Student Engagement & College Prices

Cooke Scholars at Scholars Weekend 2015.

November 16, 2018 – Here’s our weekly roundup of education news you may have missed. Rural communities share strategies for engaging advanced learners in K-12. College affordability and access are examined in coverage about institutional discounting, year-round Pell (YRP), and state higher education funding.

Receive the Cooke Chronicle each week in your inbox: Subscribe here. Following a brief break for Thanksgiving, our next newsletter will publish on November 30.

High-achieving high school seniors have until Tuesday, November 20, 2018 to apply for the Cooke College Scholarship Program. The Foundation is also accepting applications for the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship from high-achieving community college students preparing to transfer to a four-year institution. Both programs provide up to $40,000 per year, as well as ongoing advising and access to the thriving Cooke Scholar community.


Elementary & Secondary Education:

  • “Sometimes, the only thing harder for Shanda Sinnett than finding academically bright students in her rural Virginia schools is figuring out how to keep them engaged in their communities as they grow,” reports Education Week. A video accompanying the article explores how rural educators can ‘hook’ gifted students.
  • The 74 states that some states are “falling short” on promoting equity in improvement plans mandated by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Higher Education:

  • The Hechinger Report shares findings from a new study: “students who befriended studious peers spent more hours studying themselves and posted higher grades during their freshman year.”
  • “I am disappointed to see that there are less than 20 percent of the people who are eligible actually using the year-round Pell,” says Dr. Vivian Liu of the Community College Research Center (CCRC). Dr. Liu speaks to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education about strategies for encouraging more students to utilize YRP for summer enrollment.
  • Nearly one in five institutions discount their first-year tuition rates by 60 percent or more, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article expresses concern from some experts about the practice of discounting, which “can also undermine a college’s efforts to enroll low-income and minority students, they say, because such students are often scared off by the full advertised tuition, commonly known as the sticker price.”
  • “While states are, in general, cutting funding to all public colleges, selective public institutions are more than making up for the loss in revenue by increasing tuition,” states Community College Daily about a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. The report outlines how this policy creates a financial barriers for students.


Cooke Foundation Highlights:

  • We are excited to invest in Better Future Forward‘s efforts to use income share agreements (ISAs) to accelerate economic mobility and expand educational equity for students in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and nationwide. ImpactAlpha shares additional details about the announcement.
  • Cooke Scholar Emily Zaretzky shares tips for building an affordable, professional wardrobe. In addition to studying user experience design at Purdue University, Emily looks for internships and side projects that allow her to utilize and grow her skill set.
  • Two students share how they’re working toward their goals with the support of our scholarship programs and the Cooke Scholar community! Meet Zsombor Gal, a freshman at Princeton University who studies molecular biology and plans to become a neurosurgeon. Heber Bibang recently transferred from community college to Texas Tech University, where he’s focused on creating sustainable energy solutions.


Social Media Spotlight:

Photo header: Cooke Scholars meet at Scholars Weekend 2015 in Lansdowne, VA.