Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

Major Scholarships Now Available to Help Community College Students Transfer to Four-Year Schools

August 24, 2017 12:00 PM

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Offers Prestigious, $40,000 Scholarships to High-Performing Community College Students with Financial Need


Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017
Media Contact: Amber Styles



LANSDOWNE, Va. – Today, the Cooke Foundation announced the opening of the application period for the largest private scholarship in the United States for community college transfer students. Exceptional community college students with financial need and plans to transfer to a four-year college or university have until noon ET on October 24 to apply for a prestigious Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, which is worth up to $40,000 per year.

“Community college students are more likely than students at four-year schools to come from families with low and moderate incomes. Yet they are just as likely to possess the capacity and drive to succeed at our most elite colleges and universities,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “If a high-achieving community college student wants to transfer to a four-year institution, we want to remove financial need as a barrier to their success.”

Since 2002, 860 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars have received over $36 million in scholarship assistance. A 2015 Cooke Foundation study found that the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars routinely do better at elite four-year institutions than many students who started as freshmen. 

One former receipient of the scholarship, Christina Simons,began her studies at Suffolk County Community College in New York. After receiving a Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, she transferred to the California Institute of the Arts, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in photography and media in 2012. She now plans to attend the University of Oxford to study for a master of fine arts degree and a Ph.D. in contemporary art practice. 

A total of 45 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships will be awarded in the spring. A review panel of university admissions professionals and faculty will judge scholarship applicants based on their achievements and academic ability, financial need, persistence, leadership and service to others.

To be eligible for the scholarship, a student must: 1) currently attend an accredited community college or have graduated from a community college since 2013, 2) have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or better, 3) demonstrate significant unmet financial need, and 4) plan to enroll in a full-time baccalaureate program at an accredited college or university in fall 2018.

Cooke Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad, and opportunities to network with other Cooke Scholars and alumni. In addition, after earning a bachelor’s degree, Cooke Scholars may be eligible to apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship.

To find out more about the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, and to start your application, please visit our site.


The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded $175 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also provided over $97 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.







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