ABOUT KC SCHOLARS
Ewing Marion Kauffman was an entrepreneur and humanitarian, whose innovative and long-lasting contributions have benefited millions of people in Kansas City and beyond. One of Mr. Kauffman’s visions was to ensure a postsecondary education was possible for everyone, regardless of income, age or ethnicity.
The Kauffman Foundation is committed to supporting postsecondary achievement and opportunities for low- and modest-income students. Since 1988, the Foundation has provided college scholarships and support services to 3,900 students. With the help of more than 70 community members, the Foundation has made the strategic decision to launch a new scholarship and college savings program for young students and adults – Kansas City Scholars.
The mission of KC Scholars is to increase postsecondary education attainment in the greater Kansas City area. KC Scholars will provide the means – through scholarships, financial incentives to promote college savings, and support services – for low- and modest-income students and adults needing access to pursue and complete a postsecondary credit-bearing credential or degree. By doing so, KC Scholars will improve the educational attainment, economic independence, quality of the workforce, and participation in community activities in greater Kansas City.
KC Scholars serves a six-county area of the Kansas City region: Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri. The program is designed to serve low- and modest-income high school students who are in public, charter, and private schools and home-schooled; and adults with some college, but no degree.
KC Scholars is comprised of three program components that provide both financial assistance and support services for low- and modest-income students and adults: Traditional, Adult Learner, and College Savings Match.
Traditional (11th grader):
High school 11th graders can apply for up to $10,000/year for up to five years.
Students must enroll in college full-time beginning the fall semester immediately following high school graduation at one of the 17 colleges or universities in the KC Scholars network. Students are also required to complete GPA and graduation requirements their senior year in order to receive the scholarship the first year of college. The scholarship will be sent directly to the college or university of enrollment.
To remain eligible once enrolled in college, students must meet minimum annual requirements and complete a short renewal application each year.
Annually, 250 awards will be made.
Adults aged 24 and above at the time of college enrollment in fall 2017, that have some college, but no degree, can apply for up to $5,000/year for up to five years.
Returning adult learners must have at least 12 earned college credits previously completed at an accredited, Title IV postsecondary institution. Students can enroll in college part-time or full-time, but must start in the fall of 2017 at one of 17 colleges or universities partnering with KC Scholars. The scholarship will be sent directly to the college or university of enrollment.
To remain eligible once enrolled in college, adult learners must meet minimum annual requirements and complete a short renewal application each year.
Annually, 200 awards will be made.
College Savings Match (9th grader):
High school 9th graders can apply to receive a 4-to-1 match on contributions into a 529 college savings account. The maximum match granted is $5,000, but an additional $2,000 is available in incentives for completing key college-ready milestones in high school. Annually, a 529 college savings account will be opened for 1,000 students selected through the application process. Of the 1,000 for whom an account is opened, 50 will be selected to be in the match and incentives program. This is a one-time award.
Students must enroll in college full-time the fall immediately following high school graduation. The scholarship will be sent directly to the college or university of enrollment.
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KC Scholars publicly launched on September 28, 2016. Applications opened online January 2, 2017 and are due March 3, 2017. Awards will be announced in May 2017, with the first students enrolled in college in fall 2017.
Over 70 members of the Kansas City community, representing multiple sectors, worked together for nearly a year to develop KC Scholars. KC Scholars is being incubated at the Kauffman Foundation, but will become its own 501(c)(3) entity with its own Board of Directors in July 2017. Between July 2016 and July 2017, a 15-member Implementation Committee is serving in an advisory capacity.
Number Of Awards
KC Scholars will make 500 awards annually (250 traditional, 200 adult learner, 50 college savings match) and once fully scaled in 2020, at least 2,000 students will be in the program each year.