The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is now accepting nominations for its Graduate Scholarship Program, one of the largest and most competitive scholarship programs in the country.

College seniors at more than 2,000 accredited institutions in America, and alumni who have graduated from those institutions since spring 2003, may compete for the scholarships, which can total as much as $300,000 (up to $50,000 per year for up to six years).

The foundation will award the graduate scholarships in early summer 2008 for use during the 2008-2009 academic year, and will renew each award in subsequent years based on performance. Last year, the foundation awarded 34 of these scholarships. Candidates for the scholarship must be nominated by the faculty representative at their undergraduate institution. At St. Mary’s the faculty representative is Henry Flores, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate School.

The foundation began awarding graduate scholarships in 2001. The foundation receives approximately 1,000 applications for these scholarships each year, and has awarded 320 recipients scholarships and given out $27 million to-date.

The foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. In addition to the Graduate Scholarship Program, the foundation offers full scholarships to outstanding students with financial need who are transferring from two-year institutions to four-year institutions to pursue a bachelor’s degree, scholarships to help high achieving youth develop their talents and abilities throughout high school, and grants programs in areas directly related to its mission.

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