How to Submit a Successful Young Scholars Application to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program is a selective 5-year pre-college scholarship for exceptionally talented 7th grade students with financial need. It provides comprehensive academic and college advising, as well as financial support for school, Cooke-sponsored summer programs, internships, and other learning enrichment opportunities. 

Each Cooke Young Scholar is assigned an on-staff educational adviser who works closely with the student and their family, individually and as part of a Scholar community. Educational advisers support Cooke Young Scholars to maximize high school experiences and go on to thrive at the nation’s top-performing colleges. 

The most important thing to remember about your application is to submit it before the deadline on March 22, 2021. Here are some more tips for submitting your application: 


1. Watch a webinar about the program 

Cooke Foundation staff host webinars throughout the application period to highlight program details, offer firsthand experience about the adviser-Scholar relationship, and answer questions. Click here to view a recording of the latest webinar and stay updated about future webinars by following @TheJKCF on Twitter. 


2. Brush up on FAQs and other resources on the website 

To understand what it means to be a Cooke Young Scholar, and the opportunities and support it can provide, make sure you review the Program Flyereligibility information, and Frequently Asked Questions. You can even find a panel discussion with former Young Scholars, and program documents in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Haitian Creole for families that speak those languages at home.  

Having a strong understanding of program requirements and what will be expected of you and your family if you are selected as a Cooke Young Scholar will help you submit the strongest application possible. 


3. Use the essay section to tell your story. What makes you unique? 

A major part of submitting a successful Young Scholars application is using the essay section to tell your unique story. What sets you apart from other students? What are your personal interests and strengths? Free online resources like Story2 and can help you develop your essay responses into vivid snapshots of who you are.  

Some important things to keep in mind when writing your application essays are: 

-Who is your audience (us!)? What do you want the selection committee to know about you, and why are you applying to the Young Scholars Program? 

-Be authentic and trust your inner voice. We want to hear about the real you. 

-Start with a compelling introduction. Application readers want to be captivated by interesting anecdotes or memorable information about you, so make sure you grab their attention.  

-Ask a parent or teacher to proofread your work. Someone who hasn’t read your essays before will be able to catch typos, grammar mistakes, and identify areas that could use improvement. 



If you have any questions about submitting your Young Scholars application, email 

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 $222 million in scholarships to over 2,800 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive educational advising and other support services. The Foundation has also provided $115 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.