Programs that award scholarships for eighth grade students, such as the Doodle 4 Google seventh to ninth grade bracket, the National Geographic Geography Bee and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program, offer students a valuable head-start in securing college funding. Scholarships often take the form of a competition.
The Doodle 4 Google competition is a scholarship program open to all students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Students use any materials to create an image based upon the letters in Google's corporate name. Google judges the entries via user votes for brackets separated by grade. As of 2015, the ultimate winner receives a $30,000 scholarship to put towards eventual collegiate study.
The National Geographic Bee allows fourth through eighth grade students to test their knowledge of geography against that of their peers. The contest awards one national championship winner a $50,000 scholarship. The second through 10th place winners also receive cash prizes.
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Young Scholars Program selectively offers pre-college scholarships to eighth graders who demonstrate both financial need and a two-year history of exceptional academic achievement. The program bolsters successful applicants' education both financially and by providing students with mentoring, advising and academic and extracurricular enrichment activities.