KC Scholars

Adult Learner


Adult Learner Scholarship

There are 281,000 adults with some college and no degree, and 96,000 with an associate’s but not bachelor’s degree in the six counties that KC Scholars serves.
Many of these adults believe they will never have the opportunity to return to and complete their degrees. KC Scholars provides that opportunity. Apply for the KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship today and get ready to have your life changed! Join the many adults working to achieve their dreams of finishing college and better supporting their families and communities.

The Adult Learner scholarships are eligible for adults (18+) with a high school diploma or equivalent, or to adults with associates degrees looking to complete a bachelors. Adult learners can receive up to $10,000 per year for up to five years and can enroll full-time or part-time.

Adult learner Scholarship

When Can I Apply for the Adult Learner Scholarship?

The Adult Learner Scholarship application window opens every fall.

What are the Adult Learner Scholarship Eligibility Requirements?

To apply, you must:

  • Be a high school graduate or GED holder (18 years or older)
  • Live in one of the six eligible counties (Kansas: Wyandotte, Johnson; Missouri: Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte)
  • Be low- or modest-income (FAFSA Estimated Family Contribution of $12,000 or less)
  • Have not previously earned a bachelor’s degree
  • Have not previously been awarded a KC Scholars Scholarship (Traditional or Adult Learner)
  • Not currently enrolled in KC Scholars Great Jobs KC program.

It’s never too late

Since May 2017, KC Scholars has awarded over 1000 Adult Learner Scholarships, and over 150 awardees have already completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

What We Hear from KC Scholars’ Current Adult Learner Scholarship Awardees:

  • Nothing will stop them from completing their degree this time
  • They want to complete the degree to be a role model for their children
  • They thought they would never go back and complete college and now they CAN and are
  • They feel proud to be part of a community that invests in them and they want to make a positive impact in Kansas City
  • They want to increase their job opportunities and earning potential to make a better life for their family
  • Some are back in college at the same time as their children who received 9th or 11th grade awards


Adult Learner scholarship applicants must complete the 2023-24 FAFSA using your household 2021 income. If your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) on the FAFSA is $12,000 or less, you are eligible to apply for KC Scholars.

If you are not eligible to complete the FAFSA or have additional questions, please visit https://studentaid.gov/aid-estimator/

Yes, as of August 2022, currently enrolled students are eligible to apply.

Yes, you can apply to KC Scholars if you meet all the minimum eligibility requirements.

Yes, we realize that most adults have a lot to juggle. Recipients of the Adult Learner Scholarship may go to college part-time or full-time.

All outreach and application assistance will be conducted virtually, but we are here to help! We encourage you to attend one of KC Scholars’ Q&A application assistance workshops over Zoom and as always, you can reach to info@kcscholars.org or call 816.581.5700 for additional support.

Check out this application checklist for everything you need to compile your documents.

The Adult Learner Scholarship Application cycle opens every fall, check back then to apply.

Up to 150 adult learner scholarships will be awarded each year.

We will notify General Cycle Adult Learner scholarship recipients on Friday, April 28th. Whether notification of Adult Learner scholarship award is received in December 2022 (Early Award) or April 2023 (General Award), the KC Scholars’ scholarship will start in Fall 2023. Awardees may opt to enroll in college in Spring 2023 and/or Summer 2023 using other funding sources.

Adult learners can receive up to $10,000 per year for up to five years. Award amounts vary depending on enrollment status and institution of enrollment.

To remain eligible once enrolled in college, adult learners must meet minimum annual requirements and complete a short renewal application each year to determine continued eligibility. To remain eligible, adult learners must also maintain continuous enrollment, either full-time or part-time, with summer enrollment optional.

Yes! We want to help ensure you are successful in completing your degree. KC Scholars will match each awardee with an Adult Learner Advocate and connect them with supports at one of KC Scholars’ 17 colleges and universities to provide one-on-one and group advising, assistance with the college enrollment process, FAFSA completion assistance, and referrals to campus and community resources.

Scholarships will be paid directly to one of the colleges and universities in the KC Scholars Post-secondary Network where you are enrolled.

Yes. In order to receive the KC Scholars scholarship, you must attend one of the 17 colleges and universities in the KC Scholars Post-secondary Network.

Yes, if the courses count toward a credit-bearing credential or degree and are offered by any of the 17 colleges and universities in the KC Scholars’ Postsecondary Network.

You must be a resident of one of these six counties at the time of scholarship application:  Jackson, Clay, Cass, and Platte, Missouri, and, Wyandotte and Johnson, Kansas.

You must continuously be enrolled in fall and spring semesters each academic year, either full-time or part-time, to remain eligible for KC Scholars’ scholarships. Continuous enrollment does not include summer semesters. KC Scholars’ staff will only consider an exception for an unavoidable and extenuating circumstance.

All questions should be directed to scholarships@kcscholars.org. Please allow up to two business days for a reply. Please review the Program Guidelines carefully for any additional questions.