Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

Governor Warner to Address Community Leaders on Cooke Foundation's $1 Million College Access Initiative


Governor Warner to Address Community Leaders on Cooke Foundation's $1 Million College Access Initiative


RICHMOND, VA - Governor Mark R. Warner will address 125 leaders from 38 Virginia counties and cities on Wednesday, May 26 as the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation inaugurates a $1 million investment in the Virginia College Access Network (VCAN). The leaders will be part of an all-day event in Richmond at which they will learn how to apply for Cooke Foundation grants this year that will help create programs statewide that send more Virginia high school students to college. Governor Warner will speak at 12:30 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel (Salon B, 555 East Canal Street, Richmond).

"The Foundation is proud to be able to help build a statewide network that will help more of Virginia's students attend college, and we deeply appreciate Governor Warner's decision to join these community leaders and lend his voice to this initiative," said Matthew J. Quinn, the Foundation's executive director.

Despite graduating from high school at rates above the national average, Virginia's students attend college at rates below the national average: 79% of Virginians ages 18-24 have high school diplomas, compared to 75% nationally; and 53% of Virginians attend college directly out of high school, compared to 57% nationally. In economic terms alone, college graduation makes a profound difference in individual lives: college graduates earn on average $1 million more each over a lifetime than students whose education never advances beyond a high school degree.

In the 27 states where they operate as part of the National College Access Network, college access programs have proven that they can increase college-going rates substantially: more than 70% of students assisted by these programs graduate from college, compared to the national average of 50%. Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college, and nearly all have financial need.

During the event, in addition to Governor Warner and the head of the Foundation's college access initiative, community leaders will hear from Joshua Darden, Jr., co-founder of the Tidewater Scholarship Foundation; Bittle Porterfield, III, vice chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia; and Shane Hollett, the associate director of the National College Access Network.

Learn more about VCAN and how to apply for a grant.


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. More information on VCAN and the Foundation is at






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