Nation’s Largest College Scholarship Now Accepting Applications

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LANSDOWNE, Va. – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation today announced that it is accepting applications for its College Scholarship Program, the largest undergraduate scholarship in the nation, through November 14. Students selected as Cooke Scholars receive up to $40,000 per year for four years of study, as well as opportunities for internships, study abroad, and graduate school funding.

Cooke Scholarships are available to high-achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. The foundation selects approximately 70 recipients based on their exceptional academic ability and achievement, financial need, persistence, service to others, and leadership.

“Concerns about college costs discourage more than a third of high-achieving, low-income students from applying to any college. This is especially worrisome given these students stand to reach such great heights of achievement,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director and Former New York City Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy. “Our scholarship program makes it possible for extraordinary students who have financial need to meet their potential, providing not only monetary support but access to a rich and supportive network of advisers and mentors to guide them throughout their postsecondary experience.”

Cooke Scholarships are designed to cover a significant share of students’ educational expenses, including tuition, living expenses, books, and required fees. In addition to the funding, Cooke Scholars receive robust support from a team of educational advisers who provide guidance on academic planning, supplemental learning opportunities, and postsecondary pathways.

Applicants must have a cumulative unweighted GPA of 3.5 or above, and receive an SAT combined critical reading and math score of 1200 or above and/or an ACT composite score of 26 or above. Students must be currently attending a U.S. high school at the time they submit their applications.

The foundation has a longstanding partnership with the College Board to increase opportunities for students with financial need. Millions of students take the PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 tests annually. In recent years, up to a third of College Scholarship Program recipients were discovered through their PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10 scores.

The Cooke Foundation anticipates that a majority of scholarship recipients will be eligible to receive a federal Pell Grant for low-income students. The average family income of Cooke Foundation College Scholars selected this past year was $33,816.

Since 2006, the Cooke Foundation has awarded $29 million in scholarship funding to Cooke College Scholars. Scholarship recipients join a growing and supportive community of active scholars and alumni around the country, which now totals more than 2,300 students and graduates.

Further details about the Cooke College Scholarship Program are available here.

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The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded $175 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also provided over $97 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

Media Contact: Amber Styles, 703-723-5647,