The Kansas City-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, in partnership with seventy partners in the community, has announced a $79 million investment in a new college financing program for low- to mid-income students and adult learners.
To be made over ten years, the investment will support the success of the KC Scholars Program, a scholarship and college savings program designed to help low- and modest-income students, as well as adult learners, finance a college education while boosting postsecondary educational attainment in the Kansas City area. To that end, the three-tiered program annually will award two hundred and fifty traditional scholarships of up to $10,000 a year for up to five years to students enrolled in eleventh grade; offer "adult learner" awards of up to $5,000 a year for up to five years to two hundred adults age 24 or older who have previously earned at least twelve college credits but did not earn a postsecondary degree; and provide a one-time college savings match of $25 to up to a thousand students in ninth grade. Fifty recipients of the latter also will be selected to receive a four-to-one match, not to exceed $5,000, with the potential for an additional $2,000 for students who achieve college-ready milestones during high school.
The program will be available to students in public, charter, and private schools, as well as those who are home-schooled, in the six-county greater Kansas City area.
"KC Scholars is a true community collaboration, driven by the belief that all students — regardless of income, age, or ethnicity — deserve an opportunity to earn a college education," said Kauffman president and CEO Wendy Guillies. "We are honored to work with so many passionate groups to help launch KC Scholars and to be able to announce this significant investment in the program."