The Application Deadline is Midnight March 1, 2019


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.

Awardees – and non-awardees – are notified each May.

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


Applications open every January and close in early March. Check back in fall 2019 for exact deadlines.

Check our website in early fall each year for exact dates and get ready early so you are prepared to apply.

Applications are completed in the KC Scholars’ online scholarship portal by logging in on this website. When applications are open, there will be an easy button (Apply Now) in several places on the website.

When are Awards Announced?

Scholarship awards are announced annually in early May.


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.


KC Scholars hosts required Orientations in June and July – after awards are made in May – so that we can meet Scholars and their families and share Program Guidelines which are also located on our website. At Orientation, Scholars also meet their college adviser – who will support them to plan for college, receive a College Planning Timeline so they know what to do when to be ready for college, and meet other Scholars.


KC Scholars developed a collaboration with 17 colleges and universities – many in the Kansas City region – at which the KC Scholars’ scholarship and match and incentive awards may be used to earn a undergraduate degree.

KC Scholars calls this its Postsecondary Network and works closely with the campuses to ensure Scholars are well supported. The Network campuses are listed below, along with their branch campuses at which you can use your KC Scholars’ award.