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Report Commemorates 16 Years of Scholarships, Grants, and Research

Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016
Media Contact: David Egner


LANSDOWNE, Va. – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation today published a report summarizing its first 16 years of operation. The report details how the foundation has provided over $152 million in scholarship assistance to nearly 2,200 high-achieving students from low-income families and over $90 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

The report is titled “State of the Foundation: Opening Doors to Equal Educational Opportunity for Outstanding Low-Income Students.” It tells the story of the foundation from its creation with a bequest from Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, who died in 1997. It also includes short profiles of 15 Cooke Scholars, looking at obstacles they have overcome and their many achievements.

The online version of the report has many links to additional information, including all of the foundation’s groundbreaking research reports and compelling videos of Cooke Scholars.

Cooke Scholarships are awarded to outstanding low-income students entering high school, entering college as freshmen, transferring to four-year colleges from community colleges, and entering graduate school. Graduate students must already be Cooke Scholars. The scholarships are awarded without respect to religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship status, geographic region, race or ethnicity.

Applications are currently being accepted for the Cooke College Scholarship Program(deadline Nov. 30) and Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship(deadline Oct. 25) for the 2017-18 school year.

“Already, many Cooke Scholar alumni have achieved great things that would make Mr. Cooke proud in health care, scientific research, business entrepreneurship, the arts, teaching and many other professional fields,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “Their achievements prove beyond question that our nation is strengthened when we enable students with big minds and small wallets to climb as high as they can on the education ladder.”

The “State of the Foundation” report points out that low-income students are underrepresented at America’s college and universities, particularly at the most selective schools. It quotes a 2014 White House report titled “Increasing College Opportunity for Low-Income Students” that states: “While half of all people from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, just 1 in 10 people from low-income families do.”

The situation is even worse at America’s top colleges and universities. A Cooke Foundation study earlier this year found that a mere 3 percent of students at the most selective colleges come from the 25 percent of families with the lowest incomes. In sharp contrast, 72 percent of students at the top schools come from the wealthiest 25 percent of the U.S. population.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has provided over $152 million in scholarships to nearly 2,200 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also awarded over $90 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

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