The general cycle for 9th and 11th graders and adult learners will be open from January 1 – February 28, 2020.


Adult Learner Scholarship Application - open from October 1 – November 20, 2019 and again from January 1 – February 28, 2020.

Adult Learners will be awarded in December 2019 and April 2020. Whether notification of award is received in December 2019 or April 2020, the KC Scholars’ scholarship will start in Fall 2020.

For the Traditional Scholarship and College Savings Account/Match Program, 9th and 11th graders can register and apply from January 1 – February 28, 2020. Awards for 9th and 11th graders will be made on May 1, 2020.


A minimum of 500 scholarships are awarded annually:

  • 250 Traditional
  • 200 Adult Learner
  • 50 College Savings Match (with up to 500 College Savings Accounts seeded)

In May 2017, 635 awards were made. In May 2018, 919 awards were made. In May 2019, 1,354 awards were made.

The number of awards made annually is based on the external funds raised.


Receiving a KC Scholars scholarship is a tremendous accomplishment and honor. Scholars indicate that receiving the scholarship and support services changed their lives and they are proud to be Scholars.

KC Scholars is a very competitive award program. Thousands of students and adult learners in the six-county Kansas City metropolitan area meet minimum eligibility requirements during each annual award cycle. In the first two years, there was a 25% award rate, with approximately 1 in 4 applicants receiving a scholarship.

Before an individual can apply for a scholarship, minimum eligibility requirements must have been met and been verified through an online eligibility check. KC Scholars Eligibility Requirements

For those individuals who are eligible to apply and complete and submit their application and required supporting materials by the deadline, evaluation criteria are consistently applied to determine which applicants receive a scholarship or a college savings account (and those selected to participate in the match and incentives program). More than 220 volunteer community reviewers are selected and trained to utilize a scoring rubric from which they evaluate applicants’ essays and recommendations. Their scores help to determine scholarship recipients. The 100-point rubric considers the most important factors for each of the three program components (traditional scholarship, adult scholarship, and college savings account/match program), including:

  • applicants’ motivation to go to college;
  • applicants’ preparedness for college;
  • applicants’ likelihood to complete college;
  • completeness of essays in addressing prompts;
  • financial need;
  • GPA;
  • county distribution for those selected for the college savings match and incentive program; and
  • assurance of a diverse recipient pool that meets KC Scholars’ established goals.

Application evaluation criteria were determined by the KC Scholars Selection Criteria Workgroup and approved by the Steering Committee when KC Scholars was being planned. These groups were comprised of community members.

Training of volunteer community reviewers includes discussion about implicit bias and explanation of a strict conflict of interest policy. Community reviewers evaluate applications without names and schools being viewable to further ensure a fair and consistent evaluation process of all applicants.

If you have questions or suggestions, please contact KC Scholars at or 816-581-5700.