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Selection Criteria

All applications for the Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship are reviewed by independent readers using the following selection criteria: achievement and academic ability, persistence, leadership, and service to others. Below are descriptions intended to provide additional detail on each criterion. 

To be competitive, applicants must demonstrate unmet financial need, score highly in achievement and academic ability, and receive good scores in the other criteria. We understand that it is the rare person who could score “perfectly” in all areas, but applicants will be competing with others who are strong in most or all areas. 

Faculty representatives occasionally ask us to explain why their students were not selected for a scholarship. We select candidates using an independent, outside review of committee of faculty, deans, and admissions officers. Because the Cooke Foundation makes its decisions based upon the selection committee's collective assessment, we are unable to comment precisely on the decisions reached about individual candidates.

Achievement and academic ability

Applicants must have a cumulative college grade point average of 3.5 or better on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent) for all undergraduate coursework. In addition, the panel looks for:

  • A high-quality and rigorous curriculum, including advanced courses taken
  • Consistently high academic performance in the two-year program
  • Academic honors and awards
  • Substantive assessments by those providing confidential recommendations
  • Intellectual curiosity
  • Critical thinking ability
  • The school(s) indicated as the applicant's choice(s) to complete his/her baccalaureate degree should be appropriate for the applicant’s stated goals.  


Evidence of ability to cope with adversity or stress, including assumption of significant responsibilities during school or prior personal challenges; not changing the course because something is boring or disappointing; sustained attention to tasks; maintaining interest and effort when challenged; and bouncing back from failure. The applicant’s persistence and determination in achieving goals is also considered.


Demonstrated leadership in any area that may reveal an ability to organize and influence others.  A good leader may be someone to whom others turn for guidance, who can motivate others, or who can facilitate consensus among various parties.

Service to Others

The panel will expect applicants to provide evidence of service to others as demonstrated through actions as well as aspirations, including:

  • Participation in volunteer/community service activities
  • Developing programs, tools, or products to help others
  • Conducting research into important issues

Criteria & Advice

Questions about the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship? Contact us.