Cooke Foundation Joins Equal Opportunity Schools $100 Million Initiative to Enroll 100,000 Low-Income Students in AP/IB Classes

LANSDOWNE, VA – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation today announces a partnership with Equal Opportunity Schools (EOS) to ensure low-income students and students of color reach advanced levels of academic achievement. Together with partners the College Board, Google, Tableau Software, Inc., and the International Baccalaureate Organization and the support of the White House’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, the Cooke Foundation pledges $1.5 million for EOS’ efforts to identify and place 100,000 low-income students and students of color in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses across the country.

“This ambitious initiative will show on a national scale that high-ability, low-income students can and will succeed in advanced academics when given equitable access,” said Harold Levy, the Cooke Foundation’s executive director.

EOS, a foundation grantee since 2012, partners with high schools to identify students missing from the most rigorous classes, enrolls those students in AP and IB courses, and supports those students in challenging work. The Cooke Foundation’s start-up grants enabled EOS to engage more than 2,000 low-income students who had previously been overlooked for reasons related to income or race in AP or IB courses.

“Plain and simple, we want to close the Excellence Gap, and we need advanced learning opportunities for bright, low-income students if we are going to do so,” said Levy. “As the largest and most targeted effort ever to ensure low-income students and students of color are part of advanced academic classes, the decision to make this investment was obvious.”

The Cooke Foundation makes strategic investments to close the Excellence Gap, the disparity between the number of lower and higher income students who reach advanced levels of academic performance. More information about the Excellence Gap can be found at

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, comprehensive counseling and other support services to students from 7th grade to graduate school, the Foundation is dedicated to ensuring high-performing, low-income students have the support necessary to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to its scholarship programs, the Foundation provides grants for innovative, high-impact initiatives that benefit such students. By doing so, the Cooke Foundation seeks to use its resources to end the Excellence Gap, the disparity between the number of low and high income students who reach the top levels of academic performance. Founded in 2000, the Foundation has awarded $130 million in scholarships to 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants.