Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

Foundation Awards $190,000 to Expand College Access for Low-Income Students in Maryland



LANSDOWNE, VA - Recognizing that college access programs can dramatically boost the college-going potential of Maryland's students, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is investing $1 million during 2005 and 2006 to help build such programs across the state. Today the Foundation is inaugurating this funding with two grants worth $95,000 each to communities in Montgomery, Somerset, and Wicomico Counties. The programs will use the grants to help more students, especially those from low-income areas, prepare to attend postsecondary education.

"These organizations have demonstrated their commitment to expanding the opportunities that students in Maryland have to attend college," said Dr. Matthew J. Quinn, Executive Director of the Foundation. "We are proud to support them, and we look forward to the impact they will have on the lives of these students, their families, and their communities."

The recipients, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Educational Foundation's CollegeTracks and the Delmarva Education Foundation, are both nonprofit organizations. With the funds, they will expand their existing services and initiate college access programs in several Maryland high schools. The programs will focus especially on low-income families and potential first-generation college students through one-on-one services that include financial and academic counseling, test preparation, career guidance, and last-dollar scholarships. Specifics on each grant are below.

The Foundation's funding continues a similar initiative it has established in its home state of Virginia. It has been inspired in this initiative by college access programs underway in almost 40 states that have helped to improve educational and career opportunities, boost incomes, and raise tax bases. It also recognizes that college graduates earn, on average, $1 million more over a lifetime than individuals who never advance beyond a high school degree. In the spring, the Foundation will announce the remaining recipients in the Maryland college access program.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the will of Jack Kent Cooke. Its mission is to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. To fulfill its mission, the Foundation provides scholarships for high-achieving students with financial need. In 2004, the Foundation also initiated direct grants to programs related to its mission. These initiatives include support for the training of public school principals, college access networks in Virginia and Maryland, and innovative programs that identify and serve high-achieving students with financial need.

December 6, 2005

Current Start-Up Grants Awarded in Maryland: $190,000

Delmarva Education Foundation (DEF)
About: The DEF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to
improve the opportunities for residents of the Lower Delmarva
Peninsula region through education. The organization serves
seven predominantly rural counties that cross three state 
boundaries but share economic and cultural ties: Dorchester,
Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties in Maryland;
Accomack and Northampton Counties in Virginia; and 
Sussex County in Delaware.

Grant: $95,000

Purpose: DEF's College and Career Access Program will build upon
its Financial Aid Clearinghouse project, which provides
information about local scholarships through DEF will initially provide services to
students at Washington High School in Somerset County
and Wicomico High School in Wicomico County.

Contact: Dr. Donald Harting, Executive Director.
Phone: 410-219-3336

CollegeTracks, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Educational Foundation 
About: CollegeTracks is a nonprofit organization currently operating
on an all-volunteer basis through the Bethesda-Chevy Chase
educational Foundation.

Grant: $95,000

Purpose: CollegeTracks will establish itself as a separate nonprofit
organization in 2006. It will continue to provide services at
Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, and expand its
offerings through early awareness programs and similar
services at nearby Wheaton High School in Montgomery
County. Although many parts of Montgomery County are
populated with wealthy and well-educated residents, it also
has substantial pockets of poverty and many low-income

Contact: Nancy Leopold, Executive Director of CollegeTracks. 
Phone: 301-986-4124






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