How to Apply

The 2018 application is now closed. Final notifications have been sent via email on April 10, 2018.
If you have not received a notification email, please check your spam filters. If you still have not received notification, please email us or call 800-941-3300.

This scholarship for top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees is the largest private scholarship for community college transfer students in the country.  Read more about the benefits of the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship on the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship page.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, at a minimum, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Sophomore Status – Be a current student at an accredited U.S. community college or two-year institution with sophomore status by January 1, 2018, or a recent graduate (since spring 2013).
  • Fall College Enrollment– Plan to enroll full-time in a baccalaureate program at an accredited college or university in fall 2018.
  • GPA– Have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 or better on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent).
  • Financial Need– Demonstrate unmet financial need, which has two components:
    • Education costs that are appreciably greater than the total amount of other scholarships or grant awards.
    • Insufficient student and family income to meet educational costs.
  • No previous enrollment or attendance at a four-year institution – Students who have attended a four-year institution in the past are not eligible for this scholarship.
    • If you started at a four-year institution, but did not complete a semester of full-time study, then you may be eligible. Please contact us to verify your eligibility.
    • Students who have already transferred to a four-year institution or plan to transfer to start during the spring 2018 semester are also not eligible for this scholarship.

Selection Criteria

The selection process for these awards is rigorous and highly competitive with approximately 45 scholarships awarded each year out of thousands of applicants.   A review panel of distinguished college admissions professionals and faculty judge the applicants using criteria including:

  • High academic ability and achievement: Strong academic record, academic awards and honors, and substantive assessments by educators providing confidential recommendations.  In addition to GPA, we consider participation in available advanced courses, commitment to learning, and intellectual curiosity.
  • Unmet financial need: Limited family income and assets in light of educational expenses. Substantial unmet educational costs after taking into account other scholarships and grants students may receive.
  • Persistence: Determination and perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership: Ability to organize and positively influence others in and out of school.
  • Service to Others: Purposeful and meaningful commitment to others which may be evidenced by participation in volunteer/community service activities.

The Young Scholars Program application requires information from several different people in order to be complete. Each person must have a unique email address in order to receive their required forms via email from the online application system. These include:

The Applicant – The student who, if selected, will become a Young Scholar.

The Parents/Guardians – Both of the biological or adoptive parents or guardians of the applicant. If the parents/guardians are not married to each other, there is a separate form for each. If there is only one (the second is deceased, unknown, missing or not in contact with the applicant), then the sole parent/guardian can complete the form independently.

The Teacher Recommenders – One English/language arts and one math teacher. These must be teachers that had/have the applicant in 6th or 7thgrade classes and should be well-acquainted with the applicant’s performance and character. Each will complete a recommendation form for the applicant.

The Personal Recommender – An adult who knows the applicant personally (not a parent or relative), such as: a mentor; coach; extracurricular instructor; teacher (past or present); scout leader; pastor or church leader; or camp counselor. This person should also be well-acquainted with the applicant’s performance and character.

Read more about the forms and requirements for each of these roles in the following sections.

The Applicant

The student application is an online form to be completed by the applicant. It requires information on the applicant’s background, academics and interests. Sections include:

  • Basic information – Address, phone, email, gender, date of birth, and primary language spoken at home.
  • Academics – Grades for core classes in 6th and 7th grade, state standardized test scores, SAT or ACT scores (if taken).
  • Honors – Up to five honors or awards from 6th grade to present, including a short answer about why the listed award is important to the applicant.
  • Activities – Up to five activities in which the applicant spends a significant time outside of class.  These can include clubs, extracurricular activities, hobbies, academic groups, volunteer activities, or family responsibilities.
  • Short Answers – Questions about academic and personal experiences.
  • Long Essay – Applicants choose from one of several topics and submit a long form response, intended to help the scholarship selection committee get to know the applicant better. This essay should reveal more about character, leadership abilities, interests, creativity, goals, and other traits that make the applicant a unique person.
  • Uploaded materials – Documents that need to be scanned and uploaded to the online application include:
    • Report Cards – All grades and marks from the beginning of 6th grade through the most recent grading period (semester, trimester, mid-term, six weeks, etc.).
    • Test Score Reports – The official score report from the applicant’s state standardized testing. If the applicant has taken the SAT or ACT through a regional talent center, they should also submit those score reports.

The Parents/Guardians

The parent/guardian form is an online form to be completed by the biological or adoptive parents of the applicant. If the parents/guardians are not married to each other, there is a separate form for each. If there is only one (the second is deceased, unknown, missing or not in contact with the applicant), then the sole parent/guardian can complete the form independently. Sections include:

  • Employment and Education – Current employment status, current or most recent employment information, highest level of education attained, and information on colleges or universities attended and field of study.
  • Household members – People living in the household, as listed on federal tax returns, and their relationship to the applicant.
  • Applicant information – Academic services provided to the applicant, homeschooling (if applicable), repeating or skipping a grade, school conduct, and short answers to provide additional information about the applicant.
  • Financial Form – Tax info and Adjusted Gross Income.
  • Uploaded materials – Documents that need to be scanned and uploaded to the online application include:

2017 Federal Tax Return – Complete forms, including W-2 form(s), schedules, and attachments.

2016 and 2015 Federal Tax Returns – 1040 forms only, not including schedules or attachments.

The Academic Recommenders

Two academic recommendation forms must be completed online, one by an English/language arts teacher and one by a math teacher. These must be teachers that had/have the applicant in 6th or 7th grade classes.

The forms must be completed online; a standard “letter” of recommendation cannot be accepted as a substitute. Questions include:

  • Ratings – Seven-point scale to rate the applicant on a variety of academic and personal skills and characteristics.
  • Short Answers – Summaries of the teacher’s experience with the applicant in the classroom, both as a student and as a person.

The Personal Recommender

The Personal Recommendation is an online form and should be completed by an adult who knows the applicant personally (not a parent or relative), such as: a mentor; coach; extracurricular instructor; teacher (past or present); scout leader; pastor or church leader; or camp counselor. This person should also be well-acquainted with the applicant’s performance and character.

The forms must be completed online; a standard “letter” of recommendation cannot be accepted as a substitute. Questions include:

  • Ratings – Seven-point scale to rate the applicant on a variety of academic and personal skills and characteristics.
  • Short Answers – Summaries of the recommender’s experience with the applicant, both as a participant in the related activity and as a person.

How do I Apply?

Access to the online application will be available in late August. During the application period, instructions and the link to the online application portal will be available on this page.

When do I Apply?

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application opens in late August and the deadline is in late October. The applications are reviewed November through March, and final notifications are made in April.

Why Apply

This scholarship for top community college students seeking to complete their bachelor’s degrees is the largest private scholarship for community college transfer students in the country.  Read more about the benefits of the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship on the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship page.

Who Can Apply

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, at a minimum, applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Sophomore Status – Be a current student at an accredited U.S. community college or two-year institution with sophomore status by January 1, 2018, or a recent graduate (since spring 2013).
  • Fall College Enrollment– Plan to enroll full-time in a baccalaureate program at an accredited college or university in fall 2018.
  • GPA– Have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 3.50 or better on a 4.0 scale (or the equivalent).
  • Financial Need– Demonstrate unmet financial need, which has two components:
    • Education costs that are appreciably greater than the total amount of other scholarships or grant awards.
    • Insufficient student and family income to meet educational costs.
  • No previous enrollment or attendance at a four-year institution – Students who have attended a four-year institution in the past are not eligible for this scholarship.
    • If you started at a four-year institution, but did not complete a semester of full-time study, then you may be eligible. Please contact us to verify your eligibility.
    • Students who have already transferred to a four-year institution or plan to transfer to start during the spring 2018 semester are also not eligible for this scholarship.

Selection Criteria

The selection process for these awards is rigorous and highly competitive with approximately 45 scholarships awarded each year out of thousands of applicants.   A review panel of distinguished college admissions professionals and faculty judge the applicants using criteria including:

  • High academic ability and achievement: Strong academic record, academic awards and honors, and substantive assessments by educators providing confidential recommendations.  In addition to GPA, we consider participation in available advanced courses, commitment to learning, and intellectual curiosity.
  • Unmet financial need: Limited family income and assets in light of educational expenses. Substantial unmet educational costs after taking into account other scholarships and grants students may receive.
  • Persistence: Determination and perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership: Ability to organize and positively influence others in and out of school.
  • Service to Others: Purposeful and meaningful commitment to others which may be evidenced by participation in volunteer/community service activities.
What Information Do I Need

The Young Scholars Program application requires information from several different people in order to be complete. Each person must have a unique email address in order to receive their required forms via email from the online application system. These include:

The Applicant – The student who, if selected, will become a Young Scholar.

The Parents/Guardians – Both of the biological or adoptive parents or guardians of the applicant. If the parents/guardians are not married to each other, there is a separate form for each. If there is only one (the second is deceased, unknown, missing or not in contact with the applicant), then the sole parent/guardian can complete the form independently.

The Teacher Recommenders – One English/language arts and one math teacher. These must be teachers that had/have the applicant in 6th or 7thgrade classes and should be well-acquainted with the applicant’s performance and character. Each will complete a recommendation form for the applicant.

The Personal Recommender – An adult who knows the applicant personally (not a parent or relative), such as: a mentor; coach; extracurricular instructor; teacher (past or present); scout leader; pastor or church leader; or camp counselor. This person should also be well-acquainted with the applicant’s performance and character.

Read more about the forms and requirements for each of these roles in the following sections.

The Applicant

The student application is an online form to be completed by the applicant. It requires information on the applicant’s background, academics and interests. Sections include:

  • Basic information – Address, phone, email, gender, date of birth, and primary language spoken at home.
  • Academics – Grades for core classes in 6th and 7th grade, state standardized test scores, SAT or ACT scores (if taken).
  • Honors – Up to five honors or awards from 6th grade to present, including a short answer about why the listed award is important to the applicant.
  • Activities – Up to five activities in which the applicant spends a significant time outside of class.  These can include clubs, extracurricular activities, hobbies, academic groups, volunteer activities, or family responsibilities.
  • Short Answers – Questions about academic and personal experiences.
  • Long Essay – Applicants choose from one of several topics and submit a long form response, intended to help the scholarship selection committee get to know the applicant better. This essay should reveal more about character, leadership abilities, interests, creativity, goals, and other traits that make the applicant a unique person.
  • Uploaded materials – Documents that need to be scanned and uploaded to the online application include:
    • Report Cards – All grades and marks from the beginning of 6th grade through the most recent grading period (semester, trimester, mid-term, six weeks, etc.).
    • Test Score Reports – The official score report from the applicant’s state standardized testing. If the applicant has taken the SAT or ACT through a regional talent center, they should also submit those score reports.

The Parents/Guardians

The parent/guardian form is an online form to be completed by the biological or adoptive parents of the applicant. If the parents/guardians are not married to each other, there is a separate form for each. If there is only one (the second is deceased, unknown, missing or not in contact with the applicant), then the sole parent/guardian can complete the form independently. Sections include:

  • Employment and Education – Current employment status, current or most recent employment information, highest level of education attained, and information on colleges or universities attended and field of study.
  • Household members – People living in the household, as listed on federal tax returns, and their relationship to the applicant.
  • Applicant information – Academic services provided to the applicant, homeschooling (if applicable), repeating or skipping a grade, school conduct, and short answers to provide additional information about the applicant.
  • Financial Form – Tax info and Adjusted Gross Income.
  • Uploaded materials – Documents that need to be scanned and uploaded to the online application include:

2017 Federal Tax Return – Complete forms, including W-2 form(s), schedules, and attachments.

2016 and 2015 Federal Tax Returns – 1040 forms only, not including schedules or attachments.

The Academic Recommenders

Two academic recommendation forms must be completed online, one by an English/language arts teacher and one by a math teacher. These must be teachers that had/have the applicant in 6th or 7th grade classes.

The forms must be completed online; a standard “letter” of recommendation cannot be accepted as a substitute. Questions include:

  • Ratings – Seven-point scale to rate the applicant on a variety of academic and personal skills and characteristics.
  • Short Answers – Summaries of the teacher’s experience with the applicant in the classroom, both as a student and as a person.

The Personal Recommender

The Personal Recommendation is an online form and should be completed by an adult who knows the applicant personally (not a parent or relative), such as: a mentor; coach; extracurricular instructor; teacher (past or present); scout leader; pastor or church leader; or camp counselor. This person should also be well-acquainted with the applicant’s performance and character.

The forms must be completed online; a standard “letter” of recommendation cannot be accepted as a substitute. Questions include:

  • Ratings – Seven-point scale to rate the applicant on a variety of academic and personal skills and characteristics.
  • Short Answers – Summaries of the recommender’s experience with the applicant, both as a participant in the related activity and as a person.
How and When to Apply

How do I Apply?

Access to the online application will be available in late August. During the application period, instructions and the link to the online application portal will be available on this page.

When do I Apply?

The Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application opens in late August and the deadline is in late October. The applications are reviewed November through March, and final notifications are made in April.

Contact Us

The 2018 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship application is now closed.

Final notifications were sent via email on April 10, 2018.

If you have not received a notification email, please check your spam filters. If you still have not received notification, please email scholarships@jkcf.org or call 800-941-3300.

FAQs

Do I meet the minimum eligibility requirements for an Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship?

Cooke Scholars possess exceptional academic records and demonstrate unmet financial need. At a minimum, each candidate for the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship must: Be a current student at an accredited U.S....

What are the chances of being awarded a scholarship?

The Cooke Foundation expects to receive approximately 3,500 applications and will award approximately 55 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships in 2018.