Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

a teacher helping two girls at a computer


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation (JKCF) is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, in-depth academic counseling, and other direct services, the foundation seeks to help high-performing, low-income students to develop their talents and excel educationally. In addition to providing students with both counseling and financial support from middle school to graduate school, the foundation also provides grants for noteworthy and innovative initiatives that support their mission.

Founded in 2000, JKCF has awarded $190 million in scholarships to nearly 2,500 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. JKCF has also provided over $100 million in grants to organizations that serve their student base. Duke TIP is proud to be their partner in three major initiatives—JKCF’s Young Scholars Program, TIP’s Project Launch, and JKCF’s College Scholarship Program.

Young Scholars Program

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, a selective precollege scholarship, seeks high-performing seventh grade students with financial need. The program cultivates scholars' talents and abilities throughout high school by providing individualized academic advising, financial support, and a pathway to the foundation's $40,000-per-year college scholarship. View our Scholarships section to learn more and visit the JKCF site to apply. 

Project Launch

Thanks to a major grant by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Duke TIP is able to enroll even more high-ability, low-income students in our renowned academic programming though a special initiative called Project Launch. At no cost to their families, Project Launch engages academically talented, low-wealth students in a variety of academic activities, including

  • TIP’s CRISIS summer program and eInvestigators online program,
  • above-grade-level testing to better evaluate each student’s academic strengths,
  • a book club, and
  • special email notifications to parents that help them advocate for and support their children. 

This pilot program is contributing to an empirical understanding of how academic support services can most strongly influence a high-potential, low-income student’s academic success. The program evaluates the relative and cumulative impacts of various academic interventions and tracks whether combinations of services can provide greater benefits for these students compared to individual interventions alone. Information gathered from the program will be used to strengthen the services and programs that both the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Duke TIP offer to low-income students. This data also has the potential to inform lawmakers and educators on better educational policies.

College Scholarship Program

Each year, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation seeks high-achieving high school seniors with financial need for its College Scholarship Program, the largest undergraduate scholarship in the nation. Selected students receive college planning support, ongoing advising, and up to $40,000 per year to attend a four-year accredited undergraduate institution. View our Scholarships section to learn more and visit the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation website to apply. The application typically opens in late September and closes at the end of November each year.