(File photo) The campus of Johnson County Community College is pictured Sept. 16 in Overland Park. Students in Kansas have access to a variety of scholarships to help them pursue higher education. (Zach Bauman/The Beacon)

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Editor’s note: This story was updated Nov. 2, 2021, to add an entry for the Chandler Turner Scholarship Fund.

In September, The Kansas City Beacon’s story about the Kansas Promise Scholarship struck a chord. It was widely shared on social media, showing a huge interest in information about college scholarships.

The Promise Scholarship provides free community or technical college for students in high-demand fields. 

But financial aid is also available for four-year degrees, no matter what you’re studying and even if you’re not eligible to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  

So we’ve compiled a list of some of the major scholarship opportunities in Kansas, along with eligibility requirements, application information and deadlines. 

For Kansas state-sponsored scholarships, a “priority deadline” refers to the date applications are first reviewed. Students can apply later but run the risk of funds running out for the year. The application period for the 2022-23 school year will open in January. 

If you live across the state line, don’t worry. A Missouri list is on its way soon. 

Experts say it’s important not to assume you aren’t eligible for aid. Some scholarships have relatively high income caps, and colleges and universities might be willing to work with students who have special circumstances, regardless of what financial aid forms say. 

For many scholarships, the FAFSA — a federal form used to determine eligibility for Pell Grants and many state or local scholarships — is an entry point for applying. The Wichita Beacon provides a guide to the FAFSA

Undocumented students, who aren’t always eligible to fill out the FAFSA or to receive certain forms of federal and state aid, can also find dedicated scholarships at some institutions. 

“There are times where applications for scholarships don’t get turned in; they don’t have a lot of recipients and they have unused funds,” said Nick Sutton, director of financial aid at Donnelly College. “So it’s really important for students to just get those applications in, whether they think they’re going to be eligible or not.”

Hispanic Development Fund

Who is eligible? Students of Hispanic/Latino descent who attended a Kansas City-area high school for at least three years prior to graduation. Johnson and Wyandotte counties are considered part of the KC area. Students must be accepted or enrolled in higher education full time and working toward an associate, bachelor’s or graduate degree. Applications are judged based on academics, financial need and community involvement. 

How much money is it? The average award in 2021 was nearly $2,000. Some institutions offer matching scholarships. 

How do I apply? The application will open Dec. 1, 2021. 

Find more information here.

KC Scholars

Who is eligible? 11th-graders who meet minimum academic requirements and plan to graduate in a Kansas City-area county, including Johnson or Wyandotte in Kansas. Expected family contribution using the FAFSA calculator should be $12,000 per year or less. Dreamers/DACA recipients are eligible, along with U.S. citizens and other legal residents. Students must attend one of 17 partner colleges. Scholarships are also available for adult learners age 24 and up who have previously completed some college and meet the same income and residency requirements. Scholarships are competitive based on financial need, GPA, essays, diversity, preparedness, motivation and likelihood of completing college. 

How much money is it? Up to $10,000 a year for up to five years. 

How do I apply? For the adult learner scholarship, complete this checklist, including an application form, eligibility check, recommendations, personal statements and transcripts. More information about the traditional scholarship will be available this fall. 

Deadline: Nov. 19, 2021, for the adult learner scholarship. The 2021 deadline for the traditional scholarship was in February. The 2022 deadline has not yet been announced. 

Find more information about the traditional scholarship and the adult learner scholarship.

Chandler Turner Scholarship Fund

Who is eligible? African American students who live in the Kansas City area and have been accepted to at least one postsecondary institution. Applicants do not have to attend college in the Kansas City area and can attend a four-year college or a community or technical college. Scholarships prioritize students studying education or health care. 

How much money is it? The amount may vary based on fundraising success. Last year’s amount was $2,000. The scholarship is generally a one-time award. 

How do I apply? Submit a mailed or online application, including an essay detailing your goals and financial need, two letters of recommendation, transcripts, photo and letter of acceptance.

Deadline: March 31, 2022

Find more information here.

Kansas Promise Scholarship

Who is eligible? Kansas residents who recently graduated from high school, adults 21 or older who have lived in the state for at least three years, and military service members’ children who meet certain requirements. Family income caps are $100,000 for a family of two, $150,000 for a family of three, and higher for larger families. Students must enroll in an eligible program in one of several high-demand fields, typically at a community or technical college. Recipients must also live and work in the state for two years after completing their education.

How much money is it? The scholarship covers the entire cost of education after other financial aid is applied, including tuition, fees, books and other course materials. 

How do I apply? Fill out a FAFSA, submit the scholarship application to your school’s financial aid office, and sign an agreement to live and work in the state for two years after completing your education. Students must complete their program within 30 months. 

Deadline: None listed, but funding is limited. 

Find more information here.

Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant

Who is eligible? Kansas residents who graduated from high school or have a GED. Recipients must enroll in an eligible technical career education program. Preference goes to students with financial need. 

How much money is it? Up to $500 per semester for full-time students, renewable for four semesters. 

How do I apply? Fill out a FAFSA and a Kansas Student Aid Application. Have your school submit a verification form

Priority deadline: May 1 

Find more information here.

Kansas Comprehensive Grant

Who is eligible? Kansas residents who have great financial need and attend an eligible Kansas private or public university full time. There is funding for about one-third of eligible students. 

How much money is it? $200 to $3,500 at a private institution or $100 to $1,500 at a public institution. 

How do I apply? Submit a FAFSA and list at least one eligible college on the FAFSA. 

Priority deadline: April 1 

Find more information here.

What if I’m not eligible to fill out the FAFSA or don’t receive enough state or federal aid? 

There are thousands of scholarships outside these state and federal programs, some of which don’t require a FAFSA. These include need- or merit-based scholarships sponsored by specific colleges or universities as well as those sponsored by private individuals or organizations. 

Scholarship databases: 

Scholarship pages for Kansas City-area colleges in Kansas:

Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship

Who is eligible? Students who have financial need and identify as one of these races or ethnicities: African American; American Indian or Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander; or Hispanic. The scholarship is competitive based on academics. Students should meet at least one of the academic requirements. Recipients must attend a Kansas college.   

How much money is it? Up to $1,850 annually. Renewable for four or five years, depending on the program.

How do I apply? Fill out a FAFSA and the Kansas Student Aid Application, then submit the Ethnic Minority Scholarship Information Form, filled out by the student’s high school. 

Deadline: May 1 

Find more information here.

Kansas National Guard Education Assistance

Who is eligible? Current members of the Kansas National Guard who have a high school diploma or GED, don’t already have a four-year degree, and enroll in a Kansas college or university. 

How much money is it? Varies by year depending on funding and number of eligible applicants. 

How do I apply? Fill out a FAFSA and apply for Federal Tuition Assistance, if applicable. Agree to serve in the National Guard an additional 24 months after completing college or repay the tuition assistance. 

Deadline: Jan. 31 for spring 2022 semester; deadline for fall 2022 not yet listed 

Find more information here.

Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship 

Who is eligible? People accepted to a Kansas registered nurse or licensed practical nurse program who plan to work in Kansas. Applicants should have a sponsor who will employ them after graduation and in some cases pay part of their tuition. 

How much money is it? $3,500 per year for LPN programs and $4,500 per year for RN programs. 

How do I apply? Complete the FAFSA by the April 1 priority deadline and complete the Kansas Student Aid Application. Commit to work for a sponsor for at least one year per year of aid received. 

Priority deadline: May 1 

Find more information here.

Kansas State Scholarship 

Who is eligible? Students who completed the Kansas Scholars Curriculum, took the ACT by December of their senior year, and received a letter indicating they were designated as a Kansas State Scholar based on ACT score and GPA. Financial need is also considered. 

How much money is it? Up to $1,000 per year, renewable for four or five years. Award amount depends on financial need and funding available. 

How do I apply? Fill out a FAFSA, priority deadline April 1, and the Kansas Student Aid Application, priority deadline May 1. 

Priority deadline: July 1 

Find more information here.

Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship

Who is eligible? Kansas residents pursuing a teaching degree or teachers pursuing a new endorsement or master’s degree in a hard-to-fill subject or underserved geographic area. Priority goes to junior and senior college students and licensed teachers. 

How much money is it? Up to $2,768 per semester for full-time students, for up to 10 semesters of undergraduate and/or graduate coursework.

How do I apply? Fill out a FAFSA, priority deadline April 1, and the Kansas Student Aid Application, priority deadline May 1. Submit any college transcripts, at least one letter of recommendation, an essay and teaching license, if applicable. Plan to teach in Kansas at least one year for every year of funding received. 

Priority deadline: June 1 

Find more information here.

Federal Pell Grant

Who is eligible? Students with financial need. 

How much money is it? Amount varies by year, financial need and school’s cost of attendance, among other factors. The maximum for 2021-22 is $6,495. Students can receive a Pell Grant for up to six years. 

How do I apply? Fill out a FAFSA.  

Deadline: Students should check their colleges’ financial aid deadlines. Funding for the Pell Grant is not limited, and students can receive the grant retroactively if they file a 2021-22 FAFSA as late as June 30, 2022.

Find more information here.

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Maria Benevento

Maria Benevento is the education reporter at The Kansas City Beacon. She is a Report for America corps member.