Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Scholarship

Update: The Foundation, like other endowed institutions, experienced significant financial losses in 2008 and early 2009, and as a result, we faced difficult choices regarding the future of some of our programs.

In August 2009, we announced that, going forward, we will award new graduate scholarships only to students who have received an undergraduate scholarship from the Foundation. The Foundation offers two types of undergraduate scholarships: an undergraduate transfer scholarships is for exceptional students with financial need transferring from a two-year college to a four-year college and a college scholarship for students graduating from the Foundation’s Young Scholars Program. These students have all come through rigorous selections processes and the Foundation seeks to further advance their educational endeavors as they pursue graduate study. All of our undergraduate scholarship recipients are, therefore, eligible to apply for a one-time award of up to $50,000 to support their graduate or professional studies.

The Foundation’s decision does not affect any current Jack Kent Cooke Scholars who have already received a graduate scholarship from us.
Description: To fulfill its mission, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation identifies and supports young people of exceptional promise, application, deportment, and character who have financial need and demonstrated excellence in academic endeavors and extracurricular activities.
Dollar Value: The scholarship awards provide funding for tuition, room and board, books, and other required fees for the length of the graduate degree program, up to six years. The amount and duration of awards will vary by student, based on the cost of attendance and length of the program as well as other scholarships or grants received. The maximum award is $50,000 per year.
Number of Scholarships: The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program awards approximately 30 scholarships to college seniors or recent graduates who will be attending graduate programs in the following fall.
  • Be nominated by his or her undergraduate institution
  • Be a current student at an accredited US college or university with senior status or be a recent graduate (since May 2000). Have a cumulative college grade point average of 3.50 or better on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent)
  • Plan to begin a full-time graduate degree program in fall 2010.
  • Not have previously been nominated for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship.
Application Procedures: Accredited US undergraduate institutions appoint a faculty representative to lead the nomination process and serve as liaison between the institution and the Foundation. Student applicants who have been through a campus nomination process will only be considered.
Deadlines: TBA
Contact Information:
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
44325 Woodridge Parkway
Lansdowne, Virginia 20176
Phone numbers:
Fax: 703-723-8030
Email: ikc@jackkentcookefoundation.org
Faculty Representative:
Name: Dr. Michele M. Granger, Applied Consumer Sciences, Park Central Office Building 300
Phone: 417-836-5175
Email: MicheleGranger@MissouriState.edu
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Changes to the Graduate Scholarship Program

1. Are colleges and universities still eligible to nominate students for the graduate scholarship?
No. Unfortunately, the Foundation will no longer be accepting nominations from colleges and universities for the graduate scholarship program. Future graduate scholarships will be limited to the Foundation’s undergraduate scholarship recipients.

2. Will the Foundation’s decision to limit the graduate scholarship program affect students who have already received a graduate scholarship from the Foundation?
No. The changes to the graduate program do not affect existing Scholars.

3. What do you mean when you say that you “will award new graduate scholarships only to students who have received an undergraduate scholarship from the Foundation?”

Only those students who have or will receive college or undergraduate transfer scholarships from the Foundation will be eligible to apply for funding from the Foundation to support graduate studies.

4. I am not familiar with the undergraduate transfer scholarship. What is that?
The undergraduate transfer scholarship is for students transferring from a two-year college to a four-year college. The two-year institution nominates the students, who are then selected by an outside panel of admissions professionals and faculty. The Foundation selects up to 50 students a year for this scholarship. For more information about this program, please visit the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship page.

5. How does a student receive a college scholarship?

Every year, the Foundation selects approximately 50-60 talented 8th graders (who apply at the end of the 7th grade) from a pool of well over 1000 applicants to become Young Scholars and receive individualized support throughout high school. These Young Scholars may apply for college scholarships from the Foundation. These are the only students to whom we provide college scholarships (see question 4 to learn about our undergraduate transfer scholarship program). You can learn more about this program on the Young Scholars Program page.

6. At our institution, we currently have a student who is a recipient of an undergraduate transfer scholarship/college scholarship from the Foundation. Does this student need to be nominated by the institution for a graduate scholarship?
No. The Foundation will send information about the graduate scholarship directly to recipients of our undergraduate transfer and college scholarships and interested students will apply directly to the Foundation for support.

7. Can a student who is currently enrolled as a college student at a four-year institution apply for support to complete his or her undergraduate education?
No. The only scholarships the Foundation offers for current undergraduate students are the undergraduate transfer scholarship and college scholarship discussed above in questions 4 and 5. Students who are currently enrolled at a four-year institution would not be eligible for either of those scholarships.
Who was Jack Kent Cooke?
Mr. Cooke was a philanthropist, businessman, and devotee of learning and the arts who left the bulk of his estate to establish the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.
Can an application be submitted directly to the Foundation, without first being nominated by a university?
The Foundation will only consider applicants who have been nominated by their institution's designated faculty representative. Other applications will not be considered. Potential applicants should contact the designated faculty representative at your undergraduate college or university to inquire about the institution's internal nomination process and deadline.
How much support does the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship provide?
Each award will fund a portion of educational costs, including tuition, room and board, books, arid other required fees for the length of the graduate degree program, up to six years. The amount and duration of awards vary by student, based on the cost of attendance and the length of the program as well as other scholarships or grants received. The maximum available per student is $50,000 per year. Most awards are for fewer than six years and less than $50,000 per year.
Are there limits on the types of graduate degrees or universities the Foundation will consider?
Scholars may use the award to attend any accredited graduate school in the US or abroad to pursue any graduate or professional degree, in fields from fine arts to medicine to history.
How does the Foundation determine unmet financial need?
The Foundation considers academic excellence first in evaluating candidates. However, to be competitive, nominees must also show unmet financial need, which has two components:
  • Education costs that exceed to an appreciable degree other grant awards, and
  • Insufficient student and family income to meet educational costs.
Related facts:
  • Students receiving full funding for their proposed graduate programs will not be competitive for this scholarship, as they will have no unmet need.
  • One possible indicator that candidates have financial need is that they have received need-based aid while in college.
  • Please note: While non-US citizens may be ineligible for many types of aid, their financial situation often meets the Foundation's financial need criteria.
As an independent student, will an applicant still need to have parents complete the financial information forms regardless of whether they receive support from them?
The parents of all applicants must complete the financial information forms. Even for financially independent applicants, the parental information figures into the assessment of need. However, the Foundation realizes that applicants may be financially independent from their parents and consider parental income less important for such students.
Why does the Foundation require financial information from my parents?
The Foundation requires both student and parent financial information for many reasons. One reason is that research shows that the lower the student's or parent's income, the lower the chance the student has of completing a college degree.