community.” Studying in the Health Professions: Pre-professional program, Akosua plans to attend either physician’s assistant or medical school after graduation. As a winner of the scholarship, she celebrates her own success and is proud that her family gets to see her success as well! “I love how I can inspire my younger family members and friends back home through this scholarship. Getting this scholarship has shown people around me that we are capable of achieving so much in this life. It shows us that we are not held bound to the many limitations that our parents had to face, especially being the children of immigrant parents.” Akosua is from Worcester, MA and plans to graduate in 2025.

Colin Larkin ’23

Colin Larkin ’23 is a first-year student from Colchester, Connecticut who is majoring in health sciences with plans to become an orthopedic surgeon with a concentration in sports medicine. One reason he applied to UHart is its proximity to home and he says it’s helpful to see familiar faces from high school once in a while. “My UHart experience so far has been welcoming,” he says. “Collaborating with people of different backgrounds and exploring new perspectives and ideas has been interesting and fulfilling. I’ve also joined different clubs and built connections that are preparing me for future classes and building my resume.”

Kyla DeBenedetto ‘25

photo of Kyla next to her lawn sign announcing she's a winner of the tuition competition

Kyla DeBenedetto ’25, a Radiologic Technology major from Ansonia, CT, has a goal to work in a major community hospital as part of a team that helps patients live a pain free, active, and healthy life after graduation—but she won’t stop there. Kyla also wants to gain the education and experience necessary to run a Radiology Department. Kyla chose UHart for her studies because it is one of the few schools that offers a bachelor’s degree that is also JCERT accredited for radiologic technology. Beyond that, she could tell that UHart was a welcoming atmosphere during her campus visits. The welcoming atmosphere that she initially witnessed has proven to be one of her favorite aspects of the University. She describes it as family-style, and a true community-based environment where students are always laughing and practicing acts of kindness for one another. Kyla has taken advantage of the clubs and organizations that UHart has to offer as a member of the Red Key tour guides, as a Student Ambassador, and as a member of numerous clubs. As a recipient of the full scholarship, Kyla reflects on winning the scholarship calling the experience “One of the most exciting and life changing events. The opportunity to be able to attend such a prestigious institution of higher education, without the financial pressure, is something I am truly grateful for. I could not be more thankful to call the University of Hartford my home.” 

Deja George '24

deja sitting reading a book

Deja George ’24 is finding both educational and scholarship success in the College of Arts and Sciences while she pursues a double major in philosophy, and politics and government. At UHart’s Scholarship competition, Deja got the chance to meet with many faculty members, some of whom became her professors, including Associate Professor of History and Philosophy Rochelle “Shelly” DuFord who interviewed Deja for the scholarship. “My interview with Dr. DuFord made me feel like I belonged,” says Deja. “From the moment that we met, her caring and understanding approach to teaching has welcomed me.” After college Deja plans to attend law school and become a civil rights attorney. She says UHart is helping her in achieving her goals by giving her all the tools she needs to take the next step. “UHart is helping me to apply for internships, build my professional portfolio, and acquire all the skills to help me prepare for law school.”

Rene Liz '22

Rene Liz ’22 had two interests that attracted him to apply to UHart. He was interested in pre-med and in music and the arts, all strong areas of success here. Now a sophomore, he has decided to major in audio engineering with an eye toward becoming a studio/recording engineer and producer. “Winning the scholarship was a huge moment for me and my family,” said Rene, who is from Wethersfield, Connecticut. “When I got the news that I was one of the recipients I knew I finally had the means to pursue higher education.”

Gina Picagli '23

Gina Picagli ’23 felt extremely validated and appreciated by UHart when she learned she was a scholarship recipient. UHart was a school she had always considered and the scholarship meant the University wanted her to be part of its community. “It’s close, but not too close to home (New Haven, Connecticut), small, but not too small, very open-minded and creative, as well as a tight-knit and friendly community. I could tell I loved the school during my first tour.” The sophomore elementary special education major plans to become a successful and influential education and a well-rounded and productive member of society.

Ava Downey '23

Ava Downey ’23 is a UHart legacy student following in the footsteps of her mom, dad, aunt, uncle, and aunt’s brother. She is a first-year student from Leominster, Massachusetts majoring in computer science and living on the STEM-C RLC (Residential Learning Community) in Hawk Hall. She says her experiences here have added fuel to her desire to work eventually for NASA or SpaceX. “I had an immediate group of friends that made my college transition really easy and allowed me to fully immerse myself in college life. I also joined the Society of Women Engineers and helped them run a NASA webinar.”

Alissa Hoffman ’23

Alissa Hoffmann

Alissa Hoffman ’23 says the National Honors scholarship enabled her to attend college and put all of her focus on her studies. She always knew she wanted to major in marketing and was attracted to UHart’s Barney School of Business professors and learning opportunities. The first-year student from Meriden, Connecticut says “I’ve met an amazing network of friends, been supported by amazing faculty, and had great opportunities to get involved on campus and in the community. I wouldn’t change my experience for the world!”

“UHart has already opened many doors that have allowed me to showcase my skills to future employers,” she says. “I truly cannot imagine myself any other place.”

Kelly Insalaco ’22,

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