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 made the strategic decision to launch and incubate a new scholarship and college savings program for young students and adults – Kansas City Scholars. KC Scholars is now a 501(c)(3) entity, residing in the community, with a community-based Board of Directors.
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 Account/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 Postsecondary Network. Students are also required to complete GPA and graduation requirements their senior year of high school 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, at least 250 awards will be made.
Adults aged 24 and above at the time of college enrollment in fall 2018, 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 2018 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, up to 200 awards will be made.
College Savings Account/Match (9th grader):
High school 9th graders can apply to have a 529 College Savings Account seeded for them by KC Scholars, some of whom will be granted participation in the match program through which they receive a 4-to-1 match, up to a maximum of $5,000, on their contributions into the 529 college savings account with an additional up to $2,000 in incentives for completing key college-ready milestones in high school.
Annually, a 529 College Savings Account will be opened for up to 500 students. Of the 500, at least 50 will be selected to be in the match and incentives program.
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Applications opened on January 1, 2018 and are due by 12 midnight on March 2, 2018. Awards will be announced in May 2018.
Over 70 members of the Kansas City community, representing multiple sectors, worked together for nearly a year to develop KC Scholars and, between July 2016 and July 2017, a 15-member Implementation Committee served in an advisory capacity. KC Scholars was incubated at the Kauffman Foundation and is now its own 501(c)(3) entity with a community-based Board of Directors. To continue its community-engaged philosophy, three community-based committees will be formed and will comprise the Community Leadership Council.
Number Of Awards
KC Scholars will make approximately 500 awards annually (at least 250 traditional, up to 200 adult learner, and up to 500 college savings accounts of which at least 50 will be in the college savings match and incentive program) and once fully scaled in 2020, at least 2,000 students will be in the program each year.