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The Graduate Arts Award

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award enables students or recent alumni with exceptional artistic or creative promise and financial need to pursue up to three years of study at an accredited graduate institution in the U.S. or abroad.  Awards can be as much as $50,000 annually.  In 2014, the Foundation will select up to 20 recipients for this award.

The award provides funding for tuition, room and board, required fees, and books.  Scholarship amounts vary based on several factors, including cost at the institution each recipient attends and other grants and scholarships the student receives. 

Selection Criteria

A review panel of distinguished artists, arts faculty, and university administrators select Scholars using criteria including artistic or creative merit, academic achievement, financial need, and resilience.  Applicants must be planning to pursue a career as a practicing artist to be eligible for this award.  

Selection Process

College seniors and recent college graduates who are interested in the Foundation’s Graduate Arts Award may apply directly to the Foundation in Phase One of the application process.  If a student is invited to continue in Phase Two, he or she must be nominated by the Foundation's Faculty Representative at their institution in order to compete for the award. Each college or university may nominate up to two students to be considered for the Graduate Arts Award.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Jack Kent Cooke Scholars possess exceptional academic records and demonstrate unmet financial need. At a minimum, each candidate for the Graduate Arts Award must have:

  • Senior standing or have graduated from an accredited four-year U.S. college or university within the past five years.
  • A cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.20 or better on a scale of 4.0 (or the equivalent).
  • Demonstrated unmet financial need.
  • A bachelor's degree by the start of the fall 2014 semester. 
  • Plans to begin their first graduate degree program in the performing arts, visual arts, or creative writing at an accredited college or university in the fall of 2014.
  • Not have been previously nominated for the Graduate Arts Award.  

While the Foundation considers artistic and creative merit first in evaluating candidates, competitive applicants must also demonstrate significant unmet financial need, which has two components:

  • Education costs that are appreciably greater than the total amount of other grants or scholarships the applicant receives.
  • Insufficient student and family income to meet educational costs.

All scholarship nominees must plan to begin their first graduate degree program on a full-time basis at an accredited university in the fall of 2014.  Recipients are chosen from a national pool with approximately 200 nominees competing each year for up to 20 awards.

For more information, contact the designated Faculty Representative at your school.


Through our Graduate Arts Award, we provide scholarships worth up to $50,000 per year to help students earn a graduate degree in the performing arts, visual arts, and creative writing.


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

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Want to Apply?

Review the applicant guidelines and portfolio guidelines before getting started on the Graduate Arts Award How to Apply page.