Each year, the Foundation chooses up to 60 Young Scholars from more than 2,000 7th-grade applicants based on high academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, and the desire to help others.
Young Scholars come from all racial and ethnic backgrounds and from rural, suburban, and urban communities throughout the United States. Many Young Scholars are the first in their family to pursue a college education. For Young Scholars entering the program, the average family income is approximately $25,000, and more than 90 percent have incomes under $60,000.
Phase one of the Young Scholars Program application is currently open. The application deadline is March 20, 2014.
To be eligible for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program:
You must be entering 8th grade in the fall of 2014.
Since the beginning of 6th grade, you have earned grades of all or mostly As in school with no Cs or below in your core academic subjects (English/language arts, math, science, social studies/history).
Your family income does not exceed $95,000. The average family income of entering Young Scholars is approximately $25,000. In recent years nearly all Young Scholars have come from families with incomes below $60,000.
You must reside in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and plan to attend high school in the U.S.
*Exception: students with documented learning differences.
The Foundation reviews each application individually with the assistance of a panel of national experts. Young Scholars are chosen based upon the criteria below, and while all of these criteria are important, the Foundation pays particular attention to the first two.
High academic ability and achievement: Strong academic record, academic awards and honors, and substantive assessments by educators providing confidential letters of recommendation. We consider grades (typically mostly 'As'), achievement test scores, participation in available honors or advanced courses, commitment to learning, and work ethic.
Financial need: Limited family income and insufficient funds to cover significant out-of-pocket education-related expenses. The average family income of our previous class of Young Scholars was approximately $25,000.
Persistence: Determination and perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles.
Desire to help others: Purposeful and meaningful commitment to others which may be evidenced by participation in volunteer/community service activities.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, creed, color, sex, age, physical or mental disabilities, sexual orientation, or national origin.
Foundation staff, board members, and their families are not eligible to apply.
The Phase One online application must be submitted no later than March 20, 2014 (by 12:00 p.m., noon, Central Time).
Phase One application requirements include:
Student Application including information about you, your classes and grades, and your activities and awards.
Parent Form including information about your parent(s)/guardian(s), other household members, and the last three years’ AGI.
School Profile to be completed by your principal or guidance counselor (due March 24, 2014).
English/Language Arts Teacher Recommendation to be completed by your 6th or 7th grade English/language arts teacher (due March 24, 2014).
Math Teacher Recommendation to be completed by your 6th or 7th grade Mathematics teacher (due March 24, 2014).
If you are selected as a semifinalist based on your Phase One application, you will be invited to submit additional information in Phase Two of the application process.
The Phase Two deadline will be May 20, 2014.
Phase Two application requirements include:
Continuation of Student Application, including short answers and essays, and uploads of transcripts, test score reports, and a graded written assignment.
Parent Financial Form, including a copy of 2013 Federal Tax Return and attachments.
Personal Recommendation from a coach, mentor, etc.
1. Review selection criteria and eligibility requirements
2. Read application guidelines and FAQs
If you need assistance creating an account, contact us online, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Central Time, excluding holidays.
4. Take the Eligibility Quiz
After you register, you'll be directed to the eligibility quiz. If you are eligible, the remainder of the application will launch automatically. If you are not eligible, you will receive a notification, and will not be permitted to continue with the application.
Be sure to add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book to ensure that all notification emails reach your inbox.
5. Complete PHASE ONE of the application by March 20, 2014.
You may complete Phase One of the application in any order you prefer. You may return to the application to update and edit as frequently as desired until you submit your application or the application deadline (March 20, 2014) has passed.
To avoid losing data that you enter:
Do not use your browser’s Forward or Back button
Frequently click the Save button
Always use the Logout link on the navigation bar (located on the left side) to exit.
It is your responsibility to confirm that your parent/guardian and recommenders (two teachers, one principal/guidance counselor) receive the email links to their appropriate forms. Many schools have very strict regulations on their email systems, and the emails from our application to your recommenders or parents may be screened as spam. PLEASE ensure that your recommenders and parent have received their emails and, if not, contact us as soon as possible.
You must submit the student application by no later than 12:00 p.m., noon, Central Time, on March 20, 2014. The Parent Form, English/Language Arts Teacher Recommendation, Math Teacher Recommendation, and School Profile must be submitted by 12:00 p.m., noon, Central Time, on March 24, 2014.
Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application, as you may experience delays due to heavy server traffic. Deadline extensions will not be granted.
As you are working on your Phase One application, we strongly encourage you to begin preparing for Phase Two by gathering the required documentation so that you will be able to submit your Phase Two application quickly should you be invited to do so.
6. Check Your Status
If you wish to check the status of your Phase One application, including recommendations, click the Review My Status button.
If you need assistance, contact us online, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Central Time, excluding weekends and holidays.
7. Complete Phase Two of the application, if applicable
For more information about the Young Scholars Program, eligibility, selection criteria, and the application procedure, please review our FAQs or contact the Regional Talent Center that conducts outreach in your state.
Translations of the application guidelines are available in Spanish, Chinese, and Korean.
A sample of the Student Application and Parent Form are available for you to review.