Prestigious Cooke Young Scholars Program Now Accepting Applications Through March

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation offers scholarships for talented middle school students, setting them up for success in college

Lansdowne, VA – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced today that the application for its 2020 Young Scholars Program is now open. This competitive scholarship provides high-achieving students with comprehensive educational advising from 8th through 12th grade, as well as financial support for both academic and extracurricular opportunities, including summer programming, internships, and music and arts classes.

“There are so many students across the country who have the talent and ambition to be incredibly successful, but are unnecessarily inhibited from an early age due to financial need,” said Executive Director Seppy Basili. “The Cooke Young Scholars Program helps ensure that our most talented students are given access to the advising, academic, and college preparation opportunities that will enable them to thrive at selective colleges and universities.”

Every year, about 50 Cooke Young Scholars who demonstrate curiosity, passion, and drive are chosen from a pool of over 2,000 applicants. Scholars and their families work with one of the Foundation’s educational advisers to create an individualized learning plan (ILP) and engage in community-building program experiences with their cohort. Among these experiences is a three-week residential program for 9th graders on a university campus, where students take advanced courses in an area of their choosing and collaborate with their peers to develop a plan for a nonprofit around their common interests.

After high school, 98 percent of Cooke Young Scholars enroll in a four-year college or university, with 78 percent attending a most or highly competitive college or university.

To be eligible for the Young Scholars Program, an applicant will:

  • Be entering 8th grade in the fall of 2020 (currently in the 7th grade).
  • Have earned grades of mostly A’s since the sixth grade, with no C’s or below in core academic subjects (English/language arts, math, science, social studies/history, foreign language).
  • Share the most recent score report from their state’s standardized testing.
  • Demonstrate unmet financial need. We will consider applicants with family income up to $95,000. Last year’s cohort of new Cooke Young Scholars had a median family income of approximately $43,000.
  • Reside in the United States or a U.S. territory and plan to attend high school in the United States.

The application deadline is March 23, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST. Learn more about the scholarship program or apply now:

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The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over $200 million in scholarships to over 2,700 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $110 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

Media Contact: Amber Styles, 571-442-0772,


Photo: 2019 Cooke Young Scholars meet their fellow cohort members in person at Welcome Weekend.