April Monthly Newsletter

Students gathering together in celebration.


As the world weathers this unprecedented crisis and uncertain time, we at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation remain steadfast in our mission to support exceptional students across the country. Our educational advisers have been working alongside our Cooke Scholars to navigate the sudden transition to remote learning and manage through all the unexpected personal impacts of a global pandemic. I remain amazed by the resilience and strength of our community.

Likewise, we also continue to celebrate the impressive achievements of today’s students. Earlier this month, we announced 50 new Cooke College Scholars who will receive up to $40,000 annually to cover all aspects of their undergraduate education, as they go on to attend some of the nation’s most selective colleges and universities next fall. As the norm these days, we welcomed them via Zoom — check out their reactions!

And Friday, we announced 50 new Cooke Transfer Scholars, who will receive up to $40,000 a year to complete their bachelor’s degrees. In addition to financial support, new Cooke Transfer Scholars will receive comprehensive educational advising from the Foundation to guide them through the process of transitioning to a four-year college and preparing for their careers.

We are pleased to welcome them to our community of staff, alumni, and scholars here at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Now more than ever, we are deeply inspired by these students’ unrelenting commitment to academic excellence, and could not be more proud to welcome them to the Cooke Scholar community.

As we embark on this period of great uncertainty, one lesson that I have always taken from our scholars is that even through great adversity, we have the strength to rise above the challenges and meet the demands of the moment. I am looking forward to getting to know this new class of scholars and share their stories as they continue on to success throughout their undergraduate education.

Seppy Basili


News for High-Achieving Students:

As schools across the country have transitioned to online education, many have struggled with getting students to attend online classes and keeping students engaged in remote learning. This week, The New York Times shared one teacher’s experience with attendance, writing, “even among his high-achieving students, participation could drop off as online learning becomes more of a daily grind for restless teenagers.”

In response to the great uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, many colleges and universities have switched from issuing letter grades to evaluating students on a “pass” or “fail” basis. As The Washington Post reports, these decisions have not been universally applauded, with many students preferring a letter grade system that rewards their hard work.

As states continue to divert funds to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, many cuts have been made to funding for state and local education programs. New interactive data provided in Education Week offers insight into how these budget cuts could impact your state.

Cooke Foundation Highlights:

Newly announced Cooke College Scholars were highlighted in The Daily News and Van Nuys News Press on their accomplishments.

Several schools spotlighted their newly named Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars, including Seminole State College and Miami Dade College.

What We’re Reading:

The Chronicle of Higher Education – Here’s a List of Colleges’ Plans for Reopening in the Fall (4/24/20)

The Columbia Daily Herald – College students want to change how they’re graded as coronavirus pandemic disrupts everything (4/2/20)

The 74 Million – Every Minute Counts — I Sat In on Some Classes at Success Academy’s Virtual School. Here’s What I Saw (4/6/20).

Where We’ll Be:

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is not traveling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are looking forward to connecting with you at a safer time.

P.S.: We’re transitioning our Cooke Chronicle to a monthly update – and welcome your feedback!