UMKC Provides Knowledge and Resources Needed to Pay for College

10 Ways We Make College Affordable

The University of Missouri-Kansas City was recently recognized by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for taking steps to make college affordable. According to a recent report published by the Foundation, low-income students are eight times less likely to earn a college degree than their higher-income peers. The report, titled “Making College Affordable,” examines the numerous barriers preventing low-income students from enrolling and persisting in college, including high tuition and fees, lack of clarity on award amounts and duration, and a limited understanding of how financial aid works.

The report also recommends 11 best practices that colleges and universities should implement to help low-income students finance their college education. By implementing the strategies, schools can provide students with better information to make more informed choices, make going to college more affordable, and help students maximize the aid they receive.  Here are 10 ways UMKC makes college affordable.

1. UMKC Advantage

The UMKC Advantage Grant program is designed to cover the gap between a student’s gift aid and the cost of tuition. The program guarantees that tuition (not fees) is covered by gift aid such as grants, scholarships, and other private or government gift aid. The Advantage Grant program is part of the university’s overall Access 2 Success Initiative, designed to open up higher education to more low-income and under-represented student groups. It also addresses University of Missouri system goals for providing affordable and accessible educational opportunities to Missouri residents.

2. Open Education Resources

The cost of textbooks are at an all-time high. Through Open Educational Resources (OER), or class materials that are free for students, and AutoAccess, program that makes textbooks and class materials available online at a lower cost than traditional learning resources, students are able to save on textbooks and essential class material.

Examples of student savings at UMKC include the following courses:

Intermediate Accounting


Acct 310 New Price = $253.30 AutoAccess Price = $66.99
Accounting Information Systems


New price = $318.40 AutoAccess price = $72.99
Human Development


Nurs 252 New price = $271.30 AutoAccess price = $35.99
Design & Elevate Research


Educ R&P 5508 New price  = $246.65 AutoAccess price = $66.99

Learn more about other cost savings available for textbooks.

3. Academic Unit Scholarships

Every academic unit (school/program) at UMKC offers its own scholarship opportunities funded by alumni and friends who see the value in college affordability and want to pay it forward. These scholarships are awarded by the academic unit to which you are admitted. A separate scholarship application may be required by the academic unit; check with your academic unit to find out more. If you don’t have an academic advisor yet, apply online to UMKC and we can assign one to you.

4. Short Term Emergency Loan

UMKC also offers Short Term Loans for enrolled students. These are available for emergency or unexpected circumstances and must be paid off by the end of the semester in which it was borrowed. See the Short Term Loan Policy to see eligibility requirements and restrictions. Visit the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office online to learn more about other types of aid available to help you pay for college.

5. Work Study

UMKC participates in the Federal Work-Study Program, which provides funding for part-time student jobs both on campus and off.  The Financial Aid and Scholarships Office will award Work-Study to approved students as part of their financial aid package. Find out more on how to get Work Study.

6. KC Scholars

UMKC has partnered with KC Scholars to make college accessible to students in the Kansas City region through a new scholarship and college savings program launched in 2016. KC Scholars will provide the means – through scholarships, financial incentives to promote college savings and support services – for low- and modest-income students and adults needing access to pursue and complete a postsecondary credit-bearing credential or degree. Funding opportunities are available for traditional students and adult learners.

7. Border Schmorder

No matter which side of the state line you live on, your access to higher education is what matters most to us. That’s why we offer in-state tuition to Kansas City metro-area counties. Students from Leavenworth, Osage and Shawnee counties – just to name a few – applying for select programs are eligible for our metro rate. Let everyone else fight about the border. Visit UMKC Admissions online to find out more.

8. Kangaroo Pantry

The Kangaroo Pantry provides food assistance for those in need within the UMKC community. By collecting and distributing non-perishable food items, it helps combat food insecurity among students, faculty and staff. The Kangaroo Pantry relies on volunteer staff support to maintain its hours. Learn more online about how to use the pantry.

9. Professional Clothing Closet

UMKC Career Services has launched a professional clothing closet for UMKC students. The closet, set to open in spring 2018, aims to offer gently used business attire for students to wear for career fairs, interviews and internships. Once it’s open, students will be able to check out clothes for free and return them unlaundered. The closet will oversee dry cleaning.

The closet, which will earn its official name through a student contest, is accepting donations now. Clothing donations should be new or gently-used items that fit business professional and business casual styles.

10.  Public Transportation

With one swipe of your ID, the RideKC transit system can take you almost anywhere you need to go. Students pay a small student fee each semester for public transportation. The fee includes unlimited access to all Metro and Johnson County routes, except the K-10 transit service operating between Lawrence and Overland Park.

Save time traveling between classes. The UMKC shuttle bus gets you where you need to go around the Volker and Hospital Hill campuses.

UMKC also has a Bike Share station on campus. Borrow rates start at $3 per half hour, and an Annual Membership ($65) gives you 60 free minutes on every trip. You can pick up and drop off a bike at any of the 40 Bike Share stations in Kansas City.

Zipcar is available to all UMKC students, faculty and staff. Why deal with having a car on campus when Zipcar’s cutting edge technology allows you to reserve cars 24/7, online or on your mobile device? Low hourly and daily rates include gas, insurance, and 180 miles per day.

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