Research indicates that a college degree not only improves salary levels but can open many doors toward advancing a career. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2014, college graduates earned 38 percent more in salary than those who had only completed high school. In addition, the study found that people who lack college degrees were more likely to be lower income and be unhappy with their job. Unfortunately, too many people believe that a college degree is out of their reach due to financial obligations.
In Kansas, there are many scholarships available that can help offset the cost of higher education or cover the cost of college entirely. There are even programs available for non-traditional students.
1. OTF Scholarship
Students who are currently enrolled and completed one year of an occupational therapy program accredited by The American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) are eligible to apply for the AOTF Scholarship. Applicants must have a demonstrated record of outstanding academic achievement and be seeking their first degree in occupational. In addition, there are scholarships available through AOTF for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and have completed one year of advanced study.
You can learn more about the OTF Scholarship here.
2. Anna Kidd Scholarship
The Anna Kidd Scholarship is for college freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors or fifth-year student in any degree program at Fort Hays State University. Applicants must be from Ellis, Kansas. The scholarship is a merit-based program, and students may be required to provide official SAT forms as well as official ACT or SAT scores. Applications may be completed online through Fort Hays University.
3. Bishop Quayle Award
The Bishop Quayle Award is available to students attending the College of Arts and Sciences at Baker University. Applicants must be an active member of a participating church and that church must contribute a scholarship of up to $600 that Baker University will match. The scholarship does not have to be from a United Methodist Church. The maximum award is $1,200.
4. Bryan Dunn & Matt Michael Memorial Scholarship
Students who are attending the Pittsburg State University Keice College of Business may apply for the Bryan Dunn & Matt Michael Memorial Scholarship. Students must have a GPA of 2.5, or higher and first preference is given to students graduating from Humboldt High School and Iola High School, although high school students throughout Kansas may apply. Recipients must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
5. Capitol Federal Savings Scholarship
The Capitol Federal Savings Scholarship is for Emporia State University undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled in the School of Business. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.25 or higher. Preference is given to students from Emporia, Kansas City, Lawrence, Manhattan, Topeka, and Wichita. The awards range from $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the classification of the student. Applications can be obtained from the ESU School of Business.
6. Charles and Bertha Chism Art Scholarship
Barton County residents who wish to pursue a degree in visual arts are eligible to apply for the Charles and Bertha Chism Art Scholarship. Applicants must plan to attend Fort Hays State University. Official transcripts, as well as ACT or SAT scores, may also be required. The scholarship is open to college freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors.
7. Children of Employees of A & A Coors, Inc.; Hays Scholarship
Children of full-time employees of A & A Coors, Inc. in Hays, Kansas or Wholesale Beverage Company in Colby, Kansas, may apply for the Children of Employees of A & A Coors, Inc. Applications must be requested from A & A Coors, Inc., East Eighth Street, Hays, Kansas 67601. Applicants must have a 2.0 GPA or better or a 1.0 for a first-semester freshman. Only one semester will be included in the scholarship unless the student raises their GPA to 2.0 or higher. Candidates must be younger than 25.
8. Crimson and Blue Scholarship
The Crimson and Blue Scholarship at the University of Kansas is available to students who demonstrate academic achievement and leadership. Preference is given to students from approximately 30 counties in one geographic area of Kansas. Applicants must have ACT scores of 28 or higher or SAT scores above 1130. Applicants must also have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. The scholarship is $2,000 per year and is renewable for four years.
9. Dan L. Meisinger Sr. Memorial Learn to Fly Scholarship
Named after the founder of Beechcraft, which is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, the Dan L. Meisinger Sr. Memorial Learn to Fly Scholarship is sponsored by the NATF. Any college student enrolled in an aviation program with a “B” average, or better is eligible to apply. It is suggested that the applicant be recommended by an aviation professional, although direct applications are accepted. The scholarship is for residents of Kansas, Missouri or Illinois.
10. Elberta Harris Scholarship
The Elberta Harris Scholarship was established in 1993 by Elberta Harris of Gardner, Kansas to encourage students to enter the teaching profession. Applicants must have graduated from Johnson County High School and plans to pursue a degree in elementary or secondary education at Emporia State University. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 and a strong record of community service. Applicants must submit an essay, two letters of recommendation, official high school transcripts, and official ACT scores.
11. Foundation Plus Scholarship
The Foundation Plus Scholarship is for students with a minimum ACT score of 31 or who score between 1330 and 1390 on the SAT. Applicants must also have a GPA of 3.6 or higher. Recipients receive $4,750 during their freshman year, and the scholarship may be renewed for $2,500 for up to three additional years as long as the student maintains a GPA of 3.5. Students must attend Kansas State University.
12. Gregory Fleming Scholarship
The Gregory Fleming Scholarship is in memory of the son of Raymond and Dianne Fleming who died at 25 of complications of muscular dystrophy. The $500 scholarship is for a graduating senior at Mulvane High School to be used in their first year of college. Applicants must be able to demonstrate how they overcame adversity, whether academic, social or cultural at the elementary, middle or high school level. Applicants must also demonstrate a drive for life through involvement in the community, school, church or other activities. A sense of humor is also important.
13. Hixon Opportunity Award
The Hixon Opportunity Award is for first-generation college students. Applicants must be Kansas residents entering as freshmen who have faced personal challenges or financial hardship. Preference is given to students whose parents do not have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Applicants must submit an official transcript, letter of recommendation and an essay.
14. Irving W. Cook, WAoCGS Scholarship
One scholarship for $1,000 is available to any resident of Kansas who holds any active amateur radio class license who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree or higher in electronics, communications or a related field. The scholarship is open to students at any college level, including graduate students. Applicants may attend any accredited college or university and are not limited to the state of Kansas. The scholarship is offered through ARRL.
15. James B. Pearson Fellowship
Graduate students at Kansas public universities may apply for the James B. Pearson Fellowship, which was established by a former Kansas senator in order to encourage study abroad. Senator Pearson believed that study abroad created an understanding of the global perspective. Students studying foreign affairs are given preference, and the average stipend is $2,445. Only Kansas residents may apply.
16. KASF Scholarship – Midwestern Regional Chapter
The KASF Scholarship is available to students who are graduating high school seniors, graduate or undergraduate students who live in a Midwestern Region state, which includes Kansas. Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and must be of Korean heritage studying in the United States. Students of Korean heritage may apply regardless of their citizenship status. Demonstration of financial need is required.
17. Kansas Comprehensive Grant
The Kansas Comprehensive Grant is for needy Kansas residents enrolled full-time at 18 private colleges and universities. Applicants may also be attending the six state universities and Washburn University. Applicants must complete the FAFSA and awards range from $200 to $3,500 at private institutions. At public institutions, awards range from $100 to $1,500. Grants are based on financial need and one in three students are assisted through the grant program.
18. Kansas Dental Education Opportunities Program
Kansas residents may apply for the Kansas Dental Education Opportunities which pays the difference between resident and non-resident tuition at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Applicants must be graduate students and must be Kansas residents. The program is designed to encourage dentists to establish practices in Kansas. Award amounts vary, and the application deadline is rolling.
19. Kansas Distinguished Scholarship Program
Students who have been designated Brasenose, Clevening, Fulbright, Madison, Marshall, Mellon, Rhodes or Truman Scholars are eligible for the Kansas Distinguished Scholarship Program. Applicants must plan to continue graduate studies at a Kansas college or university. Funds are reimbursed to the student subject to funding constraints.
20. Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship
The Kansas Ethnic Minority Scholarship is available for minorities who wish to attend a Kansas college or university. The scholarship is for $1,850 and is awarded to students who can demonstrate outstanding academic achievement as well as financial need. Minorities are identified as African American, American Indian, Alaskan Natives, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics. Students must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- ACT score of 21 or higher
- SAT score of 990
- Cumulative GPA of 3.0
- Completion of Kansas Scholars curriculum
- Selection by National Merit Corporation
- Selection by College Board as a Hispanic Scholar
21. Kansas Military Service Scholarship
The Kansas Military Service Scholarship is available to Kansas residents who have served in the military in international waters or on foreign soil in support of military operations. The student must have earned hostile fire pay for at least 90 days after September 11, 2001 or served less than 90 days due to injury during their military service. Applicants must have received an honorable discharge or served under honorable conditions if they are no longer in the service. Copies of military discharge papers or active duty orders must be provided. Students must complete the FAFSA as financial need is a determinant for this scholarship.
22. Kansas National Guard Educational Assistance
A percentage of tuition and fees is available for members of the Kansas National Guard who are pursuing a certificate, diploma or degree. Applicants must be enlisted in the Kansas Air or Army National Guard. Full-time enrollment is not required. Applicants must have a GED or high school diploma and must have less than 20 years’ service in the National Guard. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible.
23. Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship
The Kansas Nursing Service Scholarship is for Kansas residents who are committed to practicing as an LPN or RN in the state. Applicants must be accepted into a Kansas nursing program and have a commitment from an eligible sponsor licensed by the state who will fund half the scholarship and provide full-time employment after licensure. Applicants must enroll in 12 credit hours or more and must sign a promissory note agreeing to practice nursing for one year for each year of scholarship support or funds must be repaid. Applicants must provide a copy of the FAFSA.
24. Kansas Optometry Service Scholarships
The Kansas Optometry Service Scholarships are designed to encourage optometrists to establish a practice in the state. The scholarship pays the difference between resident and non-resident tuition at eligible institutions located outside the state of Kansas. For each year of assistance, recipients agree to return one year of practice in Kansas. Applicants must be Kansas residents and graduate students. The amount of the award varies depending on the college or university attended.
25. Kansas Osteopathic Medical Service Scholarship
Designed for graduate students, the Kansas Osteopathic Medical Service Scholarship is for primary care physicians who are willing to establish practices in rural areas of Kansas. Recipients agree to return one year of practice for each year of assistance with preference going to first-year students. Applicants must be Kansas residents. A financial aid application is required along with a program application. Awards are for up to $15,000.
26. Lora C. and Sam R. Woods Scholarship
College freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors are eligible to apply for the Lora C. and Sam R. Woods Scholarship. The merit-based scholarship is for residents of Edwards County, who must be pursuing a degree in nursing or another health-related profession. First preference is given to students enrolled in nursing programs. Applicants may be required to provide official transcripts as well as SAT or ACT scores.
27. Nolan Moore Memorial Education Foundation Scholarship
The Nolan Moore Memorial Education Foundation Scholarship is for students pursuing a career in printing technology or management. Applicants must attend an accredited printing management or technology program and be a permanent resident of Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma or Texas. Students must be pursuing a degree in management or technology. Those who are seeking degrees in design, photography or web-based careers are not eligible to apply. Awards range from $500 for freshmen students to $2,500 for senior students.
28. Paul and Helen L. Grauer Scholarship
The Paul and Helen L. Grauer Scholarship is for anyone holding an active amateur radio license class in the Midwest Division of ARRL, which includes Kansas. Applicants must be seeking a bachelor’s degree or higher in electronics, communications or a related field and must be attending school in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri or Nebraska. The scholarship is for $1,000 and one award is granted each year.
29. Phi Kappa Phi Fellowship
Phi Kappa Phi is a university-wide academic honorary for Fort Hays State University. In order to become a member, students must have demonstrated academic achievement. Members may apply for up to 60 Fellowships of $5,000 as well as 40 Awards of Excellence of $2,000 each who are entering their first year of graduate or professional study. Each Phi Kappa Phi chapter selects one candidate to compete for the awards. Applications must be mailed to FHSU Phi Kappa Phi Chapter, 600 Park Street, Hays, Kansas 67601.
30. Rodney and Lois Scott Scholarship
Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors as well as graduate students at Fort Hays State University may apply for the Rodney and Lois Scott Scholarship. Applicants must be enrolled in either the College of Business and Leadership or the Math Department. Preference is given to students who are residents of Decatur and Sheridan County. Applicants may be required to provide official transcripts as well as ACT or SAT scores. This scholarship is merit-based.
31. Sedgwick County Scholarship
The Sedgwick County Scholarship is for Wichita State University students who are attending either full- or part-time. The scholarship is $1,000 for part-time and $2,000 for full-time students. Applicants must be new freshmen with a minimum ACT score of 21 or SAT score of 980. Applicants must also rank in the top one-third of their high school graduating class or be a student who participated in Kansas Kids or USD 29 GEAR UP. Applications are available from the Wichita State University website.
32. Soroptimist International of Hays Women’s Opportunity Award
Women who are heads of household may apply for the Soroptimist International of Hays Women’s Opportunity Award. The scholarship covers undergraduate programs as well as vocational and technical training programs. Applications must be requested from the Scholarship Services Officer at Soroptimist of Hays, PO Box 1629, Hays, Kansas 67601. The scholarship is merit-based, and the amounts vary. Multiple awards are available.
33. State Scholars Program
Students who have been identified as State Scholars during their senior year of high school may be awarded a $1,000 State Scholars scholarship. Students must take the ACT prior to December of their senior year and must complete the Kansas State Scholar curriculum which must be certified by a school official. Applicants must provide their seventh semester GPA and applications may be found on the Kansas Board of Regents website.
34. Vocational Scholarship
Full-time students completing a two-year vocational program may be eligible for a $500 scholarship through the Kansas state government. Applicants must take a vocational examination at any pre-designated sites. Approximately 240 scholarships are awarded to students who score highest on the exam. Application and registration form for the vocational examination is available on the Kansas Board of Regents website.
35. Walter S. & Evan C. Jones Foundation Education Scholarship
Residents of Coffey, Lyon or Osage County may apply for the Walter S. & Evan C. Jones Foundation Education Scholarship if they are a United States citizen. Applicants must be high school graduates and must demonstrate financial need. A copy of the FAFSA is required, and students who are eligible for Pell Grants may not apply. Applicants must be enrolled in 12 credit hours or more at an accredited college or university. Trade school attendance may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.