COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT/MATCH

9TH GRADERS – THIS IS YOUR OPPORTUNITY TO START SAVING FOR COLLEGE NOW

Students with 529 College Savings Accounts are 4 times more likely to complete college.

Get a head start on saving and planning for college while increasing your odds of enrolling in and completing college. And, you get to learn about investing funds as you increase your odds of college completion!

Each year, up to 500 9th graders will have a 529 college savings account seeded with $50 from KC Scholars. Of these 500 9th graders, at least 50 will be selected for the 4:1 match and incentives program and earn a one-time award of up to $7,000 toward college.

Match and incentive participants must enroll in college full-time following high school graduation and remain enrolled full-time at a KC Scholars Postsecondary Network campus while receiving KC Scholars’ funding.

WHO CAN APPLY?

You must meet all of the following requirements to apply:

  1. Be a current 9th grader during the application cycle;
  2. Home-schooled or attend a public, charter, or private high school in the following 6 counties: Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte (MO) or Johnson and Wyandotte (KS);
  3. Be a U.S. citizen or resident alien with a verified permanent U.S. address and valid Social Security number or other taxpayer identification;
  4. Have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) fall semester of 9th grade;
  5. Be considered low- or modest- income. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) forecaster must be 12,000 or less. The calculation is based on household income, number of members in the family and number of family members that will be in college at the same time. It is the amount of annual financial support a family can be expected to pay toward the student’s college education.

HOW TO APPLY

You must meet all of the following requirements to apply:

  1. You will need to create an account on this website
  2. You will complete the application online, including:
    • Answering 2 essay questions
    • Providing a copy of your current high school transcript from your first semester of 9th grade
    • Providing the name and email address of 1 individual who will complete on online recommendation (letters of recommendations are not accepted but must be completed online)

WHERE CAN THE MATCH AND INCENTIVE AWARD BE USED AND FOR WHAT PROGRAMS?

The match and incentive payment can only be used at one of the 17 colleges and universities in the KC Scholars Postsecondary Network when working on a college degree or credit-bearing credential.

If among the at least 50 selected to be in the 4:1 match and incentives program, the amount earned from KC Scholars will be paid directly to the college of enrollment and depending on the amount, paid over the first year of college or the first 2 years of college.

WHAT COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT AND MATCH AND INCENTIVE RECIPIENTS ARE SAYING.

There are over 600 current 10th and 11th graders in the KC Scholars’ College Savings Account or Match and Incentive Program.

They are saving into their accounts at significant rates. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 60% made 1 contribution and 37% made 2+ contributions to their account for a total of $22,891.

Awardees have shared that:

  • They are having fun learning about saving money for college
  • They are preparing to apply for the Traditional Scholarship when they get into 11th grade
  • They are already working with a college adviser and visiting college campuses as 10th graders
  • Some are in this program at the same time as their brothers and sisters are in the Traditional Scholarship program and their parents are back in college as KC Scholars’ Adult Learners

THE GREAT NEWS ABOUT THE COLLEGE SAVINGS ACCOUNT AND MATCH PROGRAM

Yes, if you receive the 9th grade College Savings Account or Match award – if you remain eligible – you can apply for the Traditional Scholarship when you reach 11th grade.

FAQs

You must fill out the Free Online Application for Federal Student Aid forecaster: FAFSA4caster. You will need information regarding your family’s income and assets to complete the forecaster. If your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) on the forecaster is 12,000 or less, you are eligible to apply for KC Scholars. For assistance in completing the FAFSA4caster, KC Scholars has created the following guide: FAFSA4caster
A 529 college savings plan is an investment account that is used for savings for college. KC Scholars works with the Missouri MOST and Kansas Learning Quest programs.
You may ask if $50 in a college savings account matters. Yes, it does!

Research demonstrates that having a college savings account produces positive results no matter what the value of the initial contribution to the account. Positive results include: 1) creating a college-intending mindset in the student and the parent(s) – the student builds assurance that college is possible; 2) parents of children with a college savings account acts in ways that support the child planning for and going to college; and 3) students with college savings accounts are 4X more likely to go to college and 6x more likely to complete. Further, knowledge learned about savings and financial literacy are transferrable to all areas of life, even beyond attending and completing college. And, students in the KC Scholars program have a college adviser throughout high school to help them prepare for college.

KC Scholars decided to seed accounts for many students across the broad region. The program seeks to create a regional movement around the importance of savings for college, especially starting the first year of high school. KC Scholars will also provide these 500 students and their families with college planning advisement and financial literacy education throughout the high school years.

Once selected as a KC Scholar, you and your designated account owner will receive information about and be required to attend a mandatory orientation session in June and will open your account at orientation.
Every 529 college savings account must have a designated account owner that is 18 years or older and a U.S Citizen or resident alien with a valid Social Security number or other taxpayer identification number. The account owner can be a parent, grandparent, other relative, or friend. If awarded, the recipient must have identified an account holder before June orientation and the student and the account owner must attend  orientation in June.
Match and incentive funds will be paid directly to your college or university (only if you are enrolled at one of the 17 campuses in the KC Scholars Postsecondary Network).

  1. If the awardee is enrolled at a 4-year institution, the combined total of the match and incentive will be paid to the institution at which the awardee is enrolled:
    • Over the first semester if $3,999 or less was earned
    • Over two semesters, in equally distributed payments, if $4,000 or more was earned
  2. If the awardee is enrolled at a 2-year institution, the combined total of the match and incentive will be paid to the institution at which the awardee is enrolled, in equally distributed payments, over four semesters (two semesters each academic year of the first and second years of college) and in equal sums over the four terms/semesters.

College Savings Accounts are seeded with $50 and those selected to participate in the match and incentives program can earn up to $7,000 in match and incentives. You will learn more how to earn this at the June orientation.
To earn the incentives, a student must complete the minimum number of college-ready activities identified for each grade (9-12).
Beyond helping to pay for college, KC Scholars will help you and your family with the process to get to college and complete your degree. Please see our list of student support collaborators here.
Yes. To receive the match and incentive paid by KC Scholars, you must plan to attend one of the 17 KC Scholars Postsecondary Network institutions. To see the full list of partner institutions click here.
No, KC Scholars will not pay for dual credit or any other classes taken while still in high school.
Click here for an application checklist (what you need to do and what materials you will need each step of the application process).
Applications open in early January annually. Watch the website for the exact date!
The deadline to apply is in early March annually. Watch the website for the exact deadline date!
Notifications to both recipients and non-recipients are made in early May annually. Watch the website for the exact notification date!
You must graduate from a public, charter, or private high school or a home-school in the 6-county service area to receive the KC Scholars match and incentive.
All questions should be directed to info@kcscholars.org Please allow up to two business days for a reply.

Please review the Program Guidelines carefully for any additional questions.

Applications open January 1, 2019.