Prestigious Cooke Young Scholars Program Application Now Open Through March

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation provides scholarships and comprehensive advising for rising 8th graders to set them up for college success 

Lansdowne, VA – On Monday, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation announced the opening of the application for its 2021 Young Scholars Program. This competitive scholarship provides financial support for academic and extracurricular activities, as well as comprehensive educational advising, to high-achieving 8th to 12th grade students with financial need.  

“The global health crisis has created unprecedented challenges for students and families this year, and we are committed to ensuring that promising young people stay on the pathway to college in the midst of these uncertain times,” said Executive Director Seppy Basili. “Through the Cooke Young Scholars Program, we’re able to provide educational opportunities, advising, and a thriving community of peers to help students access the programs and institutions that can enable them to develop their talents and ultimately accomplish incredible things.” 

The program accepts about 50 Cooke Young Scholars who demonstrate curiosity, passion, and drive out of over 2,000 applicants each year. Scholars are paired with a Cooke Foundation educational adviser, who works with the family to create an individualized learning plan (ILP). Scholars also engage in community-building program experiences with their cohort, including First Summer, a three-week project-based program for 9th graders during which Scholars take advanced courses in an area of their choosing and collaborate with their peers to develop a plan for a nonprofit around their common interests. 

After graduating high school, 95 percent of Young Scholars go on to attend a four-year university, and have an average cumulative high school GPA of 3.5. 

Eligible applicants will: 

-Be current 7th graders, entering 8th grade in the fall of 2021. 

-Have earned grades of mostly A’s since the sixth grade, with no C’s or below in core academic subjects (English/language arts, math, science, social studies/history, foreign language). 

– Demonstrate unmet financial need. We will consider applicants with family income up to $95,000. Last year’s cohort of Cooke Young Scholars had a median family income of approximately $38,000. 

– Reside in the United States or a U.S. territory and plan to attend high school in the United States. 

The application deadline is March 22, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. in your local time zone. Learn more about the scholarship program or apply now: 


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. 


Media Contact: Julia Nelson, 571-799-8067,