AWARD SELECTION PROCESS

KC Scholars (www.kcscholars.org) is a new scholarship and college savings match program for low- and modest-income students and adults. Online applications for this new college scholarship program opened January 2, 2017 and were due March 3, 2017.

KC Scholars is a competitive award program and thousands of students and adult learners in the six-county Kansas City metropolitan area are expected to meet minimum eligibility requirements. Thousands applied for a limited number of awards.

In its inaugural year (2017), KC Scholars awarded:

  • 275 traditional (11th grade) scholarships;
  • 91 adult learner scholarships; and
  • 232 college savings accounts for 9th graders seeded with $50. Seventy (70) of those were selected to participate in the college savings match and incentives program.

Awards were announced on May 1, 2017.

For those individuals who were eligible and completed an application by March 3, 2017, additional evaluation criteria were consistently applied to determine which applicants received a scholarship or a college savings account (and to participate in the match and incentives program). Over 100 volunteer community-based reviewers were selected and trained to utilize a scoring rubric from which they evaluated applicants’ essays and recommendations. Their scores helped to determine scholarship recipients. The 100-point rubric considered the most important factors for each of the three unique scholarships, including:

  • applicants’ motivation to go to college;
  • applicants’ preparedness for college;
  • applicants’ likelihood to complete college;
  • completeness of essays in addressing prompts;
  • financial need;
  • GPA;
  • county distribution for those selected for the college savings match and incentive program; and
  • assurance of a diverse recipient pool that meets KC Scholars’ established goals.

Application evaluation criteria were determined by the KC Scholars Selection Criteria Workgroup and approved by the Steering Committee. These groups were comprised of community members that helped design the KC Scholars program.

Training of volunteer community reviewers included discussion about implicit bias and explanation of a strict conflict of interest policy. Community reviewers evaluated applications without names and schools attached to the application to further ensure a fair and consistent evaluation process of all applicants.

Awardees – and non-awardees – were notified on May 1, 2017. Regardless if an individual is selected, all applicants will have access to college advisement and completion support through KC Scholars. Awardees will be assigned a college adviser or college success navigator to assist in applying and selecting a KC Scholars partner network college. Those not selected for a scholarship will receive ongoing communication from KC Scholars regarding important college-related deadlines and events.

Before an individual could apply for a scholarship, minimum eligibility requirements must have been met and were verified through an online eligibility check. The following chart details minimum eligibility requirements for each of the three program components:

If you have additional questions or suggestions, please contact KC Scholars at info@kcscholars.org or 816-581-5700.

Traditional Scholarship  
Adult Learner Scholarship
College Savings Match Program
Geographic At the time of application and continuously through high school graduation, live in and be enrolled in and graduate from a public, charter, or private high school or be home schooled in one of these six counties: Jackson,

Clay, Cass, and Platte, Missouri, and, Wyandotte and Johnson, Kansas

Be a resident of one of these six counties at the time of application: Jackson,

Clay, Cass, and Platte, Missouri, and, Wyandotte and Johnson, Kansas

 

At the time of application and continuously through high school graduation, live in and be enrolled in and graduate from a public, charter, or private high school or be home schooled in one of these six counties: Jackson,

Clay, Cass, and Platte, Missouri, and, Wyandotte and Johnson, Kansas

Income Low- and modest-income Low- and modest-income Low- and modest-income
Citizenship Status Legally present, as identified by at least one of the following:
·A U.S. Citizen or National of the United States.
·A lawful U.S. permanent resident.
·An individual authorized to live and work in the U.S.
·An individual that has filed an application to begin the process towards U.S. permanent residency.
Legally present, as identified by at least one of the following:
·A U.S. Citizen or National of the United States.
·A lawful U.S. permanent resident.
·An individual authorized to live and work in the U.S.
·An individual that has filed an application to begin the process towards U.S. permanent residency.
A U.S. citizen or resident alien with a verified permanent U.S. address and valid Social Security Number or other taxpayer identification number.

 

Income Maximum Threshold $12,000 EFC
(Expected Family Contribution)
as demonstrated by FAFSA4caster
$12,000 EFC
(Expected Family Contribution)
as demonstrated by the FAFSA or FAFSA4caster
$12,000 EFC
(Expected Family Contribution)
as demonstrated by FAFSA4caster
Grade/Age at Time of Application 11th grader Age 24 or older by time of college enrollment 9th grader
GPA Minimum 2.5 cumulative high school GPA including fall semester of 11th grade, OR, a minimum test score of 16 on ACT or 800 composite on SAT

(Must achieve minimum GPA OR minimum test score to be eligible)

No minimum GPA requirement, but applicants must submit official college transcripts for all institutions attended to demonstrate prior college attendance and credits successfully completed Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in 7th and 8th grades
College Admissions Testing: ACT or SAT If enrolling at a four-year institution:
·ACT: minimum score of 16
·SAT: minimum composite score of 800
·(If test score is not known at the time of application, required minimum must be achieved before high school graduation)
NA NA
Student Status NA Applicant has been out of college and not enrolled in college in the 2016-17 academic year but plans to return to college in fall 2017 NA
Previous College Credit Attainment NA Applicant has at least 12 earned college credits previously completed at an accredited, Title IV postsecondary institution and not have been enrolled in college during the 2016-17 academic year NA