College Access Ideas from Students, Researchers, and Advocates

January 24, 2019 – Here’s what we’re reading this week about the issues affecting high-achieving students. Advocates share program models and guidelines to advance equity in K-12, and higher ed examines college affordability and outcomes.

Do you know an academically talented 7th grader? Encourage them to apply for the Cooke Young Scholars Program, a selective pre-college scholarship that offers educational support to exceptionally promising students from across the nation. Cooke Young Scholars receive comprehensive advising and scholarship support from 8th grade until high school graduation. The application deadline is March 23, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

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Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • Researchers outline the steps to developing family engagement workshops in ASCD Inservice. The guidelines can be used as “a first step toward meeting the needs of underrepresented students, leading to closing the excellence gap.”
  • The National College Access Network (NCAN) recommends adding advisory periods to students’ school schedules, which can be used to provide college planning support.


Higher Education:

  • A new working paper by researchers at Washington State University and Bates College finds a connection between access to community colleges and better health and income outcomes. The study analyzed in Education Dive shows that access to community colleges increases the likelihood that a student will graduate from high school and college.
  • In EdSurge, New York University professor Caitlin Zaloom explains the financial strain that many families experience when paying for college: “giving children that opportunity requires oftentimes putting money toward college or university that parents themselves might otherwise put toward their own retirement, their own futures.”


Student Voices:

  • A student at Cornell expresses her struggles with constantly struggling for perfection, in a column in The Cornell Daily Sun.
  • The Williams Record shares how Cooke Scholar Lara Meintjes and her husband, both community college graduates, decided to apply to Williams College after being named Cooke Transfer Scholar Semifinalists last year.
  • In The Seattle Times, Mysti Willmon makes the case for providing dual enrollment courses at no cost to high school students.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • Meet the 2020 Cooke Transfer Scholar Semifinalists! These 456 high-achieving community college students are preparing to transfer to some of the best four-year institutions in the country and complete their bachelor’s degrees. Scholarship recipients will be announced in April.
  • Cooke Scholar Peter Dugan is named host of From the Top, America’s largest platform celebrating the voices and talents of America’s brightest young classical musicians. “Peter’s consummate musical skill, genuine curiosity, and natural rapport with From the Top’s young musicians make him a perfect fit,” said Gretchen Nielsen, From the Top’s Executive Director.
  • The Biscayne Bay Tribune celebrates high school senior Wooldjina Present, a new recipient of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.


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Photo header: Cooke Scholar Shaun Zhang shares advice for college and career with new scholarship recipients at Scholars Weekend 2019.