The price of attending college is high and the cost continues to rise each year. If your career goals require that you attend college, you might be overwhelmed at the prospect of financing your education. Fortunately, there are several different options available to help students pay for a high-quality college education.
There are many sources of funding that college students and those preparing to enter college should be aware of. The student or the student’s parents might have money saved, the student might work or participate in a work study program, or the student or parent could take on student loans.
The first source students should look to, though, is a grant or a scholarship. In many cases, it takes a variety of sources to fully fund a college education, but grants and scholarships should be the first option explored since these do not need to be re-paid.
Kansas students have a variety of grant and scholarship options that are worth looking into. Here is a guide to help you navigate the grants and scholarships available to students in Kansas. It will outline some of the best scholarships and grants available and walk you through where to find additional information and where and how to apply.
The Kansas Board of Regents maintains a website with a list of state grants and scholarships that are available to Kansas residents. The website also contains the link for the State of Kansas Student Aid Application, which is necessary to compete for the listed state grants and scholarships. Students can use the online form, or download and mail the application in.
This scholarship is based on both need and academic performance. It is available to students of certain ethnic minorities including African American, Hispanic, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Pacific Islander.
Priority is given to freshmen applicants, but recipients can potentially receive the scholarship each year of undergraduate study if academic standards are maintained and students renew the application each year.
Students can currently receive up to $1,850 each year based on financial need and available state funds. To be considered, students must complete both a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and a State of Kansas Student Aid Application.
This grant is designed for students with the most financial need. Students attending one of the Kansas private or public universities full-time who are in financial need will be considered for this grant. The grant is funded by the state of Kansas and also sometimes includes federal funds.
Kansas students must complete a FAFSA by the April 1st deadline and list an eligible Kansas institution on the application to be considered for this money. Recipients can receive up to $1,500 per academic year at a public university and up to $3,500 per year while attending an eligible private university in Kansas.
This scholarship is designed to assist students who display both financial need and superior academic performance. To be considered, students must receive state scholar designation during the senior year of high school.
A combination of GPA and ACT scores are combined to determine if a Kansas high school student qualifies for state scholar distinction. Students pursuing this distinction must also complete the outline state scholar curriculum.
Students who meet this criteria will compete, based on financial need, with other qualified applicants. The number of students who will receive scholarship money each year will depend on the current level of state funding available. Students must quality based on the information submitted on the FAFSA each year and can receive up to $1,000 each undergraduate year.
The state of Kansas also offers some grants that are geared towards students with certain career goals in mind.
The goal of the Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship is to fill teaching positions in hard-to-fill disciplines and positions in underserved Kansas public schools. Students pursuing a degree in teaching and current teachers enrolled in school to pursue an endorsement in a hard-to-fill subject area are all eligible.
Currently the hard-to-fill disciplines are listed as special education, mathematics, science, foreign language, and English as a Second Language. Students receive money based on the number of courses currently being taken and must agree to serve in the hard-to-fill area or teach in one of the underserved schools for a period of time equal to the amount of time the student received award money.
Should a recipient choose not to complete the service obligation after completing school, the student will be required to repay the award money as if it were a federal PLUS loan. Recipients can renew the scholarship each year but must complete both the FAFSA and the state aid application each year.
The Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship is very similar to the Teacher Service Scholarship. Students receive funds and agree to a specific work situation following graduation.
Students must locate a sponsor who will agree to pay anywhere from $1,000 per year up to one half of the scholarship amount and agree to hire the student following successful completion of a nursing program. Students must remain employed by the sponsor for a period equal to the amount of time scholarship funds are provided.
Nursing students can receive up to $3,500 per year to help fund a Licensed Practical Nurse or Registered Nurse program. Assuming the student upholds his or her end of the agreement and works for the sponsor for the required time period; the money will not need to be repaid. This scholarship is an excellent way to pay for valuable training in nursing.
This scholarship is available to students enrolled full-time in a community college, technical college and select four year universities who are enrolled in approved vocational programs.
To quality students must take a vocational exam, complete a FAFSA, and complete the State of Kansas Student Aid Application. Students can find the registration form for the vocational test here. The scholarship provides $500 of funding to the students with the highest scores on the vocational test.
The state of Kansas offers assistance to students involved with the military through a couple of grant and scholarship programs.
Members of the Kansas National Guard can receive as much as full funding to complete a college education. This assistance program provides an excellent opportunity for Kansas National Guard members to complete a degree program potentially at no cost.
Students do not need to be enrolled full time to be eligible, but National Guard members will be required to serve additional time in the National Guard after receiving educational benefits. Students must commit to serving a period equal to half of the amount of time benefits were received following completion of the educational program.
Active duty military members and prior military members who are residents of Kansas might qualify for the Kansas Military Service Scholarship. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 90 days of post 9-11 military service or have sustained an injury that cut service time to less than 90 days. Students must have served in either Operation Enduring Freedom, Nobel Eagle or Iraqi Freedom.
Students can attend any Kansas public university, community college or vocational school and must remain in satisfactory academic standing during the entire course of study. Recipients will be awarded funds partly based on financial need and must complete a FAFSA to be considered. Students receiving other types of military funding such as tuition assistance or GI Bill funding will receive Kansas Military Service Scholarship Money after all of these funds are taken into consideration.
In addition to completing the FAFSA, students must complete and submit the Military Service Scholarship application, which can be found here. Active duty military or veterans of the recent campaigns can benefit significantly from this scholarship.
Career work study can be an excellent way for students to gain valuable experience and networking in their chosen field and to help finance the education required to advance in the career.
Students participating in Career Work Study work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session or 40 hours during vacations and summer to pay for school. Employers contract with Kansas universities and are reimbursed for compensating the student. This program is beneficial in that it helps students pay for college and avoid debt and also provides experience in the student’s chosen field.
This award provides funding for Kansas graduate students to study abroad. Applications can be obtained by calling the Kansas Board of Regents at (785) 296-3517 or by visiting the graduate school office at the school. Awards are based on the amount of funding available.
This program is designed to retain high quality undergraduate scholars as they consider graduate school, and encourage them to attend a Kansas public university for graduate school. Those students with the distinction of Brasenose, Clevening, Fulbright, Madison, Marshall, Mellon, Rhodes or Truman Scholar can receive this scholarship and the amount awarded is based on current available funds.
By the time a student reaches Graduate school level, he or she typically has some very specific career goals in mind. These grants and scholarships can help lower the cost of completing professional education in a variety of fields.
Being that there are no dental schools located in Kansas, a way to encourage Kansas residents to set up dental practices in Kansas was needed. The Kansas Dental Education Opportunities Program was designed with this goal in mind.
Students receiving this grant can attend the nearby University of Missouri-Kansas City Dental School and receive reimbursement for the difference between resident and non-resident tuition. Applications are available at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
This program operates in much the same way as other service scholarships. Students attending participating universities can receive financial assistance in exchange for agreeing to teach nursing at a Kansas post secondary institution for a period equal to the amount of time the scholarship money was received. Interested students can pick up an application packet at the Nursing Department of participating universities.
Like the Dental Education Opportunities Program, students receiving the Optometry Service Scholarship will receive scholarship money that equals the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition amounts.
The state of Kansas contracts with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, The Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee and the School of Optometry at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. A certain number of seats are available each year to Kansas residents participating in this program and availability and continuation of the program are based on funding.
Students who receive this award money agree to return to Kansas for at least one year of service for each year the scholarship was received and practice Optometry in Kansas. The application along with more information is available here.
This scholarship provides funding for up to 32 Kansas residents per year who display financial need and who agree to practice family medicine in a designated underserved area of Kansas.
To be considered for this scholarship, which can provide up to $25,000 per year in funding, students must complete both the FAFSA and the program application.
Participating medical students must sign a promissory note that will obligate them to repay the money as if it were a loan with interest accruing when the money was originally awarded should the student fail to fulfill the service requirements following completion of school.
The state of Kansas provides tuition and fee waivers to students facing certain special circumstances. The tuition and fee waiver program allows qualifying students to attend a state university, community college or technical school in Kansas without paying the required tuition and fees.
The waiver programs are available to the following students: Foster Care Tuition Waiver, Dependents and Spouses of Deceased Public Safety Officers, Prisoners of War & Deceased Military personnel.
The applications can be found using the following links, respectively:
Several scholarships are available to students who are members of the Kansas Farm Bureau and who are attending college studying in an agriculture related field.
This scholarship is available only to students attending either Kansas State University or Fort Hayes State University. To qualify, students must be members of the Kansas Farm Bureau, be studying in a field that is related to agriculture and must be a Junior or a Senior. Students must request the general scholarship directly from the school by calling or writing.
Students can find full instructions and eligibility criteria here.
Farm Bureau Collegiate members attending a Kansas college with a recognized chapter of the Farm Bureau Collegiate Program can apply for this scholarship here. Students must be studying in an agriculture-related field to be considered.
Farm Bureau members enrolled in the College of Agriculture at Kansas State University can apply for this scholarship. It is available only to students studying agricultural economics. The application can be printed and mailed or can be completed online here.
Kansas residents also have access to several forms of federal student aid. Unlike federal loans, federal grants are available to students in financial need and do not need to be repaid following the completion of school. Here is an overview of some federal aid that is available to qualifying students.
After completing the FAFSA Students will be notified of their family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and will be notified of what grants are available to them to help pay for college. The first of these grants is the Pell Grant.
Undergraduate students or students enrolled in a teaching program can receive up to $5,500 per year depending on their level of financial need. Students who complete a FAFSA will automatically be considered. and must complete a FAFSA each year to continue to qualify.
This grant is offered in addition to the Pell Grant only to students who display the most financial need. Qualifying students will receive anywhere from $100 to $4,000 per year from this grant.
Students who have had a parent die as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan and who do not quality for a Pell Grant are eligible to receive an amount up to the maximum awarded to Pell Grant recipients ($5,500 per year).
This program is similar to the Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship. The student must be studying to become a teacher and must complete a TEACH Grant Agreement to serve. Students receive funding to complete teacher education in exchange for agreeing to teach in an underserved area or in a high-need field. More information and instructions can be found here.
The cost of college is high, but graduates will find that the career opportunities available after completing a college degree make the cost and effort worth it. Fortunately for Kansas residents there are several different grants and scholarships available to help students reach their educational and career goals.
Using this guide and taking some time to apply for education grants and scholarships will help you get on your way to obtaining a valuable college degree.