Graduate Scholarship

The Cooke Graduate Scholarship is awarded to outstanding Cooke Scholars and recent alumni to support them to complete graduate degrees at top institutions. This year's application opens October 15, 2018.

Selected Graduate Scholars could be eligible for up to $75,000. We expect that competitive scholars will have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above. Beyond course grades, we will look for distinguished academic achievement, engagement, and leadership, unmet financial need, and involvement with the Cooke Foundation.

Scholars must apply for the Graduate Scholarship before beginning graduate school and must not have already enrolled in a graduate degree program. Scholars have up to three years to apply for this award after graduating from their Cooke Foundation-funded undergraduate degree program.

Selected recipients must agree to comply with Cooke Foundation requirements and requests for the duration of the scholarship. If you are selected, we will provide you with a complete list of requirements. Somekey requirements and terms are:

  1. Scholars must pursue a course of study in a graduate degree program at an approved accredited institution, beginning with the fall 2019 term.
  2. Scholars must apply for federal and institutional financial assistance each year of study. The Cooke Foundation determines individual scholarship awards after reviewing each recipient’s other financial award offers. Please note that there is a $50,000 academic year cap. Please see the FAQs for further information.

Cooke International Award

Scholars applying for graduate programs at Oxford University and Cambridge University should apply for the graduate scholarship and are invited to submit supplemental materials to be considered for the Cooke Oxford Awards and Cooke Cambridge Award. Two scholars or recent alumni will be selected to pursue graduate studies at Lincoln College, Oxford and Brasenose College, Oxford as the Cooke Oxford Scholars and one scholar or recent alumnus will be selected to pursue graduate studies at Clare College, Cambridge as the Cooke Cambridge Scholar. These scholars will receive benefits beyond the graduate scholarship including individual guidance from college advisors at Oxford and Cambridge, guaranteed living arrangements on campus, and additional financial support above the $75,000 currently available to Cooke Graduate Scholars. Applicants for these named awards have additional requirements that must be met in order to apply for these awards. Further information about the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge can be found in the FAQs at the bottom of this page.

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 below for further information.

Selection Criteria

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.
October 15, 2018
Application is available online
December 2018
Feedback provided to Oxford and Cambridge applicants (if requested)
January 7, 2019
Applications are due
March 8, 2019
Scholars notified of Cooke Foundation’s decision

The 2019 Cooke Graduate Scholarship application is now open!
The deadline to submit your application is January 7, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Apply Now

Applicants should ensure that they meet all eligibility and submittal requirements (see below for more information). Applicants should follow directions carefully and complete all appropriate application sections.

  • You may monitor your application’s status on your dashboard. The application cannot be submitted until each section is 100 percent complete. (Applicants to the Cooke International Awards, please see the FAQs below about submitting your online application.)
  • Resume, tax documents, and transcripts must be uploaded to the online application.  See the FAQs below for more information about these uploads.
Program Description and Expectations

Selected Graduate Scholars could be eligible for up to $75,000. We expect that competitive scholars will have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above. Beyond course grades, we will look for distinguished academic achievement, engagement, and leadership, unmet financial need, and involvement with the Cooke Foundation.

Scholars must apply for the Graduate Scholarship before beginning graduate school and must not have already enrolled in a graduate degree program. Scholars have up to three years to apply for this award after graduating from their Cooke Foundation-funded undergraduate degree program.

Selected recipients must agree to comply with Cooke Foundation requirements and requests for the duration of the scholarship. If you are selected, we will provide you with a complete list of requirements. Somekey requirements and terms are:

  1. Scholars must pursue a course of study in a graduate degree program at an approved accredited institution, beginning with the fall 2019 term.
  2. Scholars must apply for federal and institutional financial assistance each year of study. The Cooke Foundation determines individual scholarship awards after reviewing each recipient’s other financial award offers. Please note that there is a $50,000 academic year cap. Please see the FAQs for further information.

Cooke International Award

Scholars applying for graduate programs at Oxford University and Cambridge University should apply for the graduate scholarship and are invited to submit supplemental materials to be considered for the Cooke Oxford Awards and Cooke Cambridge Award. Two scholars or recent alumni will be selected to pursue graduate studies at Lincoln College, Oxford and Brasenose College, Oxford as the Cooke Oxford Scholars and one scholar or recent alumnus will be selected to pursue graduate studies at Clare College, Cambridge as the Cooke Cambridge Scholar. These scholars will receive benefits beyond the graduate scholarship including individual guidance from college advisors at Oxford and Cambridge, guaranteed living arrangements on campus, and additional financial support above the $75,000 currently available to Cooke Graduate Scholars. Applicants for these named awards have additional requirements that must be met in order to apply for these awards. Further information about the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge can be found in the FAQs at the bottom of this page.

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 below for further information.

Selection Criteria

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.
Important Dates
October 15, 2018
Application is available online
December 2018
Feedback provided to Oxford and Cambridge applicants (if requested)
January 7, 2019
Applications are due
March 8, 2019
Scholars notified of Cooke Foundation’s decision
How to Apply

The 2019 Cooke Graduate Scholarship application is now open!
The deadline to submit your application is January 7, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Apply Now

Applicants should ensure that they meet all eligibility and submittal requirements (see below for more information). Applicants should follow directions carefully and complete all appropriate application sections.

  • You may monitor your application’s status on your dashboard. The application cannot be submitted until each section is 100 percent complete. (Applicants to the Cooke International Awards, please see the FAQs below about submitting your online application.)
  • Resume, tax documents, and transcripts must be uploaded to the online application.  See the FAQs below for more information about these uploads.

Minimum Eligibility

To be eligible for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship, at a minimum, a candidate must:

  • Be a graduating Cooke Scholar (completing undergraduate studies during the 2018-19 academic year) or recent alumnus (within the last three years),
  • Have demonstrated high academic achievement,
  • Plan to attend his/her first graduate degree program to begin studies in fall 2019,
  • Apply for all financial aid available from institution, federal, and state sources, and
  • Demonstrate unmet financial need

If you have questions about your eligibility, please first review the FAQs below. If you need further information, please contact us at gradscholars@jkcf.org.

The 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.

Graduate Scholarship FAQs

Application Process and Deadlines

How do I submit my supporting documents and when are they due?

Upload all required documents into your online application according to the directions in the application. The online application, including all required supporting documents, must be submitted by January 7, 2019.

How do I know if my application is complete?

You may monitor your submission status on your dashboard. The status bar under each section of your online application must be at 100% in order to submit your application. Please see the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge section below if you are applying for the Cooke Oxford or Cambridge Awards. There is a different process for submitting your application.

Does the Foundation account for my community college GPA?

The application requests both your cumulative GPA and the GPA you have earned from your Foundation-funded undergraduate institution. Both GPAs will be taken into consideration during the review process.

Which transcripts do I need to submit?

Please submit your fall 2018 transcript if you are currently enrolled in school. If you are an alumnus, please submit your final transcript from your undergraduate institution. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable.

Should I submit any financial information?

You must complete the financial section in the online application and upload your 2017 tax forms. These forms help the Foundation assess whether you have unmet financial need.

What if I don’t file taxes and don’t have tax documents? What should I upload?

If you do not have W-2s or tax documents, please upload a letter of explanation instead.

Can I email, mail, or fax in the application form?

You must submit your application online. The Foundation will not consider applications submitted by email, mail, or fax.

When is the application due?

The application and all supporting materials must be completed and submitted online by January 7, 2019 (by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time).

Who do I contact with questions?

If you have questions about the Cooke Graduate Scholarship, please email us at gradscholars@jkcf.org or call 1-800-846-9025. We are available between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Where do I go to get started?

On the How to Apply page, click on the Apply Now link to access the online application.

I created an account and now I cannot log back in. What should I do?

Do not save the link to your online application to your favorites, instead, please always access the application through the website. Click on the “Apply Now” link on the How to Apply page to log back into your application. If that doesn’t work, please contact us at gradscholars@jkcf.org.

How do I change my password?

If you have forgotten your password, go to the login page in the online application and click on the “Forgot Password?” link to have the instructions to reset the password emailed to you.

Do I need to be nominated for this award?

There is no nomination process for the Graduate Scholarship. Scholars apply directly to the Cooke Foundation via the online application.

Do I need a recommendation?

Yes, you are required to submit one recommendation. The recommendation form must be submitted online by your recommender. You may request the recommendation in your online application by clicking on the “Request” button and following the directions on that page. You are encouraged to send the request to your recommender as soon as possible. Your recommender is instructed to upload a recommendation that they have already written for you for your graduate school applications. He/She is not required to write a new recommendation specifically for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship. Please see the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge section if you are applying for the Cooke Oxford or Cambridge Awards. There are different recommendation requirements.

How does the recommender verify and submit a recommendation?

Your recommender will receive an email immediately after you send the request via the online application. The email message will provide the recommender with a link to complete the recommendation form. The recommender must click “Submit” in order to certify that the recommendation is complete. Recommenders will know their job is done when they receive an email that says that the recommendation has been submitted. You will be able to track the recommendation’s progress on your dashboard.

I changed my mind about my recommender. Can I request a recommendation from someone else?

Yes. Follow the instructions on the “Request Recommendation” screen in your online application to send the request to adifferent recommender.

Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge

How are the applications reviewed for the Cooke International Awards?

After the deadline, we will review applicants for the Oxford and Cambridge Awards by committee and select the two Cooke Oxford Scholars and one Cooke Cambridge Scholar. We will also follow up with all applicants for these awards to provide feedback in order to strengthen their applications.

When should I submit my application(s) to Oxford and/or Cambridge?

The deadlines for Oxford and Cambridge vary, please check their website for the exact dates. Generally, the deadlines fall in late January. We expect that you will NOT have submitted your Oxford/Cambridge application until you receive feedback from the Cooke Foundation. Part of the review process for the Cooke International Awards is to provide feedback to strengthen your application to the school. If the Oxford or Cambridge deadline for your graduate program falls earlier than January 1, please let us know (gradscholars@jkcf.org).

What if Oxford’s or Cambridge’s deadlines for the program(s) I am applying to are earlier than the Cooke Graduate Scholarship deadline?

There is a question about your Oxford/Cambridge deadline in the Cooke International Awards section of the online application. Please input your Oxford/Cambridge deadline there and we will try to provide feedback to your application as quickly as possible.

When can I expect to receive feedback on my Oxford/Cambridge application?

We plan to have feedback for you in December so that you can submit a strong application to Oxford and/or Cambridge by their deadlines. If your Oxford/Cambridge deadlines fall earlier, then we will provide feedback as quickly as possible after you submit your Oxford/Cambridge application pieces to us.

When will I hear if I have been named one of the Cooke Oxford Scholars or the Cooke Cambridge Scholar?

Awarding of the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge is contingent upon acceptance to the University of Oxford (Brasenose or Lincoln Colleges) or the University of Cambridge (Clare College) and thus will not be announced until the Oxford and Cambridge admission offers have been made.

What if I don’t receive the Cooke Oxford Award or the Cooke Cambridge Award but I’m accepted to Oxford or Cambridge?

If you are accepted to the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge, but not selected as a Cooke Oxford or Cooke Cambridge Scholar, then you may use the Cooke Graduate Scholarship at Oxford, Cambridge, or elsewhere. The biggest differences are that you will not be the named Cooke Oxford or Cooke Cambridge Scholar and you are eligible for up to $75,000 total to be used for up to four years.

How much are the Cooke Oxford and Cambridge awards worth?

The award is for up to $85,000 per year for up to four years of study at Lincoln College or Brasenose College at the University of Oxford or Clare College at the University of Cambridge.

Are there certain fields of study that I must pursue at Oxford and Cambridge?

Most programs of study at University of Oxford are eligible for these awards, but a few are not (art history and anthropology are not eligible programs at Lincoln College at the University of Oxford). There are no restrictions on the graduate programs applicants may pursue at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford or at the University of Cambridge. Please contact us if you have questions about whether your field of study is eligible (gradscholars@jkcf.org).

How do I apply to the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge?

You apply for the Cooke International Awards through the Cooke Graduate Scholarship online application. Complete all sections of the application including those sections designated for applicants who wish to apply for the awards to Oxford and Cambridge.

Do I still need to apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship?

The Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge are part of the Cooke Graduate Scholarship. You will see in the online application for the Graduate Scholarship that you must submit supplemental information in order to be considered for the Oxford or Cambridge awards. The two application processes go hand-in-hand. If you are not selected as an Oxford Scholar or Cambridge Scholar your application will still be considered for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship.

Which additional materials do I need?

You are asked to submit all application materials required by Oxford and Cambridge including personal/research statement, CV, writing samples, and recommendations.

Is there a different deadline for the Oxford and Cambridge Awards?

No. The deadline for submitting materials for the Oxford and Cambridge Awards is the same as the deadline for the completing the Cooke Graduate Scholarship application – January 7, 2019.

How many recommendations do I need to submit for the Cooke International Awards?

If you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge, please ignore the recommendation section of the Cooke Graduate Scholarship online application. We ask that instead you submit your Oxford or Cambridge recommendations as a supplemental form in the Cooke International Awards section of the online application. If you do not have access to your recommendations, your recommenders can send them to us directly at gradscholars@jkcf.org.

Can I submit my Oxford/Cambridge recommendations directly to the Foundation?

If you have your Oxford/Cambridge recommendations, please submit them in the Cooke International Awards section of the online application. However, if your recommenders have not provided you with a copy of your recommendations, please ask the recommenders to send the letters to us via email to gradscholars@jkcf.org.

I cannot submit my application because I don’t have the “Request” section complete since my Oxford/Cambridge recommendations will be submitted separately. What should I do?

If you are applying to the Oxford or Cambridge Award, you do not submit the recommendation via the “Request” section of the Graduate Scholarship application. Instead, you may upload your Oxford/Cambridge recommendations to the Oxford/Cambridge section or your recommenders may email them directly to us. This means that your application cannot be submitted since the “Request” section of the online application will not be 100% complete. Please email us by the deadline to let us know that your application is complete and we will “force” it through to the next stage.

Do the recipients of these awards get any additional benefits?

The selected Cooke Oxford Scholars and Cooke Cambridge Scholar receive all of the benefits of the Graduate Scholarship plus additional benefits including individual guidance from a college advisor at Oxford or Cambridge, guaranteed living arrangements near Lincoln College or Brasenose College, Oxford or Clare College, Cambridge and additional financial support. There is also an international travel stipend available to the named Cooke Oxford and Cooke Cambridge Scholars.

Do I have to apply to a certain college at Oxford or Cambridge?

Yes, please indicate in your application to the University of Oxford that you are applying to Lincoln College and/or Brasenose College. In your application to the University of Cambridge, please select that you are applying to Clare College.

Lincoln or Brasenose College are not options on my Oxford application. What should I do?

If Lincoln College (or Brasenose College) is not an option on your Oxford application, please go ahead and select your top choice college at Oxford. If you do not have a preference, then choose: “I do not have a preference.”

Can I pursue additional degrees at a different institution with the Cooke Graduate Scholarship?

If your program at Oxford or Cambridge is less than four years in length, you may also pursue an additional graduate degree (at a different institution) for one to three years depending on the time remaining and length of your proposed degree program. Please be sure to request both graduate degrees in your Graduate Scholarship application. If you do not, the award will end after your first degree.

Who should apply for the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge?

If you are interested in pursuing a graduate degree at the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge, please take a look at admissions criteria on their websites to compare your eligibility to your chosen graduate program’s eligibility requirements (each program differs and has different deadlines). In general, a cumulative GPA of 3.70 or above would make you a competitive candidate for admission to Oxford or Cambridge. Both have a myriad of program options to consider:

  • Oxford – http://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/courses/courses-a-z-listing.
  • Cambridge – http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses

Eligibility

I am currently in graduate school, am I eligible?

No. Scholars must apply before they begin graduate school.

I have taken graduate level courses, am I still eligible?

As long as it was less than the equivalent of a semester of full-time study, then you may still be eligible to apply. Please contact us (gradscholars@jkcf.org) to determine your eligibility if you have already taken graduate level courses.

I have received a graduate level certificate, am I still eligible?

Generally, students with graduate level certificates are ineligible. If you have not received a graduate degree or completed significant graduate level coursework (less than a full semester), then you may still be eligible to apply. Please contact us (gradscholars@jkcf.org) to determine your eligibility.

Am I eligible if I am an undergraduate scholar in a 3+2 or 4+1 degree program? If so, when do I apply?

Yes, students in blended undergraduate/graduate programs are eligible. You should apply for the scholarship before beginning the graduate coursework portion of your degree program. For example, if your graduate coursework starts in fall 2019 or spring 2020, then you should apply by the January 2019 deadline. If there is not a clear delineation between your undergraduate and graduate coursework, please contact the Foundation (gradscholars@jkcf.org) to determine your eligibility and when to apply.

I have already received a graduate degree, but plan to pursue a second graduate degree. Am I eligible for this award?

No. Only Cooke Scholars who have not already enrolled in graduate school or earned a graduate degree are eligible.

My graduate program begins in spring 2020. Am I eligible to apply?

This award is for students who will begin graduate study in fall 2019. If your program begins in summer 2019 and you are required to start then, you may request funding for the summer 2019 semester. If your program begins in spring 2020, please contact us (gradscholars@jkcf.org) to discuss eligibility.

I haven’t begun graduate school yet, but I plan to pursue a joint M.P.P/J.D. I have received full funding for an M.P.P.; am I still eligible for support for the J.D.? If so, when do I apply?

You must apply before beginning the first graduate degree program, but the award can be used for the second degree only if that is how you wish to allocate the funds. For example, if you plan to pursue an M.P.P and then a J.D., you must apply before beginning your M.P.P program, but you can use the graduate scholarship for the J.D. program only.

Can I use the scholarships for more than one degree?

Yes. If you plan to pursue more than one graduate degree, please include all proposed graduate degree programs including joint degrees. Additional degrees may not be added after the scholarship has been awarded.

What if I have a full ride to my selected graduate school, am I still eligible?

Yes, you are eligible for the Graduate Scholarship even if you have a full ride from your graduate institution. Often, a “full ride” does not cover all costs of attendance so you may still have financial need or may need funding in a future year.

If I do not receive the award, can I apply again in the future?

Scholars who applied for the 2018 Cooke Graduate Scholarship may be eligible to apply for the 2019 Cooke Graduate Scholarship as long as they have not started graduate school.

Will the Cooke Foundation allow me to defer my scholarship if my graduate plans change?

The Cooke Foundation will consider deferral requests on a case-by-case basis, however, scholars should only apply for the scholarship if they plan to begin graduate studies in fall 2019.

Where can I find someone to talk to about graduate school?

If you have questions about graduate school, different fields of study, or career options, please contact your educational adviser. They will put you in touch with other scholars/alumni in your field.

Do I need to apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship before I graduate from my undergraduate institution?

No. You must apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship prior to beginning graduate school. For example, if you are currently in your senior year and plan to begin graduate school in fall 2019, you should apply during the 2019 award cycle (i.e. by the January 7, 2019 deadline). However, if you plan to work or get other experience before beginning graduate school, then you should apply at a later date before you begin graduate school. You can apply within three years of completing your Foundation-funded undergraduate degree.

How long am I eligible to apply for the award?

Generally, you have three years from the time you graduate from your undergraduate degree institution to apply for the Cooke Graduate Scholarship. For the 2019 competition, scholars who graduated in spring 2016 or later are eligible.

There is one exception to the “three-year rule”: If you applied for, but did not receive, the 2018 Cooke Graduate Scholarship, you may be eligible to apply for the 2019 Cooke Graduate Scholarship, even if you exceed the three years of eligibility, as long as you have not/will not begin graduate school before fall 2019.

If you would like to discuss your eligibility, please contact the Foundation (gradscholars@jkcf.org).

Do I have to be accepted to graduate school before applying?

We expect that you will be in the process of applying to graduate school, but most likely have not yet received your acceptance. You must plan to begin graduate school in fall 2019.

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?

There is no specific GPA cut-off, but we expect that competitive scholars will have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above. As part of a holistic review, we go beyond GPA to look for demonstrations of distinguished achievement, engagement, and leadership. In addition, we consider unmet financial need and involvement with the Cooke Foundation. In 2018, the average cumulative GPA of selected applicants was 3.77; however, GPA alone is not a deciding factor.

What does it mean to be a scholar “in good standing”?

To be considered a scholar in good standing, you submitted scholarship forms, bills, transcripts, and other required materials in a timely manner. Additionally, you provided substantive responses to periodic and annual surveys, assisted in recruiting future Cooke Scholars, and participated in other Cooke Foundation activities.

Selection Process

Are there a specific number of scholarships?

The number of scholarships awarded is variable depending on the number of competitive applications we receive. The Foundation has not limited the number of awards it will provide. However, as this is a competitive scholarship, not all applicants are likely to receive an award.

What are my chances of receiving the scholarship?

Scholars compete against their own records, 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.

When will I find out if I am selected to receive the scholarship?

We will inform applicants of the Cooke Foundation’s decision in March 2019. Scholars applying for the Cooke International Awards, please see the FAQs about the Cooke International Awards.

How many other Cooke Scholars will I compete against?

You do not compete against other scholars but against your own record. The number of scholarships awarded is variable depending on the number of competitive applications received.

What the Scholarship Covers

Is there an annual cap on the scholarship?

Yes, the scholarship is capped at $50,000 in an academic year. However, exceptions may be made for scholars in a one-year program. If you are planning to attend a one-year graduate program, please contact us at finances@jkcf.org for further information on exceeding the annual cap.

How much is the award worth?

The award is for up to $75,000 total for up to four years of study in an approved graduate degree program. PLEASE NOTE: The maximum annual award amount is capped at $50,000. However, if you are in a one-year program, you may request to exceed the annual cap. The amount of every scholarship varies, depending on the cost of attendance and other scholarships or grants received. If you are selected, the Cooke Foundation determines the amount of its award after reviewing the financial aid package from the graduate institution you select.

Which expenses does the award cover?

The award must be used for educational expenses that appear on the cost of attendance form. Scholars are required to consult with the Foundation about how they would like funds allocated each year of their graduate degree program(s).

Can I decide how the funding is allocated during my program?

Scholars can decide how to allocate the $75,000 (e.g. $25,000 each year of a three year program). The actual scholarship amount, however, will be determined according to the costs of the school attended and will not exceed $75,000 total. The award must be used within four years of the award date; any remaining funds cannot be used after the four-year mark.

Can this award be used for a graduate-level certificate program, post-baccalaureate program, or non-degree programs?

No. This award must be used for a graduate or professional degree program at an accredited graduate institution in the U.S. or abroad.

My graduate program is at a foreign institution. Can I use this award there?

Yes, Cooke Scholars may use the award to attend any accredited graduate school in the U.S. or abroad to pursue any graduate or professional degree. If you plan to study at Oxford or Cambridge Universities, please see the FAQs about the Cooke International Awards at Oxford and Cambridge.

Can I defer my scholarship between degrees?

Deferrals between degree programs are possible, but for only up to one year.

Do I have to reapply every year for the scholarship?

No. The Cooke Foundation may renew the scholarship annually until completion of the scholar’s approved graduate degree(s) (up to four years) or until the $75,000 has been exhausted, whichever comes first, provided the scholar has maintained strong academic performance, exhibited good conduct, made significant progress toward a degree, and complied with the Cooke Foundation’s administrative requirements and requests.

Contact Us

If you have further questions after viewing the graduate scholarship materials, please email us at gradscholars@jkcf.org or call 1-800-846-9025.