Another $20 Million Pours In To Help Kansas City Area Students Attend UMKC | KCUR

Another $20 Million Pours In To Help Kansas City Area Students Attend UMKC

Jan 29, 2019

A new $20 million scholarship program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City will help around 800 students over the next decade. 

Bloch Family Scholarships will bring two new scholarships to UMKC, and expand the existing Henry W. Bloch Scholars program, which aims to serve students from urban neighborhoods who may not be considered for scholarships due to past academic performance.

Brian Ramirez is one of those scholars at UMKC. He said he was a good student in high school but always struggled with standardized testing.

"I am a son of Mexican immigrants, and I am the first one in my family to attend college. It is only because of the Bloch Scholars program that I am a college student today," Ramirez said.

With the new funding, the program Ramirez is a part of will expand from 47 students to 200.

The funding will also go toward two brand new programs: the Marion H. Bloch/UMKC Next Generation Merit Scholars, which aims to attract more than 100 underserved high school students in the metro area, and the Bloch Launchpad Scholars, which will focus on bringing undergraduate students to the Bloch School of Management. That program intends to help around 500 students over the next decade.

"This wonderful gift will change the lives of hundreds of individuals who in turn will go on to produce lifelong benefits to our community," said UMKC chancellor Mauli Agrawal. "This is just one more example of how one individual, one family, one company can literally change the course of an entire community for the better."

UMKC and the University of Missouri System matched a $10 million donation from the Bloch family. All three programs will launch this fall. 

This is the second $20 million scholarship initiative announced at UMKC in the past few months — in November, the university partnered with KC Scholars to help more low-income high school students around the metro attend college. 

Editor's note: KCUR 89.3 is licensed to the University of Missouri Board of Curators and is an editorially independent community service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter at KCUR 89.3. Email her at andreat@kcur.org, and follow her on Twitter @andreatudhope.