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Selection Process and Criteria

Selection Process

The Cooke Graduate Award is a competitive scholarship. The number of scholarships awarded is variable depending on the number of competitive applications we receive for the award. Scholars compete against their own record, not against fellow scholars. That said, putting forward your best application possible is essential to help the committee as it selects from a large group of qualified, talented scholars.

Applicants must complete the online application and submit all required supplemental materials. Scholars interested in applying for the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge have additional requirements. Please be sure to review the FAQs for further information.


The foundation reviews applications paying close attention to a scholar’s achievement, engagement, leadership, unmet financial need, and involvement with the Cooke Foundation. 

  • Achievement:  Demonstrated high academic achievement, academic awards and honors, rigor of program, and a substantive assessment by a professor or supervisor providing a confidential recommendation. We anticipate that recipients will have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5.
  • Unmet financial need:  Competitive applicants must demonstrate unmet financial need, which has two components. 1) Education costs that exceed to an appreciable degree other grant awards, and 2) insufficient student and family income to meet these educational costs.
  • Engagement and Leadership:  A depth or breadth of active engagement in and outside of the classroom, on or outside of the university campus. May be demonstrated through research activities, field studies, internships, leadership positions in clubs and organizations, service, publications, and presentations.
  • Clarity of purpose for graduate studies:  Well-articulated decision to pursue the chosen field of study and preferred graduate program.
  • Involvement with the Cooke Foundation: Timely submission of forms, bills, transcripts, and other required materials. Substantive responses to periodic and annual surveys. Assistance in recruiting future Cooke Scholars and participation in other Cooke Foundation activities.

Watch the Graduate School Admissions 101 webcast for information on applying to graduate school.

Interested in law school?  Watch the "Is law school right for you?" webcast.


Many of your questions will be answered in the Graduate Scholarship FAQs. Read FAQs.

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