863 Nominees fro 47 States Apply for Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships
NEW FOCUS CREATES LARGEST SCHOLARSHIPS OF THEIR KIND
LANSDOWNE, VA - In its first year of accepting nominees only from community and two-year colleges for one of the nation’s most competitive scholarships, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Scholarship Program has attracted 863 nominees from 559 community colleges across the United States, including residents of 47 states. Through the program, students and recent alumni from community or two-year colleges receive support to complete their bachelor’s degrees at four-year institutions. The program represents the largest private initiative in US history to help community college students earn four-year degrees. In May, the Foundation will award approximately 30 undergraduate transfer scholarships worth up to $30,000 per year.
“This tremendous group of nominees reflects the excellence at the top of each class of students who attend community or two-year colleges,” said Dr. Matthew J. Quinn, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “We are delighted that these institutions have given their best students with financial need a chance to receive the support necessary to further their dreams through education.”
To be eligible for the scholarship, candidates must have been nominated by their community or two-year institution. Since institutions typically review several finalists each before nominating their selected students, these 863 nominees have emerged as nominees from a pool of students that numbers in the thousands.
The Foundation’s decision to focus its undergraduate program on this group brings attention and funding to an area requiring both. The most recent statistics from the American Association of Community Colleges indicate that enrollment at community colleges – which already exceeds 10 million students – continues to increase. Yet, few private funds are available to help these students transfer to four-year institutions, in spite of the enormous amount of ability and need at these schools.
Through its undergraduate transfer scholarships, the Foundation offers support for tuition, room and board, books, and other required fees for the remainder of the Jack Kent Cooke Scholar’s bachelor’s degree, generally two years. The amount and duration of awards will vary by student based on the cost of attendance and the length of the academic program as well as other scholarships or grants received. The Foundation expects that the new Scholars will earn entry into some of the finest four-year institutions in America. Recipients of the Foundation’s 2003 undergraduate scholarships who attended community college now attend, for example, the University of Chicago, the University of Virginia, and Wesleyan University.
The deadline to apply for this year’s undergraduate transfer scholarship was February 2. In May, the Foundation will announce the recipients following a review of candidates by independent national experts. The Foundation will renew rewards based upon student performance until the student completes his or her bachelor’s degree.
Number of community or two-year institutions nominating candidates: 559
Number of states with community or two-year institutions nominating candidates: 47
States without nominees: Alaska, Delaware, and Rhode Island
Examples of other countries whose permanent residents have been nominated: Canada (2), Estonia, Germany, Jamaica, Japan (2), Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yugoslavia (2)
Gender of candidates: 69% are female, 31% are male
ABOUT THE FOUNDATION
The Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. Mr. Cooke was a businessman and philanthropist who owned such professional sports teams as the Los Angeles Lakers and the Washington Redskins as well as the Chrysler Building in New York City. When he died in 1997, he left most of his fortune to establish the Foundation. Besides the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program, the Foundation’s programs for outstanding students with financial need also include full scholarships for students attending graduate and professional school as well as scholarships to help high-achieving youth develop their talents and abilities throughout high school.