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The 2018 Young Scholars Program application now closed.

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Young Scholars Program

Program Experience

The Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program is a selective 5-year pre-college scholarship for high-performing 7th grade students with financial need. It provides comprehensive academic and college advising, as well as financial support for school, Cooke-sponsored summer programs, internships, and other learning enrichment opportunities. Each Young Scholar is assigned an on-staff educational adviser who works closely with the student and his or her family, individually and as part of a scholar community. Educational advisers support Young Scholars to maximize high school experiences and go on to thrive at the nation’s top-performing colleges. Our programming and support may include:

  • Identifying an appropriately rigorous high school
  • Engaging in four-year planning and goal-setting
  • Funding for academic and extracurricular opportunities, such as music and art lessons, supplemental academic classes, and technology
  • Annual summer programs, including two required Young Scholar summer programs
  • Year-round Young Scholar community programming
  • Networking opportunities with a high-achieving peer community
  • Special consideration for a Cooke College Scholarship for up to $40,000 per year

Program Eligibility

As minimum criteria to apply, students must:

  • Currently be in 7th grade
  • Reside and plan to attend high school in the U.S. or U.S. territory
  • Earn grades of all or mostly As with no Cs in core academic subjects during 6th and 7th grade (English/Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies/History)
  • Have a family adjusted gross income of less than $95,000
  • Be willing to participate in multi-week residential summer programs, including two required Cooke scholar programs after 8th and 11th grades

Program Selection

The Young Scholars Program is a national scholarship with students representing every region and attending school in rural, urban and suburban communities. The Foundation selects up to 50 Young Scholars per year. Selection criteria focus on academic achievement, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The application review process includes analysis of grades, test scores, student and parent writing, recommendations from teachers, and family financial need. Finalists are notified during the fall of their 8th grade year.

Young Scholars Program 2013-2017

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Información en Español:
El Programa Young Scholars

Webinars for students, families, and educators

Join us for a live webinar on eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and key dates. Cooke Foundation staff will answer attendee questions and share best practices and tips for the application process. Several dates and times are available:

Register for Upcoming Webinars

Information for families

English: Program Flyer | Application Guidelines

Español: Folleto | Pautas de la Solicitud

한국어: 브로셔 | 신청 가이드 라인