Adult Learner Scholarship applications are open January 1 – February 26, 2021

The KC Scholars Adult Learner Early Award Application opens October 1, 2021. Click the button below to sign up for a reminder when the application opens.



You must meet all of the following requirements to apply:

  1. Age 24 and up (as of August 31, 2022)
  2. Live in one of the six eligible counties (Kansas: Wyandotte, Johnson. Missouri: Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte)
  3. Low- to modest-income. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be 12,000 or less.
  4. Previously earned at least 12 college credits at an accredited, Title IV, postsecondary institution and has not earned a degree OR have previously earned an associate degree and will use the scholarship to earn a bachelor’s degree
  5. Not enrolled in a postsecondary institution for Fall 2021
  6. Lawfully present in the United States OR DACA eligible and DACA applied/approved

Adult Learner scholarship applicants must complete the 2022-23 FAFSA using your household 2020 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

To be eligible for the KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship, you must not be enrolled during the Fall 2021 semester.
Yes, you can apply to KC Scholars if you meet all the minimum eligibility requirements, including having previously earned at least 12 college credits at an accredited, Title IV postsecondary institution. Your selected college or university will determine if your credits can transfer, but it is not required that your credits transfer to receive the scholarship.
Yes, we realize that most adults will be balancing a busy life. Recipients of the adult learner scholarship may go to college part-time or full-time.
The Adult Learner Early Award Scholarship will open on October 1, 2021 and again on January 1, 2022.
New for the 2020 application, the KC Scholars’ Adult Learner Scholarship Application cycle is lengthened to provide greater accessibility and opportunity for adults.

If you know you are ready to go back to college, we suggest you apply during the Early Award Application Cycle. Awardees will be notified in December 2019 providing more time to prepare and enroll in college by Fall 2020.

Adults can apply in either the Early Award Application Cycle (October 1 – November 20, 2019) or the General Award Application Cycle (January 1 – February 28, 2020).

All outreach and application assistance will be conducted virtually. We are still here to help! We encourage you to attend one of our Q&A application assistance workshops conducted via Zoom and as always, you can reach to us at or call 816.581.5700.

We’ve created a prep checklist of things you can complete prior to the application opening on October 1. Check back after October 1 for a complete application checklist.
The 2021 scholarship application cycle closed on February 26, 2021. Check back in early Fall 2021 for the eligibility requirements for the Adult Learner Scholarship Application opening in October 2021 and again in January 2022.
Each year, up to 200 adult learner scholarships will be awarded.
Whether notification of Adult Learner scholarship award is received in December 2021 or April 2022, the KC Scholars’ scholarship will start in Fall 2022. Awardees may opt to enroll in college in Spring 2022 and/or Summer 2022 using other funding sources.
The adult learner scholarship is up to $5,000 a year, renewable for up to 5 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 ensure you are successful going back to college and completing your degree. KC Scholars will match each awardee with an Adult Learner Coach and connect them with supports at one of our 17 colleges and universities to provide assistance such as 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 Postsecondary Network where you are enrolled.
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 live in the six eligible counties to receive the KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship.
You must continuously attend college, either full-time or part-time, to remain eligible for KC Scholars. Continuous enrollment does not include summer, but it does include fall and spring semesters each academic year. KC Scholars’ staff will only consider an exception for an unavoidable and extenuating circumstance.
All questions should be directed to Please allow up to two business days for a reply.

Please review the Program Guidelines carefully for any additional questions.


Since May 2017, KC Scholars has awarded 424 Adult Learner Scholarships, and over 30 awardees have already completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Awardees have shared that:

  • 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 9thor 11th grade awards


In the 6 counties served by KC Scholars, there are 281,000 adults with some college and no degree and 96,000 with an associate's but not bachelor's degree.

Many adults may believe they will never have the opportunity to return to and complete college. KC Scholars provides that opportunity.  Apply for the KC Scholars Adult Learner Scholarship today: Join the many adults working to achieve their college dreams and become role models for their family and community. Get ready to have your life changed!

The Adult Learner scholarship is given to adults with some college, but no degree, or to associate’s degree earners who want to complete a bachelors. Adult learners can receive up to $5,000 per year for up to 5 years and can enroll full-time or part-time.  Applicants must be at least 24 years old at the time of college enrollment in Fall 2020 and have previously earned at least 12 college credits.

If this describes you, watch the video!