Summer 2020 Newsletter

Photo of Cooke alumni celebrating at Scholars Weekend 2019 in Lansdowne, VA.

July 28, 2020Receive the Cooke Chronicle in your inbox: Subscribe here.

At the Cooke Foundation, our team has been busy engaging with our 1,000 Cooke Scholars as they make plans to return to their studies in the fall.

To give you an indication of some of the challenges, we have heard:

  • A higher number of new and returning Cooke Scholars are considering a year off — or a gap year. One rising junior is trying to launch a new business venture with some classmates, and another simply prefers to wait to begin her freshman year – she hopes by sitting out a year that she will have the full college experience.
  • Housing is an issue. One East Coast rising junior, who attends a college on the West Coast, is concerned about the time difference and being three hours ahead. He hopes to move to an off-campus apartment with friends in order to be in the same time zone.
  • Some campus health care plans consider students who are at home as being “out of network” – creating challenges for our scholars who need medical care while attending school remotely.
  • Technology needs continue to affect students at all levels. A few scholars have been relying on free internet service or other free programs that have recently ended.
  • Finally, many families and scholar circumstances have changed with economic upheaval from COVID-19 affecting the ability for them to meet the required student and/or family contribution.
  • Nearly 300 Cooke Scholars are in Grades 8 – 12 — and their schools and districts have all the same struggles. School plans are changing daily – and many high school students will start the next school year in virtual classes.

Below in the What We’re Reading section are articles that capture these challenges and shed light on the process various schools have used to guide them to these decisions.

Warm regards,
Seppy Basili


Born out of the COVID-19 global pandemic, The College Crisis Initiative (C2i) is an initiative of Davidson College to learn how colleges and universities innovate in a crisis mindset. The C2i COVID-19 Dashboard provides up-to-date information on how postsecondary institutions are responding to the pandemic.

Rebecca Chabrow created a virtual college tours spreadsheet with assistance from CollegeWise.

Foundation Highlights:

Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, chancellor of the City University of New York highlighted three Cooke Scholars in his op-ed in The 74 Million celebrating the 2020 class of CUNY graduates.

Cooke College scholar Kyle Lambert was highlighted in Scouting Magazine after being accepted into six of eight Ivy League universities. Throughout the article, Kyle shares stories from his experience as an Eagle Scout, and discusses how this program helped him build a strong network that led him to success.

NPR – Here’s How Back To School Might Look In The New Normal (7/27/20)

What We’re Reading:

Diverse Issues in Higher Education – Georgetown U Reduces Tuition for Undergraduates ‘Not Invited Back to Campus’ in Fall (7/22/20)

Forbes – Harvard Will Hold All Undergraduate Classes Online This Fall And Invite Only 40% Of Students To Campus (7/6/20)

Princeton University – Princeton moves to one application deadline for the 2020-21 first-year admission cycle (6/18/20)