KC Scholars awards first $50,000 scholarships; MCC is a participating college

Monday was not just May Day for more than 600 high school students and adult learners. It was Scholarship Day, as the new KC Scholars program announced its inaugural class of recipients.

The Kauffman Foundation program said it considered applications from 2,054 people, including students from 97 schools in a six-county area. Ultimately, 285 high school juniors received college scholarships and 91 adults did as well.

The scholarships for high school students are worth up to $10,000 a year for up to five years. The adult learner awards, for people with some college but not a degree, are worth up to $5,000 a year for up to five years.

KC Scholars, which aims to help low- and modest-income families with higher education expenses, also has a third component, a college-savings program. KC Scholars gave 232 high school freshmen $25 in 529 college savings plans, with 70 of those students selected for a 4-1 match and incentives program that could amount to  $7,000 for college.

Metropolitan Community College is one of 17 colleges and universities available to KC Scholars. Several Kansas City Public Schools students enrolled in the MCC/KCPS Early College Academy were notified that they’d won KC Scholars awards.

The Kansas City Star reported that the Kauffman Foundation will invest $79 million over 10 years in the new program and that other community groups are expected to contribute millions of dollars more in coming years.