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2018 Young Scholars Program

Academic Enrichment and Scholarship Program
for USA High-Performing Middle School Students

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Deadline Date:

03/21/18 12:00 PM Noon EST


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Academic guidance and scholarship program for USA and territories high-performing middle school students with financial need. Funding is intended to help students achieve their academic potential by providing funds for tuition and summer programs, computer equipment, arts and music lessons, and study abroad programs.

The Young Scholars Program is a national scholarship with students representing every region and attending school in rural, urban and suburban communities. Selection criteria focus on academic achievement, persistence, leadership, and service to others. The application review process includes analysis of grades, test scores, student and parent writing, recommendations from teachers, and family financial need.

Programming and support may include:
- Identifying an appropriately rigorous high school
- Engaging in four-year planning and goal-setting
- Funding for academic and extracurricular opportunities, such as music and art lessons, supplemental academic classes, and technology
- Annual summer programs, including two required Young Scholar summer programs
- Year-round Young Scholar community programming
- Networking opportunities with a high-achieving peer community
- Special consideration for a Cooke College Scholarship for up to $40,000 per year

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation reviews each Young Scholars Program application individually with the assistance of a panel of national education experts. Among the criteria used in the selection process are:

- High academic ability and achievement: Strong academic record, academic awards and honors, and substantive assessments by educators providing confidential recommendations. Considerations include grades (typically mostly A's), achievement test scores, participation in available honors or advanced courses, commitment to learning, and work ethic.
- Unmet financial need: Limited family income and insufficient funds to cover significant out-of-pocket education-related expenses. The average family income of the previous class of Cooke Young Scholars was approximately $25,000.
- Persistence: Determination and perseverance in the face of challenges, ability to set and remain focused on goals and to put in the effort needed to meet those goals in the face of obstacles.
Leadership: Able to positively influence others and take initiative in various circumstances (family, community, school, church, etc.).
Service to others: Purposeful and meaningful commitment to others which may be evidenced by participation in volunteer/community service activities.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180069

Number of Grants:

The Foundation selects up to 50 Young Scholars per year.

Term of Contract:

The Young Scholars Program is a 5-year pre-college program.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, the applicant must meet the following eligibility requirements:

- Grade level: Entering 8th grade in the fall of 2018.
- Academics: Since the beginning of 6th grade, have earned grades of all or mostly A's in school with no C's or below in core academic subjects (English/language arts, math, science, social studies/history).
- Testing: The official score report from the applicant’s state standardized testing. If the applicant has taken the SAT or ACT through a regional talent center, they should also submit those score reports.
- Income: Family income does not exceed $95,000. The average family income of entering Cooke Young Scholars is approximately $25,000. In recent years nearly all Cooke Young Scholars have come from families with incomes below $60,000.
- Location: Reside in the U.S. or a U.S. territory and plan to attend high school in the U.S.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Young Scholars Program
Information Session & Application Guide for Students and Families

Attend an online webinar in which they explain in further detail the Young Scholars Program’s eligibility requirements, selection criteria and key dates. They will also answer any questions you have about the process and the program. Parents, guardians, and students are especially encouraged to attend to learn about best practices and tips for the application process.

Watch a recording:

Young Scholars Program
Information Session for School Faculty & Staff

Learn more about the Young Scholars Program, a unique 5 year, pre-college program available to high-achieving 7th grade students with financial need. In this online webinar for educators, the Young Scholars Program’s eligibility requirements, selection criteria and key dates will be explained in further detail. They will also answer any questions you have about the process and the program.

Watch a recording:

Young Scholars Program
El Seminario web del Programa Young Scholars (en Español)

El Programa Young Scholars de la Fundación Jack Kent Cooke se diseñó para ofrecer apoyo a estudiantes excepcionales que demostraron, a través de la excelencia académica y actividades extracurriculares, tener el potencial para destacarse. Los estudiantes solicitan participar en el programa cuando están en 7.º grado, ingresan en 8.º grado y continúan con el programa durante toda la educación secundaria.

Vea el video:

Pre-Application Information:

All materials must be submitted before the deadline on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. (noon) EST.

The Young Scholars Program application is available to students only during their 7th grade year. The application opens in January and closes in March. The applications are reviewed April through August, and final notifications are made in early fall of the applicant’s 8th grade year.

Application Instructions:


Información en Español:

College Ranking are available at:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Direct application inquiries to:

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
44325 Woodridge Parkway
Lansdowne, VA 20176

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming