Fellowships Office { Advising Center }

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Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Award

Please consult the program website to confirm program details, including applicable deadlines.

Program Website

Program Purpose

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award aims to recognize and reward America's promising up-and-coming artists from lower-income backgrounds with the nation's leading graduate scholarships in the visual arts, performing arts, and creative writing.

Program Description

The Foundation's Graduate Arts Award enables students or recent alumni with exceptional artistic or creative promise and significant financial need to pursue up to three years of study at an accredited graduate institution in the U.S. or abroad. Each year, the Foundation selects from a national pool of approximately 200 nominees, approximately 10 recipients for this award.

Supported Fields

Applicant must plan to attend a full-time graduate degree program in the fields of visual arts, performing arts, or creative writing. This degree program must lead to the applicant's first graduate or professional degree.


Each award will fund a portion of educational costs, including tuition, room and board, books, and other required fees for the normal period of time required to complete the graduate degree program, up to three years. The amount and duration of awards vary by student, based on the cost of attendance and the length of the program, as well as other scholarships or grants received. The maximum annual award per student is $50,000. Most awards are for less than $50,000 per year.

Applicant Profile

There are no age or nationality restrictions associated with this program.

Selection Criteria

A review panel of distinguished artists, arts faculty, and university administrators select Scholars using criteria including artistic or creative merit, academic achievement, financial need, will to succeed, and a breadth of interest and activities. While the Foundation considers artistic and creative merit first in evaluating candidates, competitive applicants must also demonstrate unmet financial need, which has two components: (1) education costs that are appreciably greater than the total amount of other scholarships or grant awards; (2) insufficient student and family income to meet educational costs.

Application Process

Students may not apply directly to the Foundation. Instead, students interested in applying to the program must be nominated by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Representative at their university. At S.F. State, the Foundation Representative is Dr. Joy Viveros (fellows1@sfsu.edu). S.F. State University may nominate up to two students or recent alumni to be considered for the Graduate Arts Award.

Applications are invited in two stages.

In Phase One, upload a short application, a portfolio, financial information to determine eligibility for the award, and one online recommendation. At this sage, applicants are encouraged, but not required, to work with SF State's Fellowships Office.

Phase Two: The Foundation selects finalists in mid-January, and they will be invited to seek their university's nomination and upload a complete application by the national deadline, usually in February.
Finalists must submit to the Fellowships Office a complete application by the SF State campus deadline (see below for this year's date).

Official transcripts must be provided for every institution attended, including during a study abroad period. Transcripts in another language must be 'officially translated' into English.

The Foundation seeks to support only those applicants who, in addition to showing significant promise in their field, have great and longstanding financial need. All applicants, under thirty must submit their parents' financial information (tax returns).


Graduating senior or "recent" alumnus/alumna (graduated within the past five years), with a GPA of 3.2 or better, and demonstrated unmet financial need to finance the graduate program he or she will begin in the upcoming Fall Semester.


U.S. and international students may apply, so long as the applicant has attended and been nominated by an accredited U.S. institution.


In Phase One, usually in mid-November, applicants may apply directly to the Foundation. In this phase, applicants submit a portfolio, fill out a short application, provide financial information to determine eligibility for the award, and submit one online recommendation. Although applicants are not required to work with the Fellowships Office in this phase, they are strongly encouraged to do so. 2013 Phase One deadline: November 28, 2013.

Campus Deadline

Phase Two: Finalists must seek University Nomination by submitting a complete application to S.F. State's Fellowship Advisor, ADM 211, by Noon on January 30, 2014.

How To Apply



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