Students Can Apply for Largest Community College Transfer Scholarship


LANSDOWNE, Va. – Outstanding community college students with financial need who want to transfer to four-year colleges or universities have until noon ET Oct. 25 to apply to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for an Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship worth up to $40,000 per year.

Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy announced the opening of the application period today for the largest private scholarship in the United States for community college transfer students.

“Community college should be a steppingstone to a bachelor’s degree for every academically qualified student who wants one,” Levy said. “Many community college students have proven themselves to be outstanding scholars and we want to help some of the most talented afford the costs of attending our nation’s finest colleges and universities.”

A review panel of university admissions professionals and faculty will judge scholarship applicants based on their achievements and academic ability, financial need, persistence, leadership and service to others. A total of 55 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarships will be awarded in the spring.

To be eligible for the scholarship a student must be attending community college or have graduated from a community college since 2012. A student must also have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.5 or better and demonstrate significant unmet financial need. In addition, scholarship applicants must plan to enroll in a full-time baccalaureate program at an accredited college or university in fall 2017.

Additional details of the application process are available at the foundation’s website.

More than 800 Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars have received nearly $33 million in scholarship assistance since 2002. A Cooke Foundation study found that the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars routinely do better at elite four-year institutions than many students who started as freshmen.

Community college students are more likely than students at four-year schools to come from families with low and moderate incomes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 50 percent of community college students had annual family incomes of less than $30,000 and 67 percent had family incomes of less than $50,000 in 2011-2012.

Cooke Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad, and opportunities to network with other Cooke Scholars and alumni. In addition, after earning a bachelor’s degree, Cooke Scholars are eligible to compete for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to $50,000 a year for up to four years.

Past recipients of the Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship have excelled and earned degrees from prestigious public and private higher education institutions including: the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Los Angeles; Cornell, Columbia, Brown, Yale, Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania in the Ivy League; and the University of Oxford.

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The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. It offers the largest scholarships in the U.S., comprehensive counseling and other support services to students from 8th grade to graduate school. Since 2000 it has awarded about $147 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 students and $90 million in grants to organizations that serve outstanding low-income students.

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