Kansas Promise Act Scholarship Helps State Students and Workforce
It’s a familiar refrain across the state that more skilled workers are needed for hiring by Kansas businesses. Good jobs are available, but too often potential employees lack the specialized training necessary to be successful. The Kansas Promise Act Scholarship is a critical component in developing our local workforce and increasing the earning capacity of Kansas students.
Whether it’s a recent high school graduate or an adult employee looking for an industry-recognized degree or an associate’s degree at a Kansas community college, Kansas now offers a scholarship “at no cost to you” to complete your studies / training in one of the following fields: information technology and security; mental and physical health care; advanced manufacturing and building trades; and early childhood education and development.
It is a wonderful opportunity. The Kansas Promise Act scholarships pay for the tuition, fees, books, and supplies needed for the program in what is called a “last dollar scholarship.” Once all federal financial aid and other scholarships are applied, the Kansas Promise Act Scholarship will fully cover all remaining eligible costs in the eligible field of study.
In return for the scholarship, recipients are required to live and work in Kansas for at least two years after obtaining the certificate or diploma.
Passed with overwhelming bipartisan support and enacted in 2021 by the governor, the bill represents recognition by Kansas lawmakers that too many students have been left behind, believing the university was not something they wanted. they could afford. The Kansas Promise Act Scholarship is for those who need additional financial resources to obtain the training required for careers in high-demand occupations, while providing an incentive for Kansas students to work for Kansas companies.
As local businesses seek out employees with relevant job training, Kansas Community Colleges are proud to be part of the solution. Today, the state‘s 19 community colleges offer the Kansas Promise Act scholarship in all four areas of the program, as well as an additional area specific to their local industry needs.
For those who have ever thought they would love to get a degree but couldn’t afford it, this scholarship program is a tool to make those dreams come true. Eligible program areas represent growing industries with demand for employees. Students will graduate with confidence in their ability to secure employment in their field of training. Jobs are plentiful and Kansas employers are keen to hire community college graduates from these programs.
Several years ago, the legislature passed a bill that allowed high school students in vocational technical education to take these courses for free at community and technical colleges in Kansas. The Kansas Promise Act Scholarship will build on the success of this incredible initiative, making specific areas of learning available to adult learners at no cost to them.
The Kansas Promise Act Scholarship is one of the best tools available for building a stronger workforce and training Kansans to meet the needs of the Kansas business community.
For Kansas to meet its greatest challenge of finding and retaining a skilled and educated workforce, we must connect our citizens with opportunities for success. The Kansas Promise Act scholarship addresses this challenge and will allow this to happen statewide. By tying the scholarship investment to life and work in Kansas, the state investment is reaped by Kansas businesses and will encourage recipients to stay in Kansas for the long term.
We urge our fellow citizens of Kansans to share this opportunity with their families, colleagues and neighbors. Anyone interested in completing up to two years of college at no cost to them, in fields with exceptional opportunity and salaries generally above the state average, should pursue the Kansas Promise Act Scholarship. For more information, visit www.KACCT.org or your local community college for more information. The opportunity awaits you!
Nancy Ingram is president of the Kansas Association of Community College Trustees.