KC Scholars is poised for continued impact and sustainability and is providing good news when good news is needed.
On Friday, May 1, KC Scholars announced their highly anticipated college scholarships for low-and-modest income students across a six-county area of the Kansas City region. The awards provide financial assistance, college advisement, and college planning and persistence support for students who have the greatest need and who may otherwise be unable to complete a postsecondary degree. This year, students from 95 unique public, private, public charter, and home-based high schools applied for a scholarship. For awardees, their dream of a college education will now become reality.
KC Scholars awarded 1169 scholarships totaling a renewable investment of $32.5 million.
“KC Scholars stands for hope and opportunity – something our collective soul yearns for at this time. The impact will live on for generations to come and will enrich our regional community,” stated Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, president and CEO of KC Scholars. “KC Scholars opens doors of opportunity for our Scholars, and for their families, and ensures fair and equitable access to education and employment. With the support of this program, this region’s students can fulfill their dreams!”
KC Scholars has built its reputation as a strong community asset designed and supported by the Kansas City community. 100% of operations for the program are funded for years into the near future. KC Scholars is strong, sustainable, and will deliver on its impact on the region’s postsecondary attainment rates and workforce pipeline.
KC Scholars’ goals include that 75% of Scholars complete a credit-bearing credential, associate, and/or bachelor’s degree and that 80% of completers stay in the Kansas City region to live, work and contribute. From its inception in 2016, KC Scholars will have awarded over 4,000 scholarships over four award cycles.
“When I was a senior in high school, knowing I had the scholarship helped me stay focused,” stated Marcus Jones, a traditional scholar and sophomore at William Jewell College. “I was able to think about the college transition rather than worrying about the finances and taking on that burden. My financial aid was a big factor in choosing a college. I would not be at William Jewell without KC Scholars.”
KC Scholars is achieving impressive early outcomes: the number of applicants has increased annually, college enrollment rates are near 100%, and 96% of Scholars have persisted from year 1 to 2 of college. Adult Learners are persisting in college at 30% higher than the national rate. These rates significantly exceed regional, state, and national rates.
“Our Scholars are this community’s future leaders, neighbors, co-workers, and front-line service providers,” continued Tankersley-Bankhead. “In this turbulent time, we must not - we dare not - forget the positive impact of education.”
“I will be the first person in my family to graduate with a college degree,” remarked Katherine Randolph, 2017 Adult Learner and bachelor’s degree graduate of Avila University. “The KC Scholars scholarship means the world to me. It allows me the opportunity to go further than anyone in my family, and to be that example for my mother and daughter.” Katherine is employed full-time at KU Med Center and plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work.
For more information or to donate to future scholars, please visit KCScholars.org.