After a decade in operation, Kauffman Scholars, Inc. made several important changes to its college access and scholarship program beginning in the 2012-13 school year. The primary purpose of the changes is to provide students more personalized support so they can achieve their goal of earning a college degree.
These and other Kauffman Scholars program changes are detailed in the Student Handbook of Policies and Procedures. Students and families are expected to follow the program rules and meet the expectations as described in the handbook. If you need additional clarification, please direct your questions to your Kauffman Scholars coach.
How has coaching changed?
Kauffman Scholars students now work with a single coach, instead of separate academic and life coaches. Coaches work with individual students directly at their own schools, during and after school as allowed by each school's circumstances. Students also work with their coaches during Saturday sessions and one-on-one meetings. Coaches develop personalized Individual Success Plans to guide each student toward the goal of college graduation.
Kauffman Scholars is providing greater coaching support throughout the high school years, whereas the majority of support previously was concentrated at the middle school level. Kauffman Scholars coaches meet regularly with all high school students to support their academic, social, and emotional development. Each student now has an Individual Success Plan (ISP) to guide his/her path toward a college degree.
How many coaches will I have throughout the program?
Each student is supported by one coach. Kauffman Scholars will strive to have the same coach work with a student through his/her high school years. Once the student graduates high school, a new coach will be assigned to work with him/her through college graduation. In addition, specialized advisors are working with high school seniors to guide them through the process of college application and admission.
What will my coach do with and for me?
Each coach supports individual students in preparing for success in high school, college, and careers. Coaches support students' academic needs, connect them with resources, provide college advising, and assist with selection of a best-fit postsecondary institution.
Where will my Kauffman Scholars coaching take place?
Kauffman Scholars has replaced its after-school support model with an in-school model. Rather than bus students from their schools, as was done in the previous After-School Enrichment Academy, Kauffman Scholars coaches now meet with students at their own schools to support their individual goals for academic success in high school. Coaches work closely with school staff to offer their services in ways that complement classroom instruction without disrupting the school day.
Can I go to any college in the country?
As noted in the introduction, Kauffman Scholars is building a partnership network with postsecondary institutions. These include colleges, universities, community colleges, and technical schools committed to the success of Kauffman Scholars students. The selected institutions sign formal agreements to provide specific services and support to ensure Kauffman Scholars students the best chance of reaching their goal of college graduation.
Starting with Class 4, students are required to attend an institution that is part of Kauffman Scholars' new postsecondary network. Exceptions are only allowed for students with an ACT score of 25 or higher and a minimum unweighted cumulative high school GPA of 3.0. In such cases, Kauffman Scholars postsecondary advisors work with families to select either a network or out-of-network institution that is the best fit for the student's postsecondary education.
What does my scholarship include?
A Kauffman Scholars "last dollar scholarship" covers all eligible expenses, such as freshman application fees/deposits, tuition, and an allotment for on-campus housing/dining and books, beginning with the academic school year following a student's high school graduation through the fifth consecutive year of postsecondary education, 150 credit hours, or the completion of a bachelor's degree, whichever comes first. Monetary incentives are provided for completion of a degree within four years.
Why must my family complete a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) if Kauffman Scholars is going to pay for my college education?
The Kauffman Scholars scholarship is a "last dollar scholarship." This means that after a student receives all federal and institutional financial aid for which he/she qualifies, Kauffman Scholars will pay the remaining balance for the cost of tuition, books, and room and board. By completing the FAFSA and becoming eligible for federal and institutional scholarships and grants, students and families share the responsibility of postsecondary education and reduce the cost of college for the Kauffman Scholars program.
Can I be a Kauffman Scholar if I attend the Kauffman School?
Kauffman Scholars is fully committed to the postsecondary success of students currently enrolled in the program, but will not be admitting new classes of students. As the Kauffman School grows and serves more grade levels, the Kauffman Foundation and the Kauffman School will work together to ensure students are provided as many opportunities as possible to graduate successfully from college.
Does the Kauffman Foundation still have money to send me to college?
Yes. With an endowment valued at nearly $2 billion, the Kauffman Foundation will definitely honor its commitment to provide a "last dollar scholarship" to students who successfully fulfill all Kauffman Scholars program requirements.
What support can I expect to receive from Kauffman Scholars?
During their high school years, students receive academic advising from their Kauffman Scholars coach. During senior year of high school, a student's postsecondary advisor helps him/her navigate the college application process and choose a best-fit postsecondary institution. During college, students are supported by their Kauffman Scholars "last dollar scholarship," ongoing advisement from their college coach, and on-campus support provided by network partners.
What will be included in the Kauffman Scholars summer program?
Key areas of focus for Kauffman Scholars during the summer months include providing college readiness preparation for incoming college freshmen and facilitating college visits and tours for high school juniors and seniors. Diagnostic testing for all Kauffman Scholars students will be conducted during the summer. Student and parent orientations meetings will take place each August.
Who is leading Kauffman Scholars?
Kauffman Scholars leadership includes Tanesha Ford, Program Director, and Brian Henke, Director of Finance and Operations. Aaron North, Vice President of Education for the Kauffman Foundation, serves as chairman of the Kauffman Scholars Board of Directors.
Will future classes of seventh-graders be added to Kauffman Scholars?
Kauffman Scholars will not be taking in additional classes. When Kauffman Scholars launched in 2003, the Kauffman Foundation committed 19 years and at least $70 million to work with eight classes of students. The students completing ninth grade in August 2013 are the final class of Kauffman Scholars enrolled as part of the original commitment. Our program leaders and staff remain focused on delivering the highest-quality program for the approximately 1,500 students (grades 9 through college seniors) currently enrolled.
Kauffman Scholars is one part of the Kauffman Foundation's longstanding commitment to provide postsecondary opportunities to students of promise in Kansas City, which dates back to Mr. Kauffman himself and the Project Choice program he started. Other programs we support toward this goal include the Ewing Marion Kauffman School, Teach For America, Leading Educators, and the KC STEM Alliance – and we are working to identify other opportunities to help Kansas City students succeed in high school and beyond.
Middle and High School
Am I allowed to attend a private or parochial school?
Yes. Students who live within the boundaries of Kansas City, Kansas Unified District #500 or Kansas City, Missouri School District #33 may attend a private or parochial middle and/or high school as long as the institution is within the municipal boundaries of Kansas City, MO or Kansas City, KS. A student who lives within one of the two school district boundaries may attend a private or parochial school outside of the school district boundaries as long as the school is located in either Kansas City, MO or Kansas City, KS.
Does Kauffman Scholars pay for ACT entrance exams?
Kauffman Scholars encourages students to seek ACT fee waivers from their high schools, but will work with students on a case-by-case basis if waivers are not available.
Does Kauffman Scholars provide ACT preparation?
Yes. Kauffman Scholars will provide preparation for the ACT college entrance exam. We have partners who assist in the continued delivery of this service.
How does Kauffman Scholars directly address academic skill development?
Each high school student works with his/her Kauffman Scholars coach to develop a personalized Individual Success Plan. Coaches also work in partnership with a student's school and teachers to understand how to best support his/her individual needs. In certain circumstances, students are provided with assistance for academic supports, including tutoring and college entrance exam preparation.
How has the loss of accreditation in the KCMO school district affected Kauffman Scholars? What happens if I choose to enroll in another district?
Due to the loss of accreditation of Kansas City, Missouri School District #33 (KCPS), state law permits students residing within the boundaries of KCPS to leave the district to attend an accredited school in another district in Jackson County or an adjacent county. To remain in Kauffman Scholars, students electing to transfer must comply with the KCPS Transfer Policy. After transferring to another district, students are still required to meet all program expectations to remain in good standing with Kauffman Scholars.
Will Kauffman pay for my dual-credit classes?
Yes. Kauffman Scholars encourages students to accelerate their progress toward earning a college degree by accumulating postsecondary credits during high school. This can be achieved through dual enrollment, advanced placement (AP), and/or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. Kauffman Scholars recognizes that the opportunity to attain advanced education is enhanced when a student begins accumulating postsecondary credits during high school. Such credit hours reduce the time and cost required to complete a degree at a postsecondary institution.
A student who earns postsecondary credit during high school may still use the maximum 150 credit hours provided by his/her Kauffman Scholars scholarship at a postsecondary institution, even if the addition of dual enrollment, AP, and IB credits brings a student's total to more than 150 credit hours (e.g. 12 IB credits + 150 scholarship credits = 162 total hours earned).
Are there options for undocumented students?
In order to qualify for a Kauffman Scholars scholarship, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to complete the FAFSA, a student must provide proof of legal status. Thus, students who are not eligible to complete the FAFSA are not eligible for a Kauffman Scholars scholarship.
Kauffman Scholars will make an exception for students who can comply with the current federal policy allowing undocumented students to apply for a legal work visa. Because students who receive a work visa are not eligible to complete the FAFSA, Kauffman Scholars will waive the FAFSA completion requirement and award students a scholarship to attend a limited selection of in-state institutions.