Advancing the education of promising students


Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship is available to high-achievers

By Savannah Platukas
Staff Writer

The cost of college increases every year, and while there are many ways to pay for it, the majority of students need to either take out student loans or get scholarships. There are countless organizations like Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation and the Dell Scholars Program willing to give scholarships to struggling students, granted that they are devoted to their classwork. The Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship (JKC) Foundation has aided students for 14 years and has awarded over $125 million in scholarships to 1,800 students.

This image, and the featured image were found on Google/the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation blog.
This image, and the featured image were found on Google/the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation blog.

One of their most prestigious scholarships is the JKC Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. The scholarship grants up to $40,000 annually to 85 exceptional scholars. A scholarship of that stature comes with highly selective qualifications. Applicants must be enrolled at an accredited US community college or two-year institution. The students must be sophomore status or have graduated from the community college in the last five years. Students must also obtain an un-weighted cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher and plan to transfer to a four-year college or university to continue with their bachelor’s in the coming fall. Most importantly, students should be active in their school as well as their community and have heavy financial burdens.

The application requires information of both academic and financial status, as well as two recommendations from professors at school. Student financial forms, including their latest Federal Tax Return, must be submitted. If the applicant is younger than 30, parental financial forms must also be submitted, along with their latest Federal Tax Return. The scholarship has no age restriction, however previous enrollment in a four-year undergraduate school disqualifies the applicant.

The 2015 application deadline is Tuesday, December 2, the online application must be completed before parent financial forms and recommendations forms are sent, therefore the parent financial forms and recommendations are not due until Tuesday, December 9.

The foundation is looking for students who stand apart from the crowd and show unprecedented academic promise. Schoolcraft College has been a host to four recipients of the JKC Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. Matthew Cornett was the first student at Schoolcraft to receive the scholarship in 2011. Usha Kadiyala won two years later in 2013. Earlier this year two students, Maria Cielito and Jonathan Kris, were awarded the scholarship. Cornett was a member of Phi Theta Kappa and the other three were members of the Schoolcraft Scholars Honors Program.

Deborah Taracuk, head of the Honors Program, said the scholarship was only the beginning. “The amazing thing is that they are just getting started—imagine what else they will achieve in the future!”

Kadiyala, the 2013 recipient, was profoundly involved on campus. She a student employee and a member of Student Ambassadors, Phi Theta Kappa, Math and Physics Club, Schoolcraft International Institute, University Bound Program, worked for “The Connection” and logged over 904 community service hours in the Honors Program.

Cielito, who won earlier this year, was also heavily involved; she tutored and mentored students, started and organized the food pantry at Schoolcraft’s Radcliff Center, worked on “The Connection” and was a student employee as well.

Using their respective scholarships, Kadiyala transferred to the University of Michigan-Dearborn and Cielito to Cornell University. Cielito encourages other’s to get involved and apply, no matter how esteemed the scholarship is. “I’ve come to learn the best way to approach life is not to believe any statistics,” she said, and continued to say, “Use your resources at Schoolcraft and your possibilities are endless!”

If one is willing to put in the time, the JKC Foundation is willing to help in any way they can. The Foundation, established from the fortune left by Jack Kent Cooke, a wealthy Canadian-born entrepreneur who owned several media branches, properties and sports teams, before his death in 1997, is dedicated to supporting low-income students reach beyond their goals and challenges them to succeed, as one of Cooke’s biggest regrets in life was that he did not have the means necessary to attend college earlier in his life. In addition to the Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the JKC Foundation offers the College Scholarship Program and for middle school and high school students it offers the Young Scholars Program. For more detailed information about the application process and other scholarships offered by the foundation visit http://