Rockhurst Broadens KC Scholars Offerings for the Second Year and into the Future

Monday, December 4, 2017
Students studying

Last year, a new initiative launched aimed at increasing the number of college graduates in the Kansas City area.

With the help of 17 different regional educational institutions and a number of community partners, the KC Scholars program provides three different options for college funding designed to benefit traditional and nontraditional students alike who qualify based on academic performance and financial need.

As admission applications for the first cohort of KC Scholar recipients are being submitted to Rockhurst, University officials say the program is providing a strong path for future generations of Hawks to access a high quality Jesuit education at Rockhurst.

“We say that we are ‘in the city for good,’ and I think that making a Rockhurst education accessible to as many of these high-achieving hometown students as we can is a reflection of that commitment to Kansas City,” said Matt Ellis, the University’s associate vice president for enrollment.

Ellis said KC Scholar traditional award recipients who choose Rockhurst will be also eligible for the new Rockhurst KC Scholars Grant, in addition to any other financial aid they may be eligible for. Ellis said The University’s new grant removes the potential financial barrier and minimizes student loan debt for KC Scholars recipients. The new aid offerings were on display for potential applicants and their families at a recent KC Scholars workshop hosted at the University.

“The goal is that we are meeting 100 percent of the remaining direct need through all forms of financial aid and the KC Scholars awards, and removing potential financial barriers for this talented group of awardees,” Ellis said. “We’re really excited about being able to offer that, and there was a little bit of a sense of shock for the first few students that learned about the Rockhurst KC Scholar Grant.”

In addition to financial support, Ellis said Rockhurst University plans to make being a KC Scholar a unique distinction among the student body. Ashley Halter, M.A., University success coach, said the next KC Scholars cohort at Rockhurst will participate together in the Manresa program. Named for the town in Spain where St. Ignatius of Loyola spent a year discerning and developing his spiritual and vocational journeys. The Manresa program guides students through a comprehensive and interactive tour of University resources and introduces them to key contact people who will assist them throughout their 4 years on campus. From the Aylward-Dunn Learning Center to Career Services to the Center for Service Learning, Halter said the program, reflected in the name, is meant to evoke that process of discovery as they begin their journey at Rockhurst. They will experience academic, leadership and service opportunities that will introduce them to the life-changing experience that Rockhurst’s Jesuit higher education offers students.

“The hope is to help them feel very connected here,” she said.

And it’s not just connecting the KC Scholars to the broader University community — Halter said through a series of events, activities and exclusive leadership opportunities, those in the program at Rockhurst will build a sense of identity within their own cohort as well as with future generations of KC Scholars.

Learn more about the KC Scholars program at Rockhurst University by visiting