How to Apply

The 2018 Young Scholars Program application is now closed.
Semifinalist notifications were sent in late April. Please email us or call 800-941-3300 if you have questions.

The Young Scholars Program offers the most generous pre-college scholarship and educational support to exceptionally promising students from across the nation who have financial need. Cooke Young Scholars receive comprehensive advising and financial support from the 8th grade through high school.

Hear from our alumni who have attended and graduated from the most selective colleges and universities in the country as they describe the program in this short video.

Current 7th graders who have strong academic records are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, the applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Grade level – Entering 8th grade in the fall of 2018.
  • Academics – Since the beginning of 6th grade, have earned grades of all or mostly A’s in school with no C’s or below in core academic subjects (English/language arts, math, science, social studies/history).*
  • Testing – 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.
  • Income – Family income does not exceed $95,000. The average family income of entering Cooke Young Scholars is approximately $25,000. In recent years nearly all Cooke Young Scholars have come from families with incomes below $60,000.
  • Location – Reside in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and plan to attend high school in the U.S.

Selection Criteria

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation reviews each Young Scholars Program application individually with the assistance of a panel of national education experts. Among the criteria used in the selection process are:

  • High academic ability and achievement: Strong academic record, academic awards and honors, and substantive assessments by educators providing confidential recommendations. We consider grades (typically mostly A’s), achievement test scores, participation in available honors or advanced courses, commitment to learning, and work ethic.
  • Unmet financial need: Limited family income and insufficient funds to cover significant out-of-pocket education-related expenses. The average family income of our previous class of Cooke Young Scholars was approximately $25,000.
  • Persistence: Determination and perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership: Able to positively influence others and take initiative in various circumstances (family, community, school, church, etc.).
  • 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.

How do I Apply?

The Young Scholars Program application is entirely online. The link to the application will be available during the application period on this page.

When do I Apply?

The Young Scholars Program application is available to students only during their 7th grade year. The application opens in January and closes in March. The applications are reviewed April through August, and final notifications are made in early fall of the applicant’s 8th grade year.

Notify Me

Why Apply

The Young Scholars Program offers the most generous pre-college scholarship and educational support to exceptionally promising students from across the nation who have financial need. Cooke Young Scholars receive comprehensive advising and financial support from the 8th grade through high school.

Hear from our alumni who have attended and graduated from the most selective colleges and universities in the country as they describe the program in this short video.

Who Can Apply

Current 7th graders who have strong academic records are encouraged to apply.

To be eligible for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, the applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Grade level – Entering 8th grade in the fall of 2018.
  • Academics – Since the beginning of 6th grade, have earned grades of all or mostly A’s in school with no C’s or below in core academic subjects (English/language arts, math, science, social studies/history).*
  • Testing – 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.
  • Income – Family income does not exceed $95,000. The average family income of entering Cooke Young Scholars is approximately $25,000. In recent years nearly all Cooke Young Scholars have come from families with incomes below $60,000.
  • Location – Reside in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and plan to attend high school in the U.S.

Selection Criteria

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation reviews each Young Scholars Program application individually with the assistance of a panel of national education experts. Among the criteria used in the selection process are:

  • High academic ability and achievement: Strong academic record, academic awards and honors, and substantive assessments by educators providing confidential recommendations. We consider grades (typically mostly A’s), achievement test scores, participation in available honors or advanced courses, commitment to learning, and work ethic.
  • Unmet financial need: Limited family income and insufficient funds to cover significant out-of-pocket education-related expenses. The average family income of our previous class of Cooke Young Scholars was approximately $25,000.
  • Persistence: Determination and perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles.
  • Leadership: Able to positively influence others and take initiative in various circumstances (family, community, school, church, etc.).
  • 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.

How and When To Apply

How do I Apply?

The Young Scholars Program application is entirely online. The link to the application will be available during the application period on this page.

When do I Apply?

The Young Scholars Program application is available to students only during their 7th grade year. The application opens in January and closes in March. The applications are reviewed April through August, and final notifications are made in early fall of the applicant’s 8th grade year.

Notify Me

Contact Us

The 2018 Young Scholars Program application is now closed. Semifinalist notifications were sent via email on April 26, 2018.

Please email scholarships@jkcf.org or call 800-941-3300 if you have questions.

FAQs

Am I eligible to apply?

To be eligible for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, the applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements: Grade level – Entering 8th grade in the fall of...

How many Cooke Young Scholars are selected?

In fall 2018, 50 Cooke Young Scholars will be selected for the 18th Cohort. The number of scholars each year varies.