The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation was established to enable students and recent alumni with exceptional promise to pursue graduate study in the U.S. or abroad. The JKC Graduate Arts Award offers 15 scholarships annually of up to $50,000 per year to especially talented artists from low-income backgrounds to pursue a graduate degree in the visual arts, performing arts, or creative writing.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must have senior standing or have graduated from an accredited four-year U.S. college or university within the past five years

  • Must have a nomination from their undergraduate institution

  • Must have a cumulative undergraduate grade-point average of 3.2 or better on a scale of 4.0 (or the equivalent)

  • Must have demonstrated unmet financial need

  • Must have a bachelor’s degree by the start of the Fall 2014 semester

  • Must be planning to begin their first graduate degree program in the performing arts, visual arts, or creative writing at an accredited college or university in the Fall of 2014

While the Foundation considers artistic and creative merit first in evaluating candidates, competitive applicants must also demonstrate unmet financial need, which has two components:

  • Education costs that are appreciably greater than the total amount of other scholarships or grant awards
  • Insufficient student and family income to meet educational costs

Eligible fields of study are:

  • Fine Arts
  • Art
  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Design
  • Drama, Theater Arts
  • Music
  • Radio, TV, Film

General Information

The Jack Kent Cooke 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. The award provides funding for tuition, room and board, required fees, and books. Scholarships amount vary based on several factors, including costs at the institution each recipient attends and other grants and scholarships the student receives.

The Foundation’s Graduate Arts Award review panel, comprising distinguished artists, arts faculty, and university administrators, rigorously evaluates each application using criteria including artistic or creative merit, academic achievement, financial need, will to succeed, and a breadth of interest and activities to identify exceptional individuals who not only have exceptional artistic or creative promise, but also demonstrate academic achievement and the will to succeed in their chosen fields.

Application Instructions

UM students and alumni seeking nomination for the Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Arts Fellowship must complete and submit Phase 1 of the application on-line at by the November 2014 deadline.  Students selected for Phase 2 will be contacted by a representative from the Prestigious Awards & Fellowships Office with instructions on submitting their complete application to the UM Fellowship Committee for review and possible nomination.

Application Timeline

November 2014 
Phase One of the application must be submitted online at

February 2015 
Students selected for phase 2 and nominated by the UM Fellowship Committee submit full application to the foundation.

May 2015 
Selected students are notified.