Brothers Kou and Cha Vang are continuing a family tradition of going to college for free. Both brothers were awarded comprehensive scholarships to attend prestigious universities in Wisconsin.
Kou will enroll at Marquette University in Milwaukee where he was awarded the Cudahy scholarship, which covers student fees, tuition, room and board, and a meal plan.
Cha received the Powers-Knapp Scholarship through University of Wisconsin-Madison which covers his full tuition for eight semesters. Cha will join his older brother, and fellow College Possible student, Nhia who is attending UW-Madison on a full-ride as a Gates Millennium Scholar.
Tyler, Kou and Cha’s senior coach, helped connect the brothers with scholarships and pushed them to work hard to rise to their full college potential. Cha credits Tyler and College Possible with helping him navigate the complex world of financial aid.
“Without College Possible, I probably wouldn’t be who I am,” said Cha. “College Possible helped me improve my ACT scores which helped me get into Madison and also helped me understand the FAFSA.”
While Cha and Nhia are in Madison, Kou appreciates being able to attend Marquette, as it means he can stay near his parents and younger sister. The Vang family came to the United States as refugees from Thailand and moved from San Diego to Milwaukee in 2012.
Kou selected Marquette not just because of its proximity to his family but also because the university has a strong engineering program. He has enjoyed building things from a young age and quickly connected his tinkering to an interest in engineering.
“I am excited because I really like engineering and it excites me thinking about the possibility of what Marquette is going to show me through their program,” said Kou.
Cha is still undecided regarding his major but he knew was attracted to the rigor of UW-Madison when he was there on a campus visit and saw his future as a student there.
“I’m kind of scared but hopeful,” said Cha. “My biggest hope is to be more educated and when I get out of college, find a good job that can help me support my family and give back.”
So are the brothers worried about splitting up after being in school together for their entire lives?
“No, not really,” they both reply. “I think there are advantages to us being together, but later on in life we will go our own ways so this is a good start,” said Cha.
With College Possible by their side and their older brother Nhia leading by example, Cha and Kou will still be doing one thing together – becoming first-generation college graduates.