Resources

The resources and references in this section are intended for current Cooke Scholars and alumni.

College Scholarship Forms
Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Forms
Graduate Scholarship Forms

Note: Scholars attending school abroad must email finances@jkcf.org.

Financial Aid

What is financial aid?

Financial aid consists of funds provided to students and families to help pay for post-secondary
educational expenses.

What is cost of attendance?

Cost of attendance is direct costs billed by the college (tuition, fees, health insurance, on-campus
room and board) and indirect costs not billed by the college (book costs,
personal/miscellaneous living expenses, transportation allowances and off-campus room and
board). The cost of attendance varies widely from college to college.

Does financial aid apply to students who are international and/or undocumented?

Generally, federal financial aid is not available to international and/or undocumented students.
However, there are many colleges and universities that provide institutional aid to this
population of students. Therefore, the Cooke Foundation encourages all of its scholars to talk
with their financial aid offices to discuss eligibility for any funding.

What is expected family contribution (EFC)?

EFC is the amount a family can reasonably be expected to contribute towards a student’s post-secondary school costs. It is comprised of two components – parent contribution and student
contribution. It is calculated when the family completes the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA). Because it does not depend on the variables associated with cost of attendance,
the EFC stays the same regardless of college.

How is financial need determined?

Students’ financial need is determined by subtracting EFC from the cost of attendance.

Which components are generally included in a college’s financial aid package?

Typically, a financial aid package consists of the following:

-Gift aid (financial aid that does not need to be repaid)

  • Federal grants (Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant)
  • State scholarships and grants
  • Institutional scholarships and grants
  • Private scholarships and grants (examples include civic and charitable organizations,
    private foundations – including the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation – churches, associations,
    employers)

-Self-help aid (financial aid that needs to be repaid or earned through work in order to be
received)

  • Federal work study (money earned as work hours are completed – not paid up front like
    other financial aid)
  • Subsidized federal Direct loans (interest does not accrue until after leaving college)
  • Unsubsidized federal Direct loans (interest accrues immediately upon disbursement of
    the loan funds from the U.S. Department of Education to the student’s college)
  • Federal parent PLUS loans (like unsubsidized loans, interest accrues immediately upon
    disbursement)

What is the difference between a scholarship and grant?

Scholarships are a form of gift aid that does not need to be paid back. They are generally
awarded on the basis of merit, skill or some other unique characteristic. Grants also do not need
to be paid back. They are generally awarded on the basis of financial need. Although different,
the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

How do I apply for financial aid?

For federal aid and most state and institutional aid, the parent and student must complete the
FAFSA. It is a form available online in English and Spanish that most families complete
electronically. The information collected is used to calculate the expected family contribution
(EFC), a value colleges use to award financial aid.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the FAFSA may be completed and submitted beginning
October 1, 2017. Students should check with their colleges to see if they have FAFSA filing
deadlines.

The FAFSA website is located at www.fafsa.gov. Included on the website is a FAFSA on the Web
Worksheet, a document that follows the order of the FAFSA questions and can be used as a
worksheet to gather all required information necessary to complete the form.

Students should also apply to other outside scholarship programs. Deadlines and eligibility
requirements vary, so take the initiative to research and apply for other outside scholarship
opportunities. The following are a few of the many online scholarship search resources:

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-scholarships
https://www.scholarships.com/scholarship-search.aspx
http://www.fastweb.com/

Why is it a good idea to complete the FAFSA electronically?

There are a number of reasons why the web version is preferred, including the following:

  • Built-in edits that help prevent costly errors
  • Skip-logic that allows students and parents to skip unnecessary questions
  • Option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import tax data
  • More timely submission of original application and any necessary corrections
  • Detailed instructions and “help” for common questions
  • Ability to check application status online
  • Simplified application process in subsequent years, saving a considerable amount of time

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

This tool allows the student/parent to submit a real-time request to the IRS for their tax data.
The IRS will authenticate the taxpayer’s identity. If a match is found, the IRS will send real-time
results to the student/parent in a new browser window. The student/parent then chooses
whether or not to transfer the data to the FAFSA application. If the tool is used, it often reduces
documents requested by college financial aid offices.

Note: The DRT is expected to be available in October 2017 for the 2018-19 FAFSA completion.

 

When available, are there circumstances when the IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used?

Yes, it cannot be used if an amended tax return was filed, no Social Security Number was
entered or if the student or parent is married but files taxes separately.

Does the student and parent each have to create a unique Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID?

Yes, each “owner” (student and parent) must create an FSA ID. This can be done at the following
website: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/indexhtm. Having a FSA ID allows the FAFSA application to
be signed electronically and usually speeds up the entire FAFSA process. This ID will be used
throughout the aid process, including subsequent school years.

What are some common errors made when completing the FAFSA?

Frequent FAFSA errors include the following, so be sure to watch for these and read the
instructions carefully:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Divorced/remarried parental information
  • Income earned by parents/stepparents
  • Untaxed income
  • U.S. income taxes paid
  • Household size
  • Number of household members in college
  • Real estate and investment net worth

What happens after the FAFSA is completed and submitted?

Provided the FAFSA is filed electronically, the student will receive an email notification
containing a direct link to the student’s online Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR may also be
viewed and printed by going to www.fafsa.gov. An Institutional Student Information Record
(ISIR), a document very similar to the SAR, will be sent to the colleges the student listed when
completing the FAFSA approximately 10 to 14 days after the FAFSA is submitted. The colleges
will review the ISIR and may request additional documentation from the student.

The student and parent must take responsibility for providing colleges with additional
documentation. Lack of response will likely delay providing the family with a financial aid award
letter.

Must I complete the FAFSA again for the 2019-20 school year?

Yes. Completion of the FAFSA is required each year. It is available October 1 each year.

What tax year information is required for FAFSA completion?

2015 tax year information is required for 2017-18 FAFSA.
2016 tax year information is required for 2018-19 FAFSA.
2017 tax year information is required for 2019-20 FAFSA.

Comparing Financial Aid Offers

Are there resources available to help compare financial aid packages from different schools?

Yes. A good resource is available directly through the U.S. Department of Education. The
Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is a consumer tool that participating institutions use to notify
students about their financial aid packages. It is a standardized form that is designed to simplify
the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so that they can
easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school. (A
sample of the form is imbedded below and is also available by clicking on the above link.)

How many colleges use this uniform Shopping Sheet?

As of September 2017, more than 3,000 post-secondary institutions have reported their
commitment to adopt the Shopping Sheet.

What’s so great about the Shopping Sheet?

On the left side of the form, all of the costs of attendance are listed as well as scholarships and
grants (gift aid), which do not need to be paid back. The difference between the total school
cost and gift aid received is the Net Cost. The Net Cost, in other words, is the cost that the
student must pay out-of-pocket through work study or through loans.

On the right side of the form, the U.S. Department of Education supplies students with helpful
information, including the school’s graduation rate compared to the rates of similar institutions,
the loan default rate for students at that school compared to the national rate, the median debt
for undergraduate borrowers and a link to information about loan repayment options, including
a repayment calculator.

Advice for comparing offers from schools that don't participate in the Shopping Sheet.

The following link provides you with a helpful tool to compare financial aid award offers:
https://www.discover.com/student-loans/award-letter-comparison-tool.html

Check financial aid award letters to be sure all school costs are included in the cost of
attendance. Direct costs include tuition, fees and on-campus room and board. Indirect costs
include books, transportation, personal/living expense allowances. Both direct and indirect costs
should be listed. If not, students should ask the financial aid office to provide these costs.

In addition, the Cooke Foundation recommends students ask the financial aid office the
following questions. (Answers to these questions will assist in making a decision about the best
financial aid package.)

  • If a merit-based scholarship or grant is included, ask if the scholarship/grant is renewable
    each year. Is there a minimum grade point average that must be maintained? Can students
    switch majors and maintain the scholarship/grant?
  • If the package contains loans, what are their interest rates?
  • What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? Can outside scholarships cover the EFC?
  • What happens if an outside scholarship is received after the financial aid award letter has
    been issued? Will the school reduce, or displace, its institutional scholarships and grants
    because an outside scholarship was received?
  • What are the next steps to accept or decline the financial aid awarded if the student plans
    to attend the institution? What deadlines need to be met?

If the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award covers 100% of the net cost to attend school through its scholarship and forgivable loan program, does it matter what the financial aid award letters indicate?

Yes, it definitely matters. While the Cooke scholarship is up to $40,000 per year, we rely on
schools to help defray the cost of education for our scholars. In addition, we want to be sure the
school will not reduce/displace any institutional grants when they become aware of the Cooke
scholarship. Cooke Scholars are high-achieving students who work hard to receive other outside
grants and scholarships. Receiving funds from a variety of sources allows the Cooke Foundation
to maximize its funding, which in turn helps more students become Cooke Scholars.

For international and undocumented students not eligible for federal or state aid, the Cooke
award of up to $40,000 per year may not cover 100% of school costs. For these students, it is
important to know the gift aid that the school is committed to provide so an informed decision
about which school to attend may be made.

Forgivable Loan Program

Why is there a loan component to the Jack Kent Cooke award?

In certain circumstances, a loan component may be included in the Cooke award when a school
limits the amount of scholarship money that organizations can give as a direct scholarship
payment. This is generally either because of school policy or because schools will not allow an
outside scholarship to cover the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and/or the student
contribution as a direct scholarship payment. If outside scholarships are not allowed to cover
the EFC, typically scholars and/or their parents will take out federal loans to cover the EFC. The
Cooke Forgivable Loan Program will repay the federal loans if scholars graduate with at least a
“B” average in the degree completion timeframe established by the Foundation.

How will I know whether or not I should take out a loan?

The Cooke Foundation notifies all scholars of their award. For scholars eligible to participate in
the forgivable loan program, the notification will specifically state the amount of the federal
loan to take out. Additionally, attachments will be included with the notification that provides
detailed instructions about how to take out the loan and what documentation must be sent to
the Foundation.

Will I receive anything in the mail?

No, once the Cooke Foundation notifies you, the scholar, of eligibility to participate in the
forgivable loan program, you must log into CAP to review, accept, partially accept, or decline the
loan forgiveness offer and digitally sign the loan agreement letter(s). The loan agreement
letter(s) must be reviewed, digitally signed and returned to the Cooke Foundation by the
specified deadline date. Failure to return the loan agreement letter(s) may result in the
forfeiture of eligibility to have the loans repaid upon graduation.

Is there a maximum loan amount?

The loan component is part of the $40,000 Cooke award yearly maximum. In addition, schools
limit the maximum amount that the Cooke Foundation can award so that scholars are not
overfunded. Scholars will be notified of the amount they can take out in a loan. This is
considered the individual loan maximum. Scholars who take out more than what the Cooke
Foundation approves will be required to repay the excess amount, plus accrued interest, after
they graduate.

What types of loans are eligible?

Only federal loans backed by the U.S. Department of Education are eligible for the Cooke
Forgivable Loan program. They include the federal Direct subsidized loans, federal Direct
unsubsidized loans, parent PLUS loans and Perkins loans. Any other loans are ineligible, and if
taken out by you or your parents, must be repaid by you and/or your parents.

How do I apply for the loan?

You must apply for the loan through your school. The Cooke Foundation does not provide loan
funding. Your financial aid officer will assist you with the loan application process. Remember
that any loans taken out for more than the approved amount as stated in the Cooke loan
agreement letters must be repaid by you and/or your parents.

If a parent PLUS loan is recommended for my parents, how does that work?

A Parent PLUS loan agreement form will be added to your To Do List in CAP. This form, like the
Cooke Scholar loan agreement form, must be reviewed and accepted, partially accepted or
declined. You are asked to enter your parent’s/guardian’s contact information and submit the
form to the Foundation by the requested deadline date. Once the submitted form has been
received, the Foundation will review and an email requesting your parent’s digital signature will
be sent directly to the parent. Parents will work with the college’s financial aid office to take out
the loan.

What if my parents’ loan is denied?

If your parents are denied the ability to take out a parent PLUS loan, please contact the Cooke
Foundation. Generally when this happens, scholars are able to take out a greater federal Direct
loan amount. The Foundation will work individually with scholars when this happens.

Can scholars and/or their parents take out loans in a lesser amount than what is stated in their letters?

Yes, loans in a lesser amount can be taken out. Through CAP, you will indicate that you “partially
accept” the loan and enter the dollar amount that you accept.

What is a master promissory note and what do I do with it?

When applying for a loan the first time, you will be required to complete entrance counseling (a
tool to ensure students understand their obligation to repay the loan) and sign a master
promissory note agreeing to the terms of the loan. You do not need to send a copy of the
promissory note to the Cooke Foundation. However, you should retain it for your records.

How are loan funds paid?

The U.S. Department of Education disburses loan funds to schools for deposit into students’
accounts. Like scholarship and grant funding, schools will first apply loan funds to student
accounts to pay for tuition, fees, on-campus room and board and any other billed charges. If a
credit balance results after scholarship, grant and loan funds are applied to a student’s account,
then the school usually disburses excess funds to the student. Please work with your school to
understand the process and timing for receiving any excess funds.

What is a loan disclosure statement and what do I do with it?

Each year, when a federal loan is taken out, students and/or parents will receive a loan
disclosure statement that states the amount of the loan, interest rate information and other
details. (A sample loan disclosure statement will be emailed to scholars when they are notified
of their Cooke award.) The loan disclosure statement is generally available to students and
parents around the time that funds are sent to the school in the fall.

Scholars are required to upload into CAP their loan disclosure statement(s) by the stated
deadline. If parents have taken out a PLUS loan as a part of the Cooke loan forgiveness
program, they may email their loan disclosure statements to the Cooke Foundation at
finances@jkcf.org by the stated deadline date. Disclosure statements are available after the U.S.
Department of Education disburses loan funds to the school. They may be obtained by logging in
to www.studentloans.gov and clicking the available year via the left navigation link.

What are the requirements for the Cooke Foundation to pay my loans off after I graduate?

Scholars must graduate with a “B” average or better within four years of matriculation (or a
shorter or longer period as approved by the Cooke Foundation). In addition, scholars must be in
good standing with the Foundation.

Is there documentation I must send in following my college graduation in order to have the loan(s) paid by the Cooke Foundation?

All graduating scholars participating in the Cooke Loan Forgiveness Program must send in a final
official transcript. Getting this official transcript is an important step for initiating loan
repayment. The transcript must include:

  • final cumulative GPA,
  • date the degree is awarded and
  • degree that is received (e.g., Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, etc.).

Approximately three months after graduation, and upon receipt of a final transcript, the Cooke
Foundation will send specific instruction for submitting a loan payoff statement from the loan
servicer. You must follow these instructions and meet the applicable deadline dates.

Room and Board (Housing)

What is room and board?

Room is the term used for housing, and board is the term used for meal plans. Board for offcampus
students without a meal plan includes funds to buy groceries and prepare meals. Room
and board collectively is an eligible component of a student’s overall cost of attendance.

What are the options for housing for Cooke Scholars?

Newly selected Cooke College Scholars are required to live on campus their first year. Only
under unusual circumstances, and with prior approval, may first year College Scholars live at
home or in off-campus housing.

Second year College Scholars and all other Cooke Scholars may live in either on-campus or off-campus
housing.

Do I need to decide where I’m going to live during the school year before my award is determined?

Yes, you must finalize housing plans and indicate these plans (on or off-campus) before entering
these expenses in the CAP COA process. Please work with your financial aid officer regarding any
housing concerns or special circumstances before you complete the COA. Also, please contact
the financial aid officer as there is a process to request a potential increase to your room and
board allowance if your room and board expenses exceed the standard room and board
allowance. You will likely be asked to provide documentation (such as a copy of a lease) to the
financial aid office. Changes to housing arrangements after awards have been determined are
discouraged.

May off-campus students enroll in an on-campus meal plan?

Yes, colleges that provide an option for off-campus students to enroll in a meal plan is
acceptable.

In what type of dorm room may Cooke Scholars live?

The standard room expense for Cooke Scholars will typically be defined as the cost of a double
room for students who choose to live on campus. Under normal circumstances the Foundation
will not consider the additional cost of a single room in the cost of attendance. When a single
room is required based on a medical condition or disability, the student must notify the Cooke
Foundation as soon as possible.

How is the room and board allowance determined for students living on-campus?

At some colleges, the on-campus room and board cost is a set amount. At other colleges, the
amount may vary depending on the dorm where the student lives and the meal plan selected. If
the amount varies, it is important that scholars provide housing and meal plan information to
the college financial aid officer to have updated amount when submitting the COA. Remember
that the allowance for the “room” portion is generally the cost for a standard double room.

How is the room and board allowance determined for scholars living off-campus?

The vast majority of colleges base the off-campus room and board allowance on expenses
reasonably incurred by students for housing and meals in the geographic area of the school. The
amount is generally set by the school and can be found on the school’s website. Under certain
circumstances, students may appeal to the college for a higher off-campus room and board
allowance. Scholars should check with the school to find out the off-campus room and board
allowance and the appeal process BEFORE making plans to live off campus. In addition, the
allowance is for the standard nine-month academic year (September – May). Scholars who plan
to live in an apartment year round, must be prepared financially to cover housing and meal
costs during the summer months.

Will the Cooke Foundation pay for housing and security deposits?

No, scholars are responsible for paying for both on-campus and off-campus housing and security
deposits. If this poses a financial hardship, we encourage you to talk to school officials
(admissions and/or financial aid) to see if any deposits can be waived, delayed or reduced.

For scholars living on-campus, most deposits reduce the first term’s room and board costs.
Therefore, if a deposit must be paid, be sure the deposit amount is listed as a credit on the
online student account. That way when the Cooke Foundation award, and any other financial
aid, is credited to the student’s account, a credit balance representing the deposit can be
refunded back to the student.

For scholars living off-campus, if a deposit cannot be waived, then the scholar is responsible for
making payment. In this case, when moving out, if the apartment is left in the same good
condition as when the student moved in, then the deposit should be refunded.

How do off-campus students receive their scholarship funds to pay for rent and utilities and buy groceries?

Because the Cooke Foundation bases its award amount on the room and board allowance as
stated on the student’s school budget, there is no need to send a lease agreement, utility billing
statements or store receipts. Payment for off-campus room and board will be processed as part
of the stipend portion of the scholar’s award and is meant to cover expenses not paid for
through direct billing from the school (e.g., tuition and fees). Generally, when the college
receives the Cooke Foundation scholarship check, the financial aid staff processes payment and
works with the bursar to provide students the stipend. The school’s financial aid office or
bursar’s office will provide students with instructions on how to obtain stipend funds. Often
stipends are deposited directly into a checking account or are disbursed through a check.

Cooke scholarship payments are made payable to and are mailed to the college (no exceptions),
and the college handles processing refund checks to students. This all takes time. Therefore,
scholars who plan to live off campus must plan ahead. Because deposits, first month’s rent,
stocked groceries, etc. cannot be paid for up front or directly to a scholar, off-campus students
must be prepared to have funds available to pay some expenses out of pocket.

Deposits

How should I handle the payment of a college deposit?

First, ask the college if the deposit can be waived, reduced or can be set up on
a payment plan.

If it cannot be waived, then you should pay the college deposit as soon as it is due.

Your school will apply this deposit to your first term billed charges. The Cooke
Foundation will consider all charges that are included on your first term bill,
including charges that your  school may consider already paid by your deposit. This
will result in a credit/overpayment on your account for the amount of the deposit.

After your school deposits the Cooke Foundation scholarship payment and all other
forms of your financial aid to your account, these funds will cover your deposit along
with your living expense and book stipends.

If you have specific questions regarding the deposit, please contact Cooke
Foundation finances staff at finances@jkcf.org.

Health Insurance

Do I need to have health insurance while enrolled at college?

Yes, most schools require that all students have health insurance.

What are the options for having health insurance coverage?

Generally, there are three options, as follows:

Option 1. Students may stay covered under their parents’ health insurance plans. Most colleges
will require proof of coverage.

Option 2. Most colleges and universities offer a health insurance plan for their students.
Students need to be aware of each college’s requirements for enrollment. Some colleges will
automatically enroll (and charge) students for health insurance unless they waive coverage.
Other colleges require students to enroll in the college health insurance plan.

Option 3. Students may enroll in a third-party plan, such as through the Affordable Care Act
(also known as Obamacare).

Is the cost of health insurance covered by the Cooke Foundation’s award?

Option 1 – Student covered under parents’ plan: The Cooke Foundation award does not cover
the cost for the student’s portion of health insurance when the student is covered by a parent’s
plan.

Option 2 – Student covered under college/university plan: Scholars who elect to enroll in the
university’s health insurance plan will enter the cost of the health insurance on their Cost of
Attendance (COA). Provided the cost is included on the COA and the charge for health insurance
is posted on the billing statement, health insurance is an eligible school cost and therefore
covered by the Cooke Foundation’s award.

Option 3 – Student covered by a third-party plan: Scholars who enroll with a third-party
insurance provider must work with the financial aid officer to upload to the COA in CAP a signed
letter from the university with the name of the provider and the cost for the academic year. If
the proper documentation is uploaded to the COA, then the cost for health insurance is
considered an eligible school cost and therefore covered by the Cooke Foundation’s award.

What do I need to do regarding making a decision about health insurance coverage?

Talk with your parents, guardians and/or spouse to determine the best option for your health
insurance needs. After a decision is made about the best coverage option, select the
appropriate health insurance coverage on the Cooke COA in CAP.

Note:

  • If Option 1 is selected, then no cost for health insurance should be included in CAP’s
    COA process.
  • If either Option 2 or 3 is selected, then the you need to work with the financial aid office
    at your school to include the cost of health insurance in your school’s budget AND then
    include the cost for health insurance in CAP’s COA process. Additionally, if Option 3 is
    selected, additional documentation is required.

What happens if I change my mind about health insurance coverage or the school does not include the cost of health insurance when either Option 2 or 3 is selected on the COA form?

Generally, a revision will need to be made to the COA which could result in a delay in processing
your award and/or scholarship payment. It is very important that you determine the best health
insurance option BEFORE completing and submitting the COA.

Does the Cooke Foundation scholarship cover health insurance for dependent children?

Scholars with dependent children must complete the Dependent Child Care fields in CAP each
year in order to have expenses related to having dependents, including the cost of health
insurance, considered by the Cooke Foundation. If the cost for health insurance for dependent
children is included in the COA, the Cooke Foundation may cover all or a portion of a family’s
health insurance, depending on information provided. For further information, please refer to
the Dependent Expenses FAQs and send any questions through CAP or to finances@jkcf.org.

Where can scholars find the Dependent Care Expense Request Form?

We no longer have a separate Dependent Care Expense Request Form as we did in previous
years. Instead, if you have dependent children eligible for dependent care coverage from the
Foundation, you must include those costs on the COA in CAP. To avoid revisions to the COA
form and possible delays in determining the Cooke Foundation award amount or processing
payments, it is important for scholars to determine their family’s health insurance needs prior to
completing the COA form.

If I am covered by an approved third-party health insurance provider and the cost is included on my COA but the charge is not posted on the billing statement, how is the cost for health insurance paid?

Similar to other eligible non-billed school costs (e.g., book costs, off-campus room and board,
living expense allowance), approved third-party health insurance premiums must be paid up
front or other arrangements made by the scholar. After your Cooke Foundation scholarship is
paid to the college, as well as all other financial aid applied to your account, there should be a
credit balance on your account and the college should process a stipend/reimbursement to you
in order to cover this expense allowance.

Computer Stipend

What is a computer stipend?

A computer stipend is a school cost that may be added to a student’s overall cost of attendance
to specifically purchase a computer, one-time only.

Who is eligible for a computer stipend?

Typically, only first year scholars are eligible for a computer stipend.

What do I do to get the computer allowance added to my cost of attendance?

New Cooke Scholars should request their school’s financial aid office to increase their school
budget to include a line item for a computer. If required, the Cooke Foundation can provide a
computer stipend memo to you to take to your financial aid officer. The memo provides
information regarding the computer stipend and a request to add a stipend to your school
budget.

How will scholars know if a computer allowance was included in their cost of attendance?

The scholar will receive notification that a computer allowance was included on COA online
through their student account.

Do I need to supply my school with any kind of documentation to have the cost of a computer added to the COA?

Please check with your financial aid officer because schools often have different
requirements/policies. The Foundation is aware of some schools requiring documentation of the
computer cost and can provide a written request if required by your school.

Can the cost of a warranty agreement, printer/scanner and other computer accessories be included in the computer allowance amount?

Yes, provided they are eligible school costs according to college policy. Keep in mind that the
total amount cannot exceed $1,500.

Will the Cooke Foundation pay me directly for a computer that I’ve purchased?

No. Under no circumstances will the Cooke Foundation pay a scholar directly or reimburse a
scholar for the cost incurred to buy a computer. The computer allowance MUST be included in
your COA.

Since the stipend is disbursed through the school, what should I do if classes have already started, I haven’t received the money yet and I don’t have a computer to do my work?

The Cooke Foundation encourages scholars to request the addition of the one-time only
computer stipend to their school budget through the financial aid office at their schools as early
as possible and before completing the Cooke Foundations’ COA process. Upload your itemized
school bill to CAP as soon as available so a timely scholarship payment may be made. Another
option is to see if a computer can be purchased through the school and charged to the student
account. Finally, another option is to use the computers in the library/computer lab until stipend
funds have been released, enabling you to purchase your own computer.

What happens if a computer crashes before I graduate? Can another computer be added to the cost of attendance in a later year?

The Cooke Foundation will only cover the cost of one computer during the time a scholar is part
of a specific Cooke program. However, scholars who are selected for the Cooke Graduate
Scholarship are eligible to have the cost of a new computer included on the graduate
scholarship COA.

Dependent Expenses

Will the Cooke Foundation scholarship cover expenses related to having a spouse/partner?

No. Although scholars with spouses/partners may incur greater expenses for food, health
insurance, housing and living expenses, if there are no dependent children, the Cooke
Foundation will only consider the standard amounts for room and board and living expenses
that are typical for a scholar who is single.

Will the Cooke Foundation scholarship cover expenses related to having dependent children?

Yes, scholars with one or more dependent children (under the age of 18) are able to include
additional expenses on the cost of attendance.

How does the Cooke Foundation define “dependent” children?

Dependent children are defined as children listed on the scholar’s tax return or children
primarily supported by or living with the scholar. Scholars with unusual circumstances regarding
the dependency of their children should contact the Foundation at finances@jkcf.org to explain
the situation. Children must be under the age of 18.

Is there a limit to the amount of dependent expenses that can be included?

Yes. No more than $12,000 for the care of dependent children can be included in the cost of
attendance each year.

What do I need to do to have dependent expenses added to my cost of attendance?

There is a question on the COA in CAP that asks if you are requesting funding for dependent
child care. Please answer yes and answer the questions that follow. You will be asked to upload
a copy of the first page of your tax return and your spouses, if applicable. Please note that each
school has its own policy and funding limits for dependent expenses. The amount a school
allows for dependent care determines how much funding scholars may receive from the Cooke
Foundation for these expenses up to our limit of $12,000.

What types of dependent care may be included in the cost of attendance?

For dependent children age 17 years and younger, expenses such as health insurance and
additional household/living expenses may be included. Additionally, for dependents 12 years
and younger, expenses for day care may be included.

Living Expenses

Which school costs are included in living expenses?

Colleges include a number of non-billed costs as part of the overall cost of attendance. By
including these costs, students have funds to cover general living expenses, transportation to
get to and from school and other miscellaneous expenses incurred during the school year.
Common living expenses include the following:

  • Miscellaneous personal expenses, including items such as clothing, personal up-keep,
    grooming aids and recreation. The allowance should permit the student a moderate
    standard of living.
  • Transportation between the student’s residence and the school. This allowance often varies
    depending on the distance between the student’s residence and school location.
  • Computer allowance for the purchase of a personal computer. School policies determine the
    conditions under which the allowance is permitted, the amount permitted and the
    documentation required. The Cooke Foundation also has its own guidelines. (See the
    computer stipend FAQs.)
  • Dependent expenses for the care of dependent children age 17 and under, including
    expenses such as health insurance and additional household/living expenses may be
    included. Additionally, for dependents 12 years and younger, expenses for daycare may be
    included. (See the dependent expenses FAQs.)

What if I am studying abroad for a semester or for the year, are there other living expenses that can be covered?

If you have received Cooke Foundation approval to study abroad, be sure to contact the
financial aid officer at your school to update any expenses on your school budget specifically for
study abroad expenses. Provided the costs are included in the your school’s COA/budget,
expenses such as airfare and other school-approved study abroad costs not already included in
tuition, fees and room and board, may be covered. You must then revise your COA through CAP.

Who determines the allowable amounts for these living expenses?

In most cases, the allowable amount for living expense costs is determined by each school. In
addition, the Cooke Foundation has a maximum one-time computer allowance of $1,500 and a
maximum annual dependent care allowance of $12,000.

How does the Cooke Foundation find out about the costs specific to me?

When you complete your COA process within CAP, you will enter amounts provided for each
type of living expense that is listed in your school budget. This will be verified through your
financial aid award documentation uploaded through the CAP portal as you complete the COA
process with the Cooke Foundation.

How do I know the amount of my living expense allowance included in my scholarship award?

You will receive notification from the Foundation through CAP. This notification will list the total
living expense amount (i.e., miscellaneous personal expenses and transportation) that has been
determined by the Cooke Foundation and approved by your school. If you are eligible for a
computer stipend and/or dependent care expenses, the amounts for these items will be listed
as well.

What if I need more money for living expenses and/or transportation than is listed in my school budget?

Please contact your school’s financial aid office to check if they have an appeal process to
request higher living expense amounts. If an appeal is successful, a revised COA is required in
CAP. Note, not all schools will allow students to appeal their non-billed costs. Regardless of
school policy, the Cooke Foundation recommends you budget carefully so your living expense
stipend lasts through each semester/quarter.

How do I receive my living expense stipend?

Remember that Cooke scholarship payments are made payable to and are mailed to your
college (no exceptions), and the college handles processing checks to students. You, therefore,
will receive your living expense stipend for the term as a refund from your school once our
scholarship and any other grants or loans (i.e. federal and state grants, school scholarships and
grants and federal loans) are applied to your account. Schools usually apply all of these funds
first to your billed charges (tuition, fees, and if applicable, on-campus room and board) before
releasing a refund to you. Sometimes schools do not release refunds to students until after the
drop/add date, which can be well into the semester. Therefore, you will have to pay out-ofpocket
to get yourself to and from school and to purchase general personal items. After all of
your billed charges are covered, your school will release excess funds to you for your various
living expense allowances. This process is the same each term and is documented on your
school’s website.

What do I do if I need funding before my school releases my living expense stipend?

Please contact your school’s financial aid office to check if they have a short-term emergency
loan program. It’s possible they may have a program that will allow you to borrow funds until
you receive your living expense stipend. Remember that if you take out an emergency loan with
your school, it is a loan that needs to be paid back. If your school does not have an emergency
loan program, you should check to see if you can purchase needed items from your book store
and charge them to your student account. You should then use your stipend to pay off your
account balance.

Forms
College Scholarship Forms
Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Forms
Graduate Scholarship Forms

Note: Scholars attending school abroad must email finances@jkcf.org.

Handbooks
Financial FAQs

Financial Aid

What is financial aid?

Financial aid consists of funds provided to students and families to help pay for post-secondary
educational expenses.

What is cost of attendance?

Cost of attendance is direct costs billed by the college (tuition, fees, health insurance, on-campus
room and board) and indirect costs not billed by the college (book costs,
personal/miscellaneous living expenses, transportation allowances and off-campus room and
board). The cost of attendance varies widely from college to college.

Does financial aid apply to students who are international and/or undocumented?

Generally, federal financial aid is not available to international and/or undocumented students.
However, there are many colleges and universities that provide institutional aid to this
population of students. Therefore, the Cooke Foundation encourages all of its scholars to talk
with their financial aid offices to discuss eligibility for any funding.

What is expected family contribution (EFC)?

EFC is the amount a family can reasonably be expected to contribute towards a student’s post-secondary school costs. It is comprised of two components – parent contribution and student
contribution. It is calculated when the family completes the Free Application for Federal Student
Aid (FAFSA). Because it does not depend on the variables associated with cost of attendance,
the EFC stays the same regardless of college.

How is financial need determined?

Students’ financial need is determined by subtracting EFC from the cost of attendance.

Which components are generally included in a college’s financial aid package?

Typically, a financial aid package consists of the following:

-Gift aid (financial aid that does not need to be repaid)

  • Federal grants (Pell Grant, Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant)
  • State scholarships and grants
  • Institutional scholarships and grants
  • Private scholarships and grants (examples include civic and charitable organizations,
    private foundations – including the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation – churches, associations,
    employers)

-Self-help aid (financial aid that needs to be repaid or earned through work in order to be
received)

  • Federal work study (money earned as work hours are completed – not paid up front like
    other financial aid)
  • Subsidized federal Direct loans (interest does not accrue until after leaving college)
  • Unsubsidized federal Direct loans (interest accrues immediately upon disbursement of
    the loan funds from the U.S. Department of Education to the student’s college)
  • Federal parent PLUS loans (like unsubsidized loans, interest accrues immediately upon
    disbursement)

What is the difference between a scholarship and grant?

Scholarships are a form of gift aid that does not need to be paid back. They are generally
awarded on the basis of merit, skill or some other unique characteristic. Grants also do not need
to be paid back. They are generally awarded on the basis of financial need. Although different,
the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

How do I apply for financial aid?

For federal aid and most state and institutional aid, the parent and student must complete the
FAFSA. It is a form available online in English and Spanish that most families complete
electronically. The information collected is used to calculate the expected family contribution
(EFC), a value colleges use to award financial aid.

For the 2018-2019 academic year, the FAFSA may be completed and submitted beginning
October 1, 2017. Students should check with their colleges to see if they have FAFSA filing
deadlines.

The FAFSA website is located at www.fafsa.gov. Included on the website is a FAFSA on the Web
Worksheet, a document that follows the order of the FAFSA questions and can be used as a
worksheet to gather all required information necessary to complete the form.

Students should also apply to other outside scholarship programs. Deadlines and eligibility
requirements vary, so take the initiative to research and apply for other outside scholarship
opportunities. The following are a few of the many online scholarship search resources:

https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/pay-for-college/grants-scholarships
https://www.scholarships.com/scholarship-search.aspx
http://www.fastweb.com/

Why is it a good idea to complete the FAFSA electronically?

There are a number of reasons why the web version is preferred, including the following:

  • Built-in edits that help prevent costly errors
  • Skip-logic that allows students and parents to skip unnecessary questions
  • Option to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import tax data
  • More timely submission of original application and any necessary corrections
  • Detailed instructions and “help” for common questions
  • Ability to check application status online
  • Simplified application process in subsequent years, saving a considerable amount of time

What is the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT)?

This tool allows the student/parent to submit a real-time request to the IRS for their tax data.
The IRS will authenticate the taxpayer’s identity. If a match is found, the IRS will send real-time
results to the student/parent in a new browser window. The student/parent then chooses
whether or not to transfer the data to the FAFSA application. If the tool is used, it often reduces
documents requested by college financial aid offices.

Note: The DRT is expected to be available in October 2017 for the 2018-19 FAFSA completion.

 

When available, are there circumstances when the IRS Data Retrieval Tool cannot be used?

Yes, it cannot be used if an amended tax return was filed, no Social Security Number was
entered or if the student or parent is married but files taxes separately.

Does the student and parent each have to create a unique Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID?

Yes, each “owner” (student and parent) must create an FSA ID. This can be done at the following
website: https://fsaid.ed.gov/npas/indexhtm. Having a FSA ID allows the FAFSA application to
be signed electronically and usually speeds up the entire FAFSA process. This ID will be used
throughout the aid process, including subsequent school years.

What are some common errors made when completing the FAFSA?

Frequent FAFSA errors include the following, so be sure to watch for these and read the
instructions carefully:

  • Social Security Numbers
  • Divorced/remarried parental information
  • Income earned by parents/stepparents
  • Untaxed income
  • U.S. income taxes paid
  • Household size
  • Number of household members in college
  • Real estate and investment net worth

What happens after the FAFSA is completed and submitted?

Provided the FAFSA is filed electronically, the student will receive an email notification
containing a direct link to the student’s online Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR may also be
viewed and printed by going to www.fafsa.gov. An Institutional Student Information Record
(ISIR), a document very similar to the SAR, will be sent to the colleges the student listed when
completing the FAFSA approximately 10 to 14 days after the FAFSA is submitted. The colleges
will review the ISIR and may request additional documentation from the student.

The student and parent must take responsibility for providing colleges with additional
documentation. Lack of response will likely delay providing the family with a financial aid award
letter.

Must I complete the FAFSA again for the 2019-20 school year?

Yes. Completion of the FAFSA is required each year. It is available October 1 each year.

What tax year information is required for FAFSA completion?

2015 tax year information is required for 2017-18 FAFSA.
2016 tax year information is required for 2018-19 FAFSA.
2017 tax year information is required for 2019-20 FAFSA.

Comparing Financial Aid Offers

Are there resources available to help compare financial aid packages from different schools?

Yes. A good resource is available directly through the U.S. Department of Education. The
Financial Aid Shopping Sheet is a consumer tool that participating institutions use to notify
students about their financial aid packages. It is a standardized form that is designed to simplify
the information that prospective students receive about costs and financial aid so that they can
easily compare institutions and make informed decisions about where to attend school. (A
sample of the form is imbedded below and is also available by clicking on the above link.)

How many colleges use this uniform Shopping Sheet?

As of September 2017, more than 3,000 post-secondary institutions have reported their
commitment to adopt the Shopping Sheet.

What’s so great about the Shopping Sheet?

On the left side of the form, all of the costs of attendance are listed as well as scholarships and
grants (gift aid), which do not need to be paid back. The difference between the total school
cost and gift aid received is the Net Cost. The Net Cost, in other words, is the cost that the
student must pay out-of-pocket through work study or through loans.

On the right side of the form, the U.S. Department of Education supplies students with helpful
information, including the school’s graduation rate compared to the rates of similar institutions,
the loan default rate for students at that school compared to the national rate, the median debt
for undergraduate borrowers and a link to information about loan repayment options, including
a repayment calculator.

Advice for comparing offers from schools that don't participate in the Shopping Sheet.

The following link provides you with a helpful tool to compare financial aid award offers:
https://www.discover.com/student-loans/award-letter-comparison-tool.html

Check financial aid award letters to be sure all school costs are included in the cost of
attendance. Direct costs include tuition, fees and on-campus room and board. Indirect costs
include books, transportation, personal/living expense allowances. Both direct and indirect costs
should be listed. If not, students should ask the financial aid office to provide these costs.

In addition, the Cooke Foundation recommends students ask the financial aid office the
following questions. (Answers to these questions will assist in making a decision about the best
financial aid package.)

  • If a merit-based scholarship or grant is included, ask if the scholarship/grant is renewable
    each year. Is there a minimum grade point average that must be maintained? Can students
    switch majors and maintain the scholarship/grant?
  • If the package contains loans, what are their interest rates?
  • What is the Expected Family Contribution (EFC)? Can outside scholarships cover the EFC?
  • What happens if an outside scholarship is received after the financial aid award letter has
    been issued? Will the school reduce, or displace, its institutional scholarships and grants
    because an outside scholarship was received?
  • What are the next steps to accept or decline the financial aid awarded if the student plans
    to attend the institution? What deadlines need to be met?

If the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation award covers 100% of the net cost to attend school through its scholarship and forgivable loan program, does it matter what the financial aid award letters indicate?

Yes, it definitely matters. While the Cooke scholarship is up to $40,000 per year, we rely on
schools to help defray the cost of education for our scholars. In addition, we want to be sure the
school will not reduce/displace any institutional grants when they become aware of the Cooke
scholarship. Cooke Scholars are high-achieving students who work hard to receive other outside
grants and scholarships. Receiving funds from a variety of sources allows the Cooke Foundation
to maximize its funding, which in turn helps more students become Cooke Scholars.

For international and undocumented students not eligible for federal or state aid, the Cooke
award of up to $40,000 per year may not cover 100% of school costs. For these students, it is
important to know the gift aid that the school is committed to provide so an informed decision
about which school to attend may be made.

Forgivable Loan Program

Why is there a loan component to the Jack Kent Cooke award?

In certain circumstances, a loan component may be included in the Cooke award when a school
limits the amount of scholarship money that organizations can give as a direct scholarship
payment. This is generally either because of school policy or because schools will not allow an
outside scholarship to cover the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and/or the student
contribution as a direct scholarship payment. If outside scholarships are not allowed to cover
the EFC, typically scholars and/or their parents will take out federal loans to cover the EFC. The
Cooke Forgivable Loan Program will repay the federal loans if scholars graduate with at least a
“B” average in the degree completion timeframe established by the Foundation.

How will I know whether or not I should take out a loan?

The Cooke Foundation notifies all scholars of their award. For scholars eligible to participate in
the forgivable loan program, the notification will specifically state the amount of the federal
loan to take out. Additionally, attachments will be included with the notification that provides
detailed instructions about how to take out the loan and what documentation must be sent to
the Foundation.

Will I receive anything in the mail?

No, once the Cooke Foundation notifies you, the scholar, of eligibility to participate in the
forgivable loan program, you must log into CAP to review, accept, partially accept, or decline the
loan forgiveness offer and digitally sign the loan agreement letter(s). The loan agreement
letter(s) must be reviewed, digitally signed and returned to the Cooke Foundation by the
specified deadline date. Failure to return the loan agreement letter(s) may result in the
forfeiture of eligibility to have the loans repaid upon graduation.

Is there a maximum loan amount?

The loan component is part of the $40,000 Cooke award yearly maximum. In addition, schools
limit the maximum amount that the Cooke Foundation can award so that scholars are not
overfunded. Scholars will be notified of the amount they can take out in a loan. This is
considered the individual loan maximum. Scholars who take out more than what the Cooke
Foundation approves will be required to repay the excess amount, plus accrued interest, after
they graduate.

What types of loans are eligible?

Only federal loans backed by the U.S. Department of Education are eligible for the Cooke
Forgivable Loan program. They include the federal Direct subsidized loans, federal Direct
unsubsidized loans, parent PLUS loans and Perkins loans. Any other loans are ineligible, and if
taken out by you or your parents, must be repaid by you and/or your parents.

How do I apply for the loan?

You must apply for the loan through your school. The Cooke Foundation does not provide loan
funding. Your financial aid officer will assist you with the loan application process. Remember
that any loans taken out for more than the approved amount as stated in the Cooke loan
agreement letters must be repaid by you and/or your parents.

If a parent PLUS loan is recommended for my parents, how does that work?

A Parent PLUS loan agreement form will be added to your To Do List in CAP. This form, like the
Cooke Scholar loan agreement form, must be reviewed and accepted, partially accepted or
declined. You are asked to enter your parent’s/guardian’s contact information and submit the
form to the Foundation by the requested deadline date. Once the submitted form has been
received, the Foundation will review and an email requesting your parent’s digital signature will
be sent directly to the parent. Parents will work with the college’s financial aid office to take out
the loan.

What if my parents’ loan is denied?

If your parents are denied the ability to take out a parent PLUS loan, please contact the Cooke
Foundation. Generally when this happens, scholars are able to take out a greater federal Direct
loan amount. The Foundation will work individually with scholars when this happens.

Can scholars and/or their parents take out loans in a lesser amount than what is stated in their letters?

Yes, loans in a lesser amount can be taken out. Through CAP, you will indicate that you “partially
accept” the loan and enter the dollar amount that you accept.

What is a master promissory note and what do I do with it?

When applying for a loan the first time, you will be required to complete entrance counseling (a
tool to ensure students understand their obligation to repay the loan) and sign a master
promissory note agreeing to the terms of the loan. You do not need to send a copy of the
promissory note to the Cooke Foundation. However, you should retain it for your records.

How are loan funds paid?

The U.S. Department of Education disburses loan funds to schools for deposit into students’
accounts. Like scholarship and grant funding, schools will first apply loan funds to student
accounts to pay for tuition, fees, on-campus room and board and any other billed charges. If a
credit balance results after scholarship, grant and loan funds are applied to a student’s account,
then the school usually disburses excess funds to the student. Please work with your school to
understand the process and timing for receiving any excess funds.

What is a loan disclosure statement and what do I do with it?

Each year, when a federal loan is taken out, students and/or parents will receive a loan
disclosure statement that states the amount of the loan, interest rate information and other
details. (A sample loan disclosure statement will be emailed to scholars when they are notified
of their Cooke award.) The loan disclosure statement is generally available to students and
parents around the time that funds are sent to the school in the fall.

Scholars are required to upload into CAP their loan disclosure statement(s) by the stated
deadline. If parents have taken out a PLUS loan as a part of the Cooke loan forgiveness
program, they may email their loan disclosure statements to the Cooke Foundation at
finances@jkcf.org by the stated deadline date. Disclosure statements are available after the U.S.
Department of Education disburses loan funds to the school. They may be obtained by logging in
to www.studentloans.gov and clicking the available year via the left navigation link.

What are the requirements for the Cooke Foundation to pay my loans off after I graduate?

Scholars must graduate with a “B” average or better within four years of matriculation (or a
shorter or longer period as approved by the Cooke Foundation). In addition, scholars must be in
good standing with the Foundation.

Is there documentation I must send in following my college graduation in order to have the loan(s) paid by the Cooke Foundation?

All graduating scholars participating in the Cooke Loan Forgiveness Program must send in a final
official transcript. Getting this official transcript is an important step for initiating loan
repayment. The transcript must include:

  • final cumulative GPA,
  • date the degree is awarded and
  • degree that is received (e.g., Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Arts, etc.).

Approximately three months after graduation, and upon receipt of a final transcript, the Cooke
Foundation will send specific instruction for submitting a loan payoff statement from the loan
servicer. You must follow these instructions and meet the applicable deadline dates.

Room and Board (Housing)

What is room and board?

Room is the term used for housing, and board is the term used for meal plans. Board for offcampus
students without a meal plan includes funds to buy groceries and prepare meals. Room
and board collectively is an eligible component of a student’s overall cost of attendance.

What are the options for housing for Cooke Scholars?

Newly selected Cooke College Scholars are required to live on campus their first year. Only
under unusual circumstances, and with prior approval, may first year College Scholars live at
home or in off-campus housing.

Second year College Scholars and all other Cooke Scholars may live in either on-campus or off-campus
housing.

Do I need to decide where I’m going to live during the school year before my award is determined?

Yes, you must finalize housing plans and indicate these plans (on or off-campus) before entering
these expenses in the CAP COA process. Please work with your financial aid officer regarding any
housing concerns or special circumstances before you complete the COA. Also, please contact
the financial aid officer as there is a process to request a potential increase to your room and
board allowance if your room and board expenses exceed the standard room and board
allowance. You will likely be asked to provide documentation (such as a copy of a lease) to the
financial aid office. Changes to housing arrangements after awards have been determined are
discouraged.

May off-campus students enroll in an on-campus meal plan?

Yes, colleges that provide an option for off-campus students to enroll in a meal plan is
acceptable.

In what type of dorm room may Cooke Scholars live?

The standard room expense for Cooke Scholars will typically be defined as the cost of a double
room for students who choose to live on campus. Under normal circumstances the Foundation
will not consider the additional cost of a single room in the cost of attendance. When a single
room is required based on a medical condition or disability, the student must notify the Cooke
Foundation as soon as possible.

How is the room and board allowance determined for students living on-campus?

At some colleges, the on-campus room and board cost is a set amount. At other colleges, the
amount may vary depending on the dorm where the student lives and the meal plan selected. If
the amount varies, it is important that scholars provide housing and meal plan information to
the college financial aid officer to have updated amount when submitting the COA. Remember
that the allowance for the “room” portion is generally the cost for a standard double room.

How is the room and board allowance determined for scholars living off-campus?

The vast majority of colleges base the off-campus room and board allowance on expenses
reasonably incurred by students for housing and meals in the geographic area of the school. The
amount is generally set by the school and can be found on the school’s website. Under certain
circumstances, students may appeal to the college for a higher off-campus room and board
allowance. Scholars should check with the school to find out the off-campus room and board
allowance and the appeal process BEFORE making plans to live off campus. In addition, the
allowance is for the standard nine-month academic year (September – May). Scholars who plan
to live in an apartment year round, must be prepared financially to cover housing and meal
costs during the summer months.

Will the Cooke Foundation pay for housing and security deposits?

No, scholars are responsible for paying for both on-campus and off-campus housing and security
deposits. If this poses a financial hardship, we encourage you to talk to school officials
(admissions and/or financial aid) to see if any deposits can be waived, delayed or reduced.

For scholars living on-campus, most deposits reduce the first term’s room and board costs.
Therefore, if a deposit must be paid, be sure the deposit amount is listed as a credit on the
online student account. That way when the Cooke Foundation award, and any other financial
aid, is credited to the student’s account, a credit balance representing the deposit can be
refunded back to the student.

For scholars living off-campus, if a deposit cannot be waived, then the scholar is responsible for
making payment. In this case, when moving out, if the apartment is left in the same good
condition as when the student moved in, then the deposit should be refunded.

How do off-campus students receive their scholarship funds to pay for rent and utilities and buy groceries?

Because the Cooke Foundation bases its award amount on the room and board allowance as
stated on the student’s school budget, there is no need to send a lease agreement, utility billing
statements or store receipts. Payment for off-campus room and board will be processed as part
of the stipend portion of the scholar’s award and is meant to cover expenses not paid for
through direct billing from the school (e.g., tuition and fees). Generally, when the college
receives the Cooke Foundation scholarship check, the financial aid staff processes payment and
works with the bursar to provide students the stipend. The school’s financial aid office or
bursar’s office will provide students with instructions on how to obtain stipend funds. Often
stipends are deposited directly into a checking account or are disbursed through a check.

Cooke scholarship payments are made payable to and are mailed to the college (no exceptions),
and the college handles processing refund checks to students. This all takes time. Therefore,
scholars who plan to live off campus must plan ahead. Because deposits, first month’s rent,
stocked groceries, etc. cannot be paid for up front or directly to a scholar, off-campus students
must be prepared to have funds available to pay some expenses out of pocket.

Deposits

How should I handle the payment of a college deposit?

First, ask the college if the deposit can be waived, reduced or can be set up on
a payment plan.

If it cannot be waived, then you should pay the college deposit as soon as it is due.

Your school will apply this deposit to your first term billed charges. The Cooke
Foundation will consider all charges that are included on your first term bill,
including charges that your  school may consider already paid by your deposit. This
will result in a credit/overpayment on your account for the amount of the deposit.

After your school deposits the Cooke Foundation scholarship payment and all other
forms of your financial aid to your account, these funds will cover your deposit along
with your living expense and book stipends.

If you have specific questions regarding the deposit, please contact Cooke
Foundation finances staff at finances@jkcf.org.

Health Insurance

Do I need to have health insurance while enrolled at college?

Yes, most schools require that all students have health insurance.

What are the options for having health insurance coverage?

Generally, there are three options, as follows:

Option 1. Students may stay covered under their parents’ health insurance plans. Most colleges
will require proof of coverage.

Option 2. Most colleges and universities offer a health insurance plan for their students.
Students need to be aware of each college’s requirements for enrollment. Some colleges will
automatically enroll (and charge) students for health insurance unless they waive coverage.
Other colleges require students to enroll in the college health insurance plan.

Option 3. Students may enroll in a third-party plan, such as through the Affordable Care Act
(also known as Obamacare).

Is the cost of health insurance covered by the Cooke Foundation’s award?

Option 1 – Student covered under parents’ plan: The Cooke Foundation award does not cover
the cost for the student’s portion of health insurance when the student is covered by a parent’s
plan.

Option 2 – Student covered under college/university plan: Scholars who elect to enroll in the
university’s health insurance plan will enter the cost of the health insurance on their Cost of
Attendance (COA). Provided the cost is included on the COA and the charge for health insurance
is posted on the billing statement, health insurance is an eligible school cost and therefore
covered by the Cooke Foundation’s award.

Option 3 – Student covered by a third-party plan: Scholars who enroll with a third-party
insurance provider must work with the financial aid officer to upload to the COA in CAP a signed
letter from the university with the name of the provider and the cost for the academic year. If
the proper documentation is uploaded to the COA, then the cost for health insurance is
considered an eligible school cost and therefore covered by the Cooke Foundation’s award.

What do I need to do regarding making a decision about health insurance coverage?

Talk with your parents, guardians and/or spouse to determine the best option for your health
insurance needs. After a decision is made about the best coverage option, select the
appropriate health insurance coverage on the Cooke COA in CAP.

Note:

  • If Option 1 is selected, then no cost for health insurance should be included in CAP’s
    COA process.
  • If either Option 2 or 3 is selected, then the you need to work with the financial aid office
    at your school to include the cost of health insurance in your school’s budget AND then
    include the cost for health insurance in CAP’s COA process. Additionally, if Option 3 is
    selected, additional documentation is required.

What happens if I change my mind about health insurance coverage or the school does not include the cost of health insurance when either Option 2 or 3 is selected on the COA form?

Generally, a revision will need to be made to the COA which could result in a delay in processing
your award and/or scholarship payment. It is very important that you determine the best health
insurance option BEFORE completing and submitting the COA.

Does the Cooke Foundation scholarship cover health insurance for dependent children?

Scholars with dependent children must complete the Dependent Child Care fields in CAP each
year in order to have expenses related to having dependents, including the cost of health
insurance, considered by the Cooke Foundation. If the cost for health insurance for dependent
children is included in the COA, the Cooke Foundation may cover all or a portion of a family’s
health insurance, depending on information provided. For further information, please refer to
the Dependent Expenses FAQs and send any questions through CAP or to finances@jkcf.org.

Where can scholars find the Dependent Care Expense Request Form?

We no longer have a separate Dependent Care Expense Request Form as we did in previous
years. Instead, if you have dependent children eligible for dependent care coverage from the
Foundation, you must include those costs on the COA in CAP. To avoid revisions to the COA
form and possible delays in determining the Cooke Foundation award amount or processing
payments, it is important for scholars to determine their family’s health insurance needs prior to
completing the COA form.

If I am covered by an approved third-party health insurance provider and the cost is included on my COA but the charge is not posted on the billing statement, how is the cost for health insurance paid?

Similar to other eligible non-billed school costs (e.g., book costs, off-campus room and board,
living expense allowance), approved third-party health insurance premiums must be paid up
front or other arrangements made by the scholar. After your Cooke Foundation scholarship is
paid to the college, as well as all other financial aid applied to your account, there should be a
credit balance on your account and the college should process a stipend/reimbursement to you
in order to cover this expense allowance.

Computer Stipend

What is a computer stipend?

A computer stipend is a school cost that may be added to a student’s overall cost of attendance
to specifically purchase a computer, one-time only.

Who is eligible for a computer stipend?

Typically, only first year scholars are eligible for a computer stipend.

What do I do to get the computer allowance added to my cost of attendance?

New Cooke Scholars should request their school’s financial aid office to increase their school
budget to include a line item for a computer. If required, the Cooke Foundation can provide a
computer stipend memo to you to take to your financial aid officer. The memo provides
information regarding the computer stipend and a request to add a stipend to your school
budget.

How will scholars know if a computer allowance was included in their cost of attendance?

The scholar will receive notification that a computer allowance was included on COA online
through their student account.

Do I need to supply my school with any kind of documentation to have the cost of a computer added to the COA?

Please check with your financial aid officer because schools often have different
requirements/policies. The Foundation is aware of some schools requiring documentation of the
computer cost and can provide a written request if required by your school.

Can the cost of a warranty agreement, printer/scanner and other computer accessories be included in the computer allowance amount?

Yes, provided they are eligible school costs according to college policy. Keep in mind that the
total amount cannot exceed $1,500.

Will the Cooke Foundation pay me directly for a computer that I’ve purchased?

No. Under no circumstances will the Cooke Foundation pay a scholar directly or reimburse a
scholar for the cost incurred to buy a computer. The computer allowance MUST be included in
your COA.

Since the stipend is disbursed through the school, what should I do if classes have already started, I haven’t received the money yet and I don’t have a computer to do my work?

The Cooke Foundation encourages scholars to request the addition of the one-time only
computer stipend to their school budget through the financial aid office at their schools as early
as possible and before completing the Cooke Foundations’ COA process. Upload your itemized
school bill to CAP as soon as available so a timely scholarship payment may be made. Another
option is to see if a computer can be purchased through the school and charged to the student
account. Finally, another option is to use the computers in the library/computer lab until stipend
funds have been released, enabling you to purchase your own computer.

What happens if a computer crashes before I graduate? Can another computer be added to the cost of attendance in a later year?

The Cooke Foundation will only cover the cost of one computer during the time a scholar is part
of a specific Cooke program. However, scholars who are selected for the Cooke Graduate
Scholarship are eligible to have the cost of a new computer included on the graduate
scholarship COA.

Dependent Expenses

Will the Cooke Foundation scholarship cover expenses related to having a spouse/partner?

No. Although scholars with spouses/partners may incur greater expenses for food, health
insurance, housing and living expenses, if there are no dependent children, the Cooke
Foundation will only consider the standard amounts for room and board and living expenses
that are typical for a scholar who is single.

Will the Cooke Foundation scholarship cover expenses related to having dependent children?

Yes, scholars with one or more dependent children (under the age of 18) are able to include
additional expenses on the cost of attendance.

How does the Cooke Foundation define “dependent” children?

Dependent children are defined as children listed on the scholar’s tax return or children
primarily supported by or living with the scholar. Scholars with unusual circumstances regarding
the dependency of their children should contact the Foundation at finances@jkcf.org to explain
the situation. Children must be under the age of 18.

Is there a limit to the amount of dependent expenses that can be included?

Yes. No more than $12,000 for the care of dependent children can be included in the cost of
attendance each year.

What do I need to do to have dependent expenses added to my cost of attendance?

There is a question on the COA in CAP that asks if you are requesting funding for dependent
child care. Please answer yes and answer the questions that follow. You will be asked to upload
a copy of the first page of your tax return and your spouses, if applicable. Please note that each
school has its own policy and funding limits for dependent expenses. The amount a school
allows for dependent care determines how much funding scholars may receive from the Cooke
Foundation for these expenses up to our limit of $12,000.

What types of dependent care may be included in the cost of attendance?

For dependent children age 17 years and younger, expenses such as health insurance and
additional household/living expenses may be included. Additionally, for dependents 12 years
and younger, expenses for day care may be included.

Living Expenses

Which school costs are included in living expenses?

Colleges include a number of non-billed costs as part of the overall cost of attendance. By
including these costs, students have funds to cover general living expenses, transportation to
get to and from school and other miscellaneous expenses incurred during the school year.
Common living expenses include the following:

  • Miscellaneous personal expenses, including items such as clothing, personal up-keep,
    grooming aids and recreation. The allowance should permit the student a moderate
    standard of living.
  • Transportation between the student’s residence and the school. This allowance often varies
    depending on the distance between the student’s residence and school location.
  • Computer allowance for the purchase of a personal computer. School policies determine the
    conditions under which the allowance is permitted, the amount permitted and the
    documentation required. The Cooke Foundation also has its own guidelines. (See the
    computer stipend FAQs.)
  • Dependent expenses for the care of dependent children age 17 and under, including
    expenses such as health insurance and additional household/living expenses may be
    included. Additionally, for dependents 12 years and younger, expenses for daycare may be
    included. (See the dependent expenses FAQs.)

What if I am studying abroad for a semester or for the year, are there other living expenses that can be covered?

If you have received Cooke Foundation approval to study abroad, be sure to contact the
financial aid officer at your school to update any expenses on your school budget specifically for
study abroad expenses. Provided the costs are included in the your school’s COA/budget,
expenses such as airfare and other school-approved study abroad costs not already included in
tuition, fees and room and board, may be covered. You must then revise your COA through CAP.

Who determines the allowable amounts for these living expenses?

In most cases, the allowable amount for living expense costs is determined by each school. In
addition, the Cooke Foundation has a maximum one-time computer allowance of $1,500 and a
maximum annual dependent care allowance of $12,000.

How does the Cooke Foundation find out about the costs specific to me?

When you complete your COA process within CAP, you will enter amounts provided for each
type of living expense that is listed in your school budget. This will be verified through your
financial aid award documentation uploaded through the CAP portal as you complete the COA
process with the Cooke Foundation.

How do I know the amount of my living expense allowance included in my scholarship award?

You will receive notification from the Foundation through CAP. This notification will list the total
living expense amount (i.e., miscellaneous personal expenses and transportation) that has been
determined by the Cooke Foundation and approved by your school. If you are eligible for a
computer stipend and/or dependent care expenses, the amounts for these items will be listed
as well.

What if I need more money for living expenses and/or transportation than is listed in my school budget?

Please contact your school’s financial aid office to check if they have an appeal process to
request higher living expense amounts. If an appeal is successful, a revised COA is required in
CAP. Note, not all schools will allow students to appeal their non-billed costs. Regardless of
school policy, the Cooke Foundation recommends you budget carefully so your living expense
stipend lasts through each semester/quarter.

How do I receive my living expense stipend?

Remember that Cooke scholarship payments are made payable to and are mailed to your
college (no exceptions), and the college handles processing checks to students. You, therefore,
will receive your living expense stipend for the term as a refund from your school once our
scholarship and any other grants or loans (i.e. federal and state grants, school scholarships and
grants and federal loans) are applied to your account. Schools usually apply all of these funds
first to your billed charges (tuition, fees, and if applicable, on-campus room and board) before
releasing a refund to you. Sometimes schools do not release refunds to students until after the
drop/add date, which can be well into the semester. Therefore, you will have to pay out-ofpocket
to get yourself to and from school and to purchase general personal items. After all of
your billed charges are covered, your school will release excess funds to you for your various
living expense allowances. This process is the same each term and is documented on your
school’s website.

What do I do if I need funding before my school releases my living expense stipend?

Please contact your school’s financial aid office to check if they have a short-term emergency
loan program. It’s possible they may have a program that will allow you to borrow funds until
you receive your living expense stipend. Remember that if you take out an emergency loan with
your school, it is a loan that needs to be paid back. If your school does not have an emergency
loan program, you should check to see if you can purchase needed items from your book store
and charge them to your student account. You should then use your stipend to pay off your
account balance.

Contact Us

Email
College Scholarship Program: collegescholars@jkcf.org
Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship: undergradscholars@jkcf.org
Graduate Scholarship: gradscholars@jkcf.org
Award, bill, payment, or other finance inquiries: finances@jkcf.org

Phone
Toll-free: 800-846-9025
Receptionist: 571-799-8000

Fax
Main fax: 703-723-8030
Finance fax: 571-209-1775