The University of Missouri Kansas City expects to hand out 400 more scholarships to low- and moderate-income students, thanks to a partnership with a local nonprofit.
UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal announced Thursday during his state-of-the-campus address that the university is partnering with KC Scholars to expand its scholarship program. UMKC and KC Scholars will each contribute $10 million into the program.
UMKC currently has 46 KC Scholar recipients enrolled. With the new $20 million combined commitment from the university and KC Scholars, UMKC students would benefit from an additional 400 scholarships over nine years, each worth $10,000 a year for five years.
On Friday and Monday, the university and KC Scholars planned to notify 80 metro area students that they are the first recipients of the new scholarships.
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“We are taking our partnership with the KC Scholars organization to a whole new level,” Agrawal said. He said that while KC Scholars helps hundreds of students who might otherwise struggle to afford college or not go at all, many more students who haven’t been reached.
“So I am proud to say that UMKC is stepping up to meet that challenge. As the university that was created to serve this community, this is our role and our responsibility,” Agrawal said.
KC Scholars was launched with a $79 million contribution from the Kauffman Foundation in 2016 to help needy students afford college. The program awards approximately 500 college scholarships each year to recent high school graduates and adult learners living in the metro area to attend one of 17 partner colleges and universities in Missouri and Kansas.
The new partnership answers part of a promise that UM System President Mun Choi made earlier this year to invest $100 million in new scholarship programs, including $75 million available to students based on need.
UMKC is the first of the system’s four campuses to offer a scholarship match program under Choi’s expanded scholarship promise.
Agrawal also announced several new initiatives, including:
▪ Improved and expanded on-campus student housing
▪ Improving graduation rates
▪ Growing enrollment by 50 percent over 50 years
▪ Doubling research grants over a span of 10 years
“It won’t be easy,” Agrawal said. “It will take effort, enthusiasm, commitment, talent and creativity. But it can be done.
“Spectacular can happen here. We owe it to our students, to our community and to ourselves. Otherwise, why are we here?”