Students walk on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus Sept. 1.
(File photo) Students walk on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus Sept. 1. Students seeking to attend UMKC and other Missouri colleges and universities are eligible for a variety of scholarships and grants. (Zach Bauman/The Beacon)

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

If you’re considering college in Missouri, it’s not too early to start thinking about financial aid. 

Here’s a list of some of the major scholarship opportunities in the state, along with eligibility requirements, application information and deadlines. 

For those interested in Kansas colleges, see our list of Kansas scholarships

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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid — 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.  

A “priority deadline” refers to the date students should apply by to get the strongest consideration for the scholarship or grant. Students can apply later but run the risk of funds running out for the year.

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. 

While financial aid can be confusing, students don’t have to navigate the process alone. 

“All questions are valid and we’re here to help,” said Dena Norris, associate vice chancellor of student financial services at Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City. “So don’t hesitate to reach out to your financial aid staff or anyone on campus.”

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.

A+ Scholarship program

Who is eligible? High school students who have volunteered as mentors or tutored for 50 hours. They also must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have at least a 2.5 GPA and 95% attendance, and sign an agreement with a participating high school. Students should attend an eligible community college or technical school full time as a degree-seeking student. High school students on track to meet the eligibility requirements can also receive scholarship money for dual-credit courses beginning in 2022. 

How much money is it? Covers remaining tuition and fees after other aid is applied, covering up to 105% of the coursework required for the degree. 

How do I apply? Meet the eligibility requirements and ask what confirmation the college needs aside from the A+ stamp on the high school diploma. Fill out the FAFSA. 

Deadline: None listed, but missing FAFSA deadlines can jeopardize aid. Students should also check their colleges’ financial aid deadlines. 

Find more information here.

Access Missouri

Who is eligible? Missouri residents who are also U.S. citizens or permanent residents. Students must enroll full time at a participating Missouri school and have an expected family contribution of $12,000 per year or less based on the FAFSA. Theology and divinity students and those who already have a bachelor’s degree are not eligible.  

How much money is it? $300 to $2,850 per year depending on type of school, funds available and other financial aid. 

How do I apply? Fill out the FAFSA. 

Priority deadline: Feb. 1. The final deadline is 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 Missouri colleges 

Advanced Placement Incentive Grant

Who is eligible? Students who received an award under the A+ program or Access Missouri and also scored 3 or higher on at least two Advanced Placement tests in math or science while attending a Missouri public high school. 

How much money is it? Up to $500 one time

How do I apply? Submit a one-page application filled out by the student and their college’s financial aid office.  

Deadline: June 1, 2022, for the 2021-22 school year

Find more information here.

Bright Flight

Who is eligible? Missouri residents who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and score in the top 3% or in the top 4th or 5th percentiles on the ACT or SAT among students in Missouri. Students must enroll in a participating Missouri school, and not pursue a degree or certificate in theology or divinity. 

How much money is it? Up to $3,000 per year, depending on funding and test score. 

How do I apply? Take the ACT or SAT by the deadline. 

Priority deadline: Qualifying test score must be achieved by the June test date after high school graduation. 

Find more information here.

Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant

Who is eligible? Students 25 or older who have not enrolled in any school within the past two years and do not have a bachelor’s degree. Students can enroll full- or part-time in an approved program. (The most updated list is included in the application.) Income limits are $80,000 for those filing jointly or $40,000 for those filing under any other tax status.  

How much money is it? Covers tuition and fees not already covered by other federal or state grants. Students can receive $500 for other education-related expenses if other aid already covers tuition and fees. 

How do I apply? Enroll in an approved program, complete the application, and complete the FAFSA each year you are enrolled. 

Deadline: May 15, 2022, for the 2021-22 school year. 

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 Jackson, Clay, Cass and Platte. 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. 

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

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

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. Jackson, Clay, Cass and Platte counties are considered part of the Kansas City 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.

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.

Recent Posts

Maria Benevento is the education reporter at The Kansas City Beacon. She is a Report for America corps member. Follow her on Twitter @MariaFBenevento.