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Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarships

Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, comprehensive counseling, and other support services to students from grade 7 to graduate school, the Cooke Foundation is dedicated to ensuring high-performing, low-income students have the support necessary to develop their talents and excel educationally.

In addition to its scholarship programs, the Cooke Foundation provides grants to organizations like CTD for innovative, high-impact initiatives that benefit such students. By doing so, the Cooke Foundation seeks to use its resources to end the Excellence Gapthe disparity between the number of low and high income students who reach the top levels of academic performance. Founded in 2000, the Cooke Foundation has awarded over $200 million in scholarships and over $110 million in grants.

CTD is proud to work with the Cooke Foundation in supporting its prestigious Young Scholars and College Scholarship Programs and in nurturing exceptional talent.

Young Scholars Program

The Young Scholars Program, a selective five-year pre-college scholarship for high-performing middle school students with financial need, is the largest scholarship of its kind in the nation. It provides individualized academic advising, financial support, and a pathway to the foundation’s $40,000 per year College Scholarship. The Cooke Foundation assigns each Young Scholar an on-staff educational adviser who works closely with the student and their family to guide them and oversee the educational opportunities the Cooke Foundation provides throughout high school. The application period is open from February 7, 2022 to May 9, 2022. Visit the Cooke Foundation’s Young Scholars page for information on opportunities for students currently in grade 7.

Participate in an Informational Webinar with Tammie Stewart.

College Scholarship Program 

The College Scholarship Program is the largest undergraduate scholarship program available to high- achieving high school seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. College Scholars receive up to $40,000 per year, college planning support, ongoing advising, and the opportunity to network with the larger Cooke Scholar community. The application period is open from September to November. Visit the Cooke Foundation’s College scholars page for information on opportunities for students currently in grade 12.

Outreach Grant to CTD

With generous financial support from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Center for Talent Development is working collaboratively with select schools in Chicago, Evanston, and other cities throughout the Midwest to meet the needs of high-achieving students with financial need. Students eligible for grant support have the opportunity to participate in above-grade-level testing and CTD summer, weekend, and online programs. Specifically, the grant helps CTD do the following:

  • Offer Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) fee waivers to qualified students in grades 3 through 7.
  • Increase the number of low-income students who are served in advanced academic programs.
  • Build substantial, enduring connections among schools, families, and CTD staff. CTD staff work closely with educators and administrators to identify students, conduct workshops for parents and educators, and assist families with program and scholarship applications. 
young children reading books on a classroom floor
Talent Development Is A Journey

Our Pathways Approach

No student is born with a set destination, and talent development takes many forms. We know that talents, passions, and goals are discovered through exploration, challenge, dedication, and mentorship. When a student finds their desired path, Center for Talent Development (CTD) is there to provide guidance and support.

Explore CTD's Talent Development Pathways

Questions? please contact Tammie Stewart, CTD’s community outreach manager.

Tammie Stewart is happy to advise families and walk them through the application process. Fill out the form using the link below or e-mail her at

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