College Savings Match applications for current 9th graders are open
January 1 – February 26, 2021


9th Graders

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  • Application Prep List – this list will help you prepare now for the application opening on January 1. This includes the 2021 personal statement prompts. Start writing your personal statements now.
  • College Board EFC Calculator Guide – use this guide to complete the EFC calculator to determine income eligibility for KC Scholars

High Schools & Community Organizations Working with 9th Graders


You must meet all of the following requirements to apply:

  1. Be a current 9thgrader during the application cycle;
  2. Be 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 unweighted GPA fall semester of 9th grade;
  5. Be considered low- or modest-income. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation on the College Board EFC Calculator 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.

You must fill out the College Board EFC Calculator. You will need information regarding your family’s 2019 income and assets to complete the EFC Calculator. If your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) on the EFC Calculator is 12,000 or less, you are eligible to apply for KC Scholars. For assistance in completing the College Board EFC Calculator, KC Scholars has created the following guide.

*If you had a significant loss of income during 2020 due to COVID-19, you still must complete the EFC Calculator with your 2019 income information and enter the EFC in the application.

If you are prompted to then retake the Eligibility Requirement Check, please contact us at ASAP so we can determine if you are eligible for an appeal. Use “COVID Appeal” in the subject line of your email.

The General Award Cycle Scholarship Application (for adult learners & 11th and 9th grade applicants) opens January 1, 2021. Deadline to apply is February 26, 2021.
KC Scholars will begin hosting virtual information sessions for the 2021 scholarship application in January. Check back for details.
Check back soon for the 2021 Scholarship Application Prep List.

KC Scholars is hosting several virtual Application Workshops in January.

KC Scholars staff will be available to answer questions as applicants work on their applications and to assist with College Board EFC Calculator completion to determine income eligibility. Please note that KC Scholars staff are not able to review your essays. We suggest you work with a teacher to review your essays.

Click here for an application checklist (what you need to do and what materials you will need each step of the application process).

The General Award Cycle Scholarship Application (for adult learners & 11th and 9th grade applicants) opens January 1, 2021. Deadline to apply is February 26, 2021.

Beginning in 2021, 250 9th graders will be selected for the College Savings Match program.

Awardees are eligible to earn 1:1 match on college savings, not to exceed $1,000 and up to $400 for achieving college-ready milestones during high school.

Application materials will be reviewed, evaluated and scored to select award recipients.
Yes, if you meet the minimum eligibility requirements in 11th grade, you can also apply for the traditional scholarship.
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.

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.
College savings accounts are seeded with $50.

All 250 9th graders selected will be eligible for a 1:1 match of up to $1,000 and an additional $400 of incentives. This is one time award.

To earn the $400 in incentives, a student must complete the minimum number of college-ready activities identified for each grade (9-12). More details will be shared after awarded and at orientation.
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.

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.
Yes! We want to ensure you are successful getting to college and completing your degree. KC Scholars has partnered with a few support organizations and with 17 colleges and universities to provide assistance such as one-on-one and group advising, assistance with college admissions and scholarship applications, FAFSA completion assistance, advice for parents and families and campus tours. Click here to see other Resources.
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 Please allow up to two business days for a reply.

Please review the Program Guidelines carefully for any additional questions.


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!

Beginning in 2021, up to 250 9th graders will be selected for the Match and Incentive program. Awarded students will be eligible for a 1:1 match and earn incentives for a total of up to $1,400 to use toward college. It is a one-time award.

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.


There are more than 1000 9th, 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. Participants awarded in 2017 and 2018 have saved $131,752 into their accounts.

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 and 11th 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