KC SCHOLARS IS CHANGING LIVES AND TRANSFORMING THE REGION!
KC Scholars is changing thousands of individual lives and transforming the region by preparing our future workforce and contributing to the regional economy.
KC Scholars is a community asset, designed by our community to positively impact our community.
INCREASES IN KC METRO POSTSECONDARY ATTAINMENT RATES
The current postsecondary attainment rate for the region is 43%. KC Scholars will increase the Metro’s attainment rate by an estimated 4.5 percent. The impact on the minority community is even more profound. As the trend set in KC Scholars’ first four award cycle continues, the number of Black and Hispanic students in the region who enroll in college could grow by at least 13 percent (Sources: Georgetown University Center for Education and the Workforce and Mid-America Regional Council).
MOST KC SCHOLARS ARE THE FIRST IN THE FAMILY TO ATTEND AND COMPLETE COLLEGE
According to the U.S. Department of Education, children of college educated are 93% more likely to also complete a college degree.
That is why KC Scholars is so important – it is providing an opportunity for first-generation college goers to earn a degree and positively impact the trajectory of future generations. Of KC Scholars’ awardees, 77% are first-generation to college.
KC SCHOLARS ARE OF ALL RACES AND ETHNICITIES: THEY ARE OUR REGION’S FUTURE EDUCATED AND DIVERSE WORKFORCE
81% of KC Scholars are individuals of color.
KC Scholars will produce a minimum of 15,000 college-educated and racially and ethnically diverse workers for our workforce by 2027, all of whom will be encouraged to remain in the region to live, work, and contribute.
KC SCHOLARS COME FROM 103 UNIQUE HIGH SCHOOLS IN SIX COUNTIES
KC Scholars is inclusive. Students from public, private, and charter schools and homeschoolers are eligible to apply.
There are about 108 high schools in the 6-county service region. Our awardees graduated scholars from 103 high schools.
KC SCHOLARS ARE LOW-INCOME, MAKING PAYING FOR COLLEGE A TREMENDOUS CHALLENGE
Low- and modest-income individuals are eligible to apply for KC Scholars.
Of the awardees, more than 80% have few or no resources for college. Receiving the scholarship is the difference between going or not going to college. Most Scholars declare that without the scholarship, going to college would have been nearly impossible or possible only by taking on a huge amount of student debt.
EARLY IMPACT IS IMPRESSIVE!
KC Scholars is doing exactly what it was designed to do.
+32 Percentage Points KC Scholars’ college enrollment rate out of high school is 32 percentage points higher than the region.
Adult Learner Scholars
+35 Percentage Points KC Scholars’ adult learners are persisting in college at rates 35 percentage points higher than the national average.
SCHOLARS WILL BE COLLEGE READY
KC Scholars provides more than just $$. The wrap-around student support service model ensures that Scholars are prepared to succeed in college, producing a minimum 75% college completion rate.
Because of the college planning education and near-peer college advising offered, Scholars are ready for college. Scholars are participating in college planning activities at rates up to 27 percentage points higher rates than their fellow, non-KC Scholar, students at the same high schools in the Kansas City region. Activities include: meeting with their college adviser; taking college entrance tests (and scoring high); applying and being admitted to 3 or more colleges; submitting the FAFSA by the deadline to receive federal and state aid; and campus tours.
529 COLLEGE SAVINGS STUDENTS ARE SAVING AT IMPRESSIVE RATES
KC Scholars seeds 529 College Savings Accounts for 9th graders and encourages them to make contributions to the account during their remaining high school years.
For most low-income students, if they did not have college savings accounts, they would have no savings for college and research demonstrates that those with a college savings account – regardless of the $ value of it – are 7 times more likely to enroll in college and 4 times more likely to complete (Source: Center for Social Development, Washington University).
College Savings Account and Match Scholars had contributed near $700,000 into their accounts as of June 2021.
OVER 5,000 SCHOLARS IN KC SCHOLARS IN THE FIRST FIVE PROGRAM YEARS
In May 2017, KC Scholars awarded 635 scholarships and college savings accounts.
In May 2018, KC Scholars awarded 919 scholarships and college savings accounts.
In May 2019, KC Scholars awarded 1,354 scholarships and college savings accounts.
In May 2020, KC Scholars awarded 1,133 scholarships and college savings accounts.
In May 2021, KC Scholars awarded 932 scholarships and college savings accounts.
$$$ FOR COLLEGE SHOULD TRANSLATE INTO LOW STUDENT DEBT LOAD AND HIGH COLLEGE COMPLETION RATES
The renewable value of scholarships and 529 College Savings Accounts awarded in 2017 was near $16 million and those awarded in 2018 near $21 million and those awarded in 2019 had a renewable value of nearly $41 million and those awarded in 2020 had a renewable value of $35 million and those awarded in 2021 had a renewable value of $30.5 million.
KC SCHOLARS SUCCESSFUL AT RAISING EXTERNAL COMMUNITY DONATIONS
“We thank this generous community. Your support of KC Scholars is making it possible for more students to receive college scholarships and to enroll in and complete college,” said Dr. Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, President and CEO of KC Scholars. “Our Scholars express their gratitude of the community’s support of and investment in them. Nearly $6.72 million has been raised as of June 2021.”
Number of Donors
Total Funds Raised by Donors
100% of external funds raised go to scholarship support, allowing KC Scholars to provide more scholarships every year. See the list of Donors.
SCHOLARS WILL HAVE HIGHER LIFETIME EARNINGS
According to College Board, those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $800,000 more over their lifetime than those without a college degree.
This translates to $6.4 trillion in increased lifetime earnings for Scholars and their families. For some, KC Scholars is the opportunity to break a cycle of poverty and increase individual and career opportunities.
College graduates are also healthier and more likely to volunteer and engage in their communities than are those without degrees. The benefits of a college education are significant.
SCHOLARS WILL SPEND MORE IN THE REGIONAL COMMUNITY
According to the Brookings Institute, those with a bachelor’s degree spend $278,000 more over their lifetime in the local economy.
This translates to $2.24 trillion in increased spending infused into our regional economy. Yes, KC Scholars is an economic contributor.
KC SCHOLARS IS RIGOROUSLY EVALUATED BY A THIRD-PARTY EVALUATOR
KC Scholars is rigorously evaluated to demonstrate its impact.
The Upjohn Institute completed the third-party evaluation of KC Scholars over the first three program years. In their first annual report they declared, “The KC Scholars program adhered carefully to design parameters of its scholarship and College Savings Match programs. We found this particularly impressive since, in our experience, initial implementation of complex programs can sometimes result in adjustments to procedures that alter design principle. The program personnel should be applauded for the admirable flexibility and adaptability they displayed.” Annual evaluation reports and executive summaries can be found below and KC Scholars holds an annual stakeholders meeting to share the most recent evaluation results.
Starting in the fourth program year West Ed is the external evaluator.
Among KC Scholars’ awardees are many family members: parents and children, siblings, a set of quadruplets, twins, and three generations in the same family. This creates a family-based college-going culture. After the 2021 award cycle, 448 Scholars have other family members who are also KC Scholars.
A mother and Adult Learner Scholar, said about her daughter who is a Traditional Scholar, “I want to show my children that you should finish what you start. No one in my family has gotten a degree, so it’s important for me to do that. I am so excited that my daughter and I will be in college at the same time. If I need help, she’s always there to help me. I hope she’ll be able to use me as a study buddy or someone who can relate ….” Another mother, part of a mother and daughter scholarship recipient combo said, “I never thought this would happen! I am proud and honored to go to college at the same time as my daughter. … Now, I just need to work hard to keep up with good grades so that I don’t put my daughter to shame!”