Each year, one talented Montana student is selected on the basis of character and academic accomplishment to receive $62,000 annually to cover their attendance at the New England boarding school, St. Paul’s School, along with $15,000 awarded per year towards tuition at a college of their choice.
Founded in 1856, St. Paul’s School is a co-educational college preparatory high school in Concord, New Hampshire. The 2,000-acre grounds are home to approximately 530 students from 38 states and 20 countries. All students and the nearly 100 full-time faculty members live on the grounds. The School is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Established in 1973, the Cook Scholarship is underwritten by the Frank Hervey Cook Trust and is named in honor of Frank Hervey Cook, a Montana resident and successful cattle rancher who graduated from St. Paul’s School in 1919. Following his death in 1970, the majority of his estate was converted to a trust for Montana students who might benefit from a St. Paul’s education.
Since the founding of the scholarship, 124 Montana students have attended St. Paul’s School from Montana, 78 as Cook and Hervey Scholars. The Montana-based Cook Board selects those recipients that meet St. Paul’s School admission standards and demonstrate a desire to give back to the state of Montana.
Alex Blake, a Cook trustee and past Cook Scholarship recipient, adds that “Through the Cook Scholarship, young Montana students receive an outstanding high school education, with top-notch academic faculty and unique athletic and arts programs not offered here in Montana. My St. Paul’s experience opened up doors for me from an Ivy League education to serving in the Marine Corps, all of which helped me bring more home to Montana when I moved back.”
Cook Scholarship finalists are selected by the St. Paul’s School admission office and then interviewed in Montana by the Cook Scholarship Board of Trustees that includes Montana residents, former Cook Scholars, and a representative of St. Paul’s School. As a part of this opportunity, Cook Scholars are expected to give back to Montana through a minimum commitment of 80 hours of community service to benefit their home state, along with an additional summer of service to their Montana home communities.
Applications to St. Paul’s School and the Cook Scholarship are due Jan. 15, 2020. Interested Montana students in the seventh, eighth, and ninth grades looking for a challenge are encouraged to attend an information session about St. Paul’s School and the Cook Scholarship on Friday, Nov. 8, at 6 p.m. in Billings. More information on where to go at apply.cookscholarship.org.