The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award
The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award is a one-time, non-renewable, need-based grant of up to $10,000 given in conjunction with full participation in From the Top’s Learning and Media Lab Fellowship.
Each year, From the Top chooses approximately 20 pre-collegiate musicians ages 8-18 to receive the Award. The Award is given to driven and committed pre-collegiate musicians with financial need to help offset the often prohibitively expensive costs of studying classical music at a high level.
An application for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award is also an application to From the Top’s Learning and Media Lab Fellowship program. You do not need to complete two separate applications. See the “How To Apply” section below for more instructions.
If you are selected as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist, you must also participate fully in our Learning and Media Lab Fellowship program. The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award cannot be granted without full participation in our Fellowship program.
Award recipients will be announced in two classes annually: Fall (October) and Spring (January).
There is no application fee for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.
Use the buttons below to jump to a specific section for more information.
Am I eligible to apply?
You are eligible if you are: classical instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers (ages 8–18) who are full-time elementary, middle, or high school students, and have not yet entered college.
Applicants must demonstrate:
Strong musical commitment
- Applicants must have strong musical ability and a willingness to participate in our Learning and Media Lab Fellowship.
Unmet financial need
- The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award is a need-based award. Applicants must provide evidence of a family income unable to meet the costs of his/her musical pursuits (new instruments, music lessons, summer festival tuition, and travel, etc.). 90% of our past recipients come from families with an annual household Adjusted Gross Income of under $60,000. While we do consider extenuating circumstances such as cost of living, medical expenses, dependents, etc., we do not encourage applicants with an annual household Adjusted Gross Income of over $100,000 to apply.
- COVID UPDATE: If your most recent tax return reflects something different from what your current employment situation projects, please include a detailed statement within the “Special Financial Circumstances” section at the end of the online application.
- Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to learning and creativity, inside and outside of the classroom.
Strength of character
- Applicants must demonstrate drive, initiative, maturity, leadership, and a commitment to giving back to one’s community.
Application deadlines for the 2024-2025 season:
- Monday, April 15, 2024
- Monday, September 2, 2024
- Friday, November 15, 2024*
*Students graduating from high school in 2024 are no longer eligible to apply. High school seniors graduating in 2025 must apply by November 15, 2024 in order to be considered. However, we encourage rising high school seniors not to wait. Apply by April 15, 2024 in order to give yourself the most opportunity to be considered. The scholarship can only be awarded to students who are still enrolled in high school or below.
What are the award benefits?
- Up to $10,000 to apply toward instrument purchases, summer camp tuition, college audition travel expenses, private lessons, or other music-related needs
- Participation in From the Top’s Learning and Media Lab (includes appearance on NPR’s From the Top)
How do I apply?
Materials that you’ll need:
- At least two unedited, un-enhanced video or audio samples of your music for upload into the application portal
- Contact information for two teachers (an academic teacher and a music teacher) who are willing to write you recommendations. They will receive further instructions and forms after you’ve submitted your online application.
- A copy of your family’s most recent tax forms (including all schedules, attachments, and W2 forms), and a copy of your recent academic transcripts
- NOTE: We maintain a special secure-encrypted platform to receive these documents electronically, so please do not send these documents by mail or email. You will find more instructions in the online application.
The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award cannot be granted without full participation in our Fellowship program.
To apply for both opportunities, please fill out the Learning and Media Lab Fellowship Application. Towards the end of the application, you will be asked questions to determine your eligibility for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will be permitted to move forward in applying for the Award.
After clicking “next”, you will be directed to a new page, and will receive an email with the link to your Scholarship Supplement Form with instructions.
Please review the FAQs and Application Guide before starting your application.
Are you a returning applicant?
If you have previously applied for the From the Top Learning and Media Lab Fellowship, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will give you access to our Application Update form.