Students in Architecture, Urban Planning + Design are are typically successful in obtaining financial assistance. The key is to investigate the many scholarship opportunities and apply early. We encourage all applicants to our program to apply for financial aid and scholarships.

The materials necessary for the design studios in Architectural Studies and Urban Planning + Design can exceed typical expectations, and should be factored into your budget considerations. While these courses do incur the typical textbook expenses, they also require the additional “tools of the trade” necessary in the design professions: drafting tools and paper, sketchbooks, cardboard, foamcore and other model materials. We do our best to minimize these costs, and negotiate a greatly reduced cost on tools with a local art supply house. The one-time cost for a first-year tool kit typically runs about $350, and the tools can be reused each semester. “Expendable” materials, such as paper and model materials, can run about $200 per semester.

The information below is only a synopsis of the opportunities available for our students. For the full list of financial aid and scholarship opportunities, be sure to visit here.

UMKC Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most Architecture, Urban Planning + Design students receive financial aid that reduces their tuition bill. The university offers various automatic scholarships to students. Freshmen who apply for admission and postmark all application materials by Jan. 15 will automatically be considered for renewable university scholarships of $1,000 to $3,500. Transfer students are also considered if their application materials are submitted by March 1 for fall or Dec. 1 for spring. Both undergraduate and transfer students must meet specific academic criteria. The key is to investigate the many scholarship opportunities and apply early.

Automatic ScholarshipsAmountRequirements
Curators ’ Scholar $3,500ACT score 28 AND top 5% class rank; Missouri resident
Chancellor’s Scholar$2,500ACT score 23 OR top 10% class rank; resident of Missouri or Kansas Metro Rate county Metro Kansas City, MO
High School Award$1,000 Graduate of KCMO or KCK public high school

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form is required for many kinds of financial aid. Complete an online form at Priority deadline: March 1. Be sure to indicate the UMKC code 002518. Hundreds of renewable scholarship funds are open to students attending UMKC. Qualifications, award amounts and application deadlines vary with each scholarship. For more information about scholarships or financial aid, visit our Student and Financial Aid department.

Some scholarships are competitive and require applications. Here is a sampling:

Competitive ScholarshipsAmountRequirements
Trustees’ Scholars Full tuition Two of three: ACT score 30, top 5% class rank, 3.5 core GPA
Herman JohnsonVaries3.0 GPA; Kansas City area resident African-American
Victor Wilson Varies Kansas City, Mo., resident
Hispanic Matching Varies Recipient of Greater Kansas City Hispanic scholarship
Agapito Mendoza $500 ACT score 23 OR top 25% class rank; indicated Hispanic on application
Curators’ Transfer1,000, plus nonresident3.5 GPA, associate degree

Students who are not from Missouri may qualify for a nonresident scholarship:

Nonresident Scholarships AmountRequirements
Chancellor’s Minority Nonresident fee differential African American, Latino, Native American
Omaha & Lincoln, NE/Wichita, KS/Chicago/Texas $1,000 plus nonresident fee differential ACT score 23 OR top 10% class rank; resident of Omaha or Lincoln, Neb., Wichita, Kan., Chicago metro area or Texas
Chancellor’s NonresidentNonresident fee differentialNomination by academic unit

These are just a few of the other scholarships for which freshmen may qualify:

Additional Scholarships AmountRequirements
Bright Flight $3,000 Top 3% ACT or SAT; Missouri resident
National Merit/Achievement Finalist $10,000 plus nonresident fee differentialMust designate UMKC as first choice
National Hispanic $10,000 plus nonresident
Recognition Scholar fee differential
National Merit/Achievement Semifinalist $4,500 plus nonresident fee differential


Undergraduate students who are Kansas residents will receive Missouri in‑state tuition rates at UMKC. Undergraduate students who are “Heartland” residents will receive reduced out-of-state tuition rates at UMKC.

Missouri Reciprocal Tuition Agreement

Students who are residents of Missouri, successfully complete our program and are accepted into the K-State program, will automatically receive the Missouri Reciprocal Tuition Agreement for Kansas in‑state tuition at K-State through school year 2025-26.

Missouri Midwest Exchange

Students who are residents of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin or Kansas (non-metropolitan Kansas City area) qualify for a reduction in out-of-state tuition via the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP), a multi-state tuition reciprocity program. Through the MSEP, public institutions agree to charge students no more than  150% of the in-state resident tuition rate for specific programs; private institutions offer a 10% reduction on their tuition rates.

  AUP+D Scholarships

There are scholarship opportunities designated for Architecture, Urban Planning + Design students. Students must fill out the Continuing Scholarship Application by March 1 to be considered. Some scholarships also require the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Visit here for links to both forms.

Architecture, Urban Planning + Design Scholarship

Application information is provided during the academic year.

CFM (UMKC/Construction Facilities Management)

Established in 2008 by the Construction Facilities Management Division at UMKC, this scholarship is awarded annually to students in the department. Applicants must be from the Kansas City metro area.

CSI Scholarship

Established in 1997 by the Kansas City Chapter of the Construction Specifications Institute, this $750 scholarship is awarded annually to students in the department. CSI is a national association of more than 13,000 volunteers, including architects, engineers, contractors, facility managers, product representatives, manufacturers, owners and others who are experts in building construction and materials.

Joy D. Swallow Scholarship

Established in 2014, the Joy D. Swallow Scholarship is awarded annually to students in the department.

Tom Nelson/BNIM Scholarship

Awarded to an eligible undergraduate student with the intent to celebrate excellence in design in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning + design. Preference will be given to students studying Architecture, who are in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of a 3.0. Financial is considered.

American Planning Association/Kansas City Chapter Scholarship

Established in 2014, these two scholarships are awarded annually to students in Urban Planning + Design.

Helix Prize, in honor of Bud Persons

The Helix Prize is awarded to a second-year Architectural Studies student each fall. Selection is determined via a studio design competition, taking place at the end of the semester. The Helix Prize is sponsored by Helix Architecture and Design.

Nichols Prize

The JC Nichols Student Prize competition is open to all students in the Junior level Urban Planning + Design studio UPD 312. Selection is determined via a studio design competition, taking place at the end of the semester.  The Nichols Prize is generously supported by the Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation.


Professional Organization Scholarships

There are professional organizations that offer scholarships annually.

American Institute of Architects Kansas City Chapter

The local AIA chapter/Kansas City Architectural Foundation has a scholarship program that was established in 1992 for Kansas City-area students interested in pursuing a degree in architecture. The specific requirements and description can found at

American Public Works Association of Kansas City Metro Chapter

The metro chapter of the American Public Works Association has the Myron D. Calkins Scholarship for Kansas City-area students interested in pursuing a degree related to public works.

Kansas City/The Builders’ Association

The local chapter awards more than a dozen scholarships every year. The specific requirements and description can be accessed online at The Builders’ Association.

Associated General Contractors of Missouri

This organization awards multiple scholarships every year. The specific requirements and description can be accessed online here.

APA KC Metro Section Student Scholarship

Every spring, the KC Metro Section of the American Planning Association offers an annual scholarship of $500 to an incoming junior or senior enrolled full time in the UMKC Urban Planning + Design program. Eligibility is limited to students from the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and selection is based upon the student’s commitment to planning, financial need and academic achievement. Application materials will be sent out every Spring.

Additionally, Urban Planning + Design students may be eligible for scholarship money from external organizations. It is up to the student to contact these organizations and apply for the scholarship by the deadline: