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KC Scholars offers scholarship opportunities

There is a new scholarship and college savings program available in Missouri and Kansas to help low and modest income students, as well as adult learners. KC Scholars is a three-component program created by the Kauffman Foundation, with the intention of supporting and ensuring that a postsecondary education is possible for everyone, regardless of income, age or ethnicity.  The program serves a six-county area, including Clay, Cass, Jackson and Platte counties in Missouri and Wyandotte and Johnson counties in Kansas.

One of the three programs available through KC Scholars is the “Traditional Program,” available to 11th grade high school students. 250 awards will be given out, with students able to apply for up to $10,000 for up to five years. There are certain eligibility requirements that must be made and maintained to participate in the program. “I think this is a wonderful opportunity for our students,” said Excelsior Springs High School Guidance Counselor Heather Grove. “The Traditional Scholarship is $10,000 a year, renewable up to $50,000. That is a very significant amount that can be used at a good number of campuses.”

The next program is called the “Adult Learner” program. This program is available to adults aged 24 and above who do not currently hold a college degree, but who have had at least 12 previous college credits. Again, there are certain requirements that must be met to reach eligibility. Adult learners may apply for up to $5,000 a year for up to five years. Both the Traditional and Adult Learner scholarships are valid for use toward any of the 17 colleges or universities that are partnering with KC Scholars. The full list of participating schools can be found at kcscholars.org, along with any additional information.

The final component of the program is for 9th graders, and is called a “College Savings Match” program. Students at that grade level may apply to receive a 4-to-1 match on contributions made into a 529 college savings account. The maximum match grant is $5,000, but an additional $2,000 could be obtained through incentives based around completing college ready milestones throughout high school. A 529 college savings account will be opened for 1,000 students, with 50 of those students selected for the match and incentives program. This award is given one time.

With all of the programs, the money will be sent directly to the college or university the individual has chosen to enroll in.

Applications will be accepted through March 3, 2017 and can be submitted online at kcscholars.org. “The application isn’t difficult,” said Grove, “But there are essays and recommendations to get, as well as a transcript to upload, so it can’t be done last minute either.”

Awards will be announced in May 2017, for students enrolled in college in Fall 2017. For more information, visit the KC Scholars website, or contact Heather Grove at hgrove@ga.essd40.com

By Skyla Sullivan • skyla@leaderpress.com

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