Inaugural Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Competition Begins
August 10, 2011 09:58 PM
NEW FOCUS CREATES LARGEST SCHOLARSHIPS OF THEIR KIND
LANSDOWNE, VA - The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which runs one of America’s largest and most competitive private scholarship programs, has decided to focus its undergraduate scholarships on students transferring from community college to pursue four-year degrees at any accredited college or university in the United States and abroad. Previously, the Foundation had also made awards to students already attending four-year institutions. The new Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program represents the largest private initiative in US history to help community college students earn four-year degrees. With the change, students at 1,900 accredited community colleges in the US and alumni who have graduated from those institutions since May 1999 may compete for scholarships totaling as much as $30,000 per student.
“Exceptional students who attend community college are some of the finest students anywhere, but they have few places to turn for financial support,” said Dr. Matthew J. Quinn, the Foundation’s Executive Director. “We want to make sure financial obstacles do not prevent the best among these students from further advancing their education and pursuing their dreams.”
The Foundation’s program 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 continues to increase. Yet, while nearly 45 percent of all college students in the United States attend community colleges, few private funds are available to help these students transfer to four-year institutions, in spite of their high levels of ability and need.
The Foundation plans to award approximately 30 scholarships in spring of 2004 for use during the 2004-2005 academic year. A panel of national experts will assist the Foundation in selecting scholars. Candidates must be nominated by the faculty representative at their community or two-year institution. The list of faculty representatives and application materials are available on the Foundation’s website, www.jackkentcookefoundation.org, or by calling 1-800-498-64781-800-498-6478. The Foundation will renew each scholarship in subsequent years based upon performance.
The Foundation began awarding undergraduate scholarships in 2001 and now funds 110 recipients with awards totaling more than $2 million annually. The Foundation has received more than 500 nominations for these awards each year, and expects that number to grow with the new focus on community-college students and recent alumni. Awards will provide funding for tuition, room and board, required fees, and books for the length of the undergraduate degree, generally two years. Each award can total up to $30,000 annually, though the amounts will vary based on such factors as the cost of the institution each recipient attends.
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.