About the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program

Started in 2014 with a generous $25 million grant from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation, the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support, and networking opportunities to talented undergraduate African American students. 


About UNCF:
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community, and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Learn more about UNCF.

About Koch Industries Inc.
Koch Industries owns a diverse group of companies that are integral to creating life’s basic necessities, including food, shelter, clothing, and transportation. With 120,000 employees in more than 60 countries, including 70,000 in the United States, Koch strives to make life better through innovative solutions that set industry best practices for quality and responsibility. Koch Industries is also an unapologetic advocate for the principles of a free and open society, which are applied across Koch companies every single day and contribute to its overall success. Learn more about Koch Industries.

About the Charles Koch Foundation
The Charles Koch Foundation has been working to help people improve their lives by advancing an understanding of the benefits of free societies since its founding in 1980. Through academic grants and educational initiatives, the Foundation supports education and research that facilitates dialogue and sparks innovation, creating opportunities for people to thrive. Learn more about the Charles Koch Foundation. 

UNCF/Koch Institutional Grants

The UNCF/Koch Scholarship Program will award micro-grants to eligible colleges and universities who are organizing creative initiatives that teach students how to develop and apply an entrepreneurial mindset.

Please view a list of eligible institutions by clicking here.

The UKSPmicro-grants Initiative complements our scholarship program that teaches African-American scholars how to embrace the values, ideas and motivations of an entrepreneur that can be exhibited and applied in all facets of life.

We encourage faculty members at eligible schools and universities to apply for program grants that support existing or new programs that support UKSP’s overall goal of increasing the number of African-Americans who have the ability to develop and apply an entrepreneurial mindset.  Example of programs may include but is not limited to:

  • Panel discussions
  • Speaker series
  • Book clubs
  • Field trips or experiential learning activities

This list is not exhaustive.  We welcome creative ideas.

Please make sure to include an itemized budget with your application page.

We do not have a maximum grant award amount, but the program grants the following amounts in annual scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students:  $5,000 and $20,000 respectively. Please use these numbers as reference points as you brainstorm the total requested amount for grants.

Apply Today

 

UNCF/Koch Mentoring Program

Are you a faculty member, community leader, or professional interested in becoming a mentor with the UNCF/Koch Scholar Program? This stipend-supported initiative is designed to connect scholars to talented faculty members or subject matter experts serious about creating change. 

For more information or to apply, please email kochscholars@uncf.org.

 

UNCF/Koch Scholarship Program Information

The 2017 UNCF/Koch Scholars Program Undergraduate Scholarship application is now open. Apply by May 1, 2017


What is the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program?

The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program (UKSP) is designed to teach students how to develop and apply an entrepreneurial mindset by exploring how the study of entrepreneurship, innovation and economics contribute to well-being for individuals, communities and societies.

Students in eligible fields of study, who are competitively selected to participate in this program may receive: academic scholarships, exclusive access to an online learning community, mentoring opportunities and world-class networking access.

The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program will provide scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students. For information about the graduate and post-doctoral scholarships, please continue to check this website for updates.

How Much is the UKSP Scholarship Award?

Students interested in submitting an UNCF/Koch Scholarship Program Undergraduate Application may receive up to $2,500/semester in scholarship awards for up to four years totaling up to $20,000 in scholarship awards.

What are the UKSP Undergraduate Eligibility Requirements?

Are you ready to explore how your understanding of entrepreneurship, innovation and economics can create value in your life and the communities in which you live? See below for the program’s eligibility requirements for rising high school seniors interested in applying for the undergraduate program:

  • Be African American
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a high school senior
  • Have a 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA
  • Apply to or be admitted to, or enrolled in a full-time four-year college or university
  • Pursue one of the seven eligible disciplines: Accounting, Business, Economics, Engineering, History, Philosophy or Political Science
  • Submit a current FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  • Be willing to participate in an online community throughout their academic calendar year
  • Be willing to attend the annual UKSP summit
  • Must have an interest in entrepreneurship, innovation and economics

APPLY TODAY

UNCF Announces New Koch Scholars Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, June 06, 2014

CONTACTS:

Anthony Owens, UNCF
202-810-0231

Melissa Cohlmia, Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC
316-828-3756

Tonya Mullins, Charles Koch Foundation
703-875-1770

***$25 Million Grant Will Promote Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Economics to Create Better Futures for Aspiring African American Students and Strengthen Role of HBCUs***

WASHINGTON, DC – The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the nation’s premier scholarship organization, announced today that it has received a $25 million grant from Koch Industries, Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation. The partnership will provide nearly 3,000 merit-based awards to African American undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctorate students seeking scholarship assistance. It will also strengthen the 37 UNCF-member Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by helping them offset funding shortfalls as a result of recent changes to the Parent PLUS loan program.

Key elements of the donation include:

  • $18.5 million is directed to the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program and its administration. Funds will be used to provide scholarships for exemplary students with demonstrated financial need and an interest in the study of how entrepreneurship, economics, and innovation contribute to well-being for individuals, communities, and society, as well as an annual summit, mentorship opportunities, and school programs; and
  • $6.5 million is provided for general support to HBCUs and UNCF, with $4 million set aside for the 37 UNCF-member HBCUs and their students to provide financial relief related to the Parent PLUS loan crisis.

“UNCF is proud to announce this new scholarship program that will help motivated and deserving students not just get to and through school, but to become our next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs. We are enormously grateful to Koch Industries and the Charles Koch Foundation for their long-standing support of UNCF and for helping to create new opportunities for earned success and a better future for our students,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, the President and CEO of UNCF.

“For the last 70 years, UNCF has raised over $4 billion and has helped more than 430,000 students earn a college degree. This year alone, UNCF awarded over $100 million in scholarships to more than 12,000 students at 900 schools across the country. Yet, UNCF must deny 9 out of every 10 applications due to lack of financial resources.” Dr. Lomax added, “I’m hopeful that this new commitment from Koch and the Charles Koch Foundation will spur others to come forward and invest in our students so that they can create a better future for themselves and their communities.”

Charles Koch, Chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, said, “Increasing well-being by helping people improve their lives has long been our focus. Our partnership with UNCF will provide promising students with new educational opportunities that will help them reach their full potential. We have tremendous respect for UNCF, and we are hopeful this investment will further its effectiveness in helping students pursue their dreams.”

The overarching goal of the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program is aimed at broadening educational opportunities so that aspiring African American students can better understand how entrepreneurship, economics, and innovation contribute to well-being for individuals, communities, and society. A key component of the program is based on research from UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute, which found that an annual $5,000 scholarship dramatically increases UNCF’s recipients’ rate of retention and likelihood of completion. Those who graduate with a college degree are expected to earn $1 million more than their peers with a high school diploma over a lifetime. And 79 percent of college-educated African Americans actively participate in the labor force, 3 percentage points higher than Caucasians. Furthermore, multiple studies show that those who earn at least a bachelor’s degree have higher rates of employment, have greater lifetime earnings, are more civically-engaged, and are more likely to establish a college-going tradition in their families. The new program will dedicate $1 million to supporting research to help understand the drivers of success for students in college and beyond.

Noting that HBCUs award 20 percent of all bachelor’s degrees for African Americans, Dr. Lomax added, “For more than 150 years, HBCUs have played a significant role in providing access to postsecondary education for millions of students, many of whom currently come from low-income families and are first generation college students. This important grant demonstrates the vital role these institutions will continue to play in educating our students.”

Over the past 14 years at UNCF-member HBCUs, applications have increased by 78 percent and admissions have increased by 64 percent. Unfortunately, enrollment rates have remained stagnant. Despite the heightened desire and motivation, students are unable to attend and complete college, primarily due to a lack of scholarship funding. This partnership helps to correct the HBCU enrollment trend, providing HBCUs with financial aid to fund scholarships.

Georgia-Pacific, a Koch company since 2005, has had a long-time relationship with UNCF that dates back more than four decades. More recently, both Georgia-Pacific and Koch have provided support to UNCF in the form of scholarships and program funding. Through a wide-range of scholarship and academic initiatives, the Charles Koch Foundation currently supports 340 programs at more than 250 colleges and universities across the country, including HBCUs such as Albany State University, Fayetteville State University, and others.

The scholarship program will begin in the fall 2014 semester and continue for up to seven years. Recipients will be selected based on their academic achievements, as well as their interest in the program’s fields of study. In the spirit of knowledge sharing and learning as part of the scholarship program, UNCF and Koch will also jointly sponsor an annual conference for scholarship recipients.

Interested students can learn more and apply at www.uncf.org/kochscholars.

About UNCF:
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community, and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Learn more at UNCF.org.

About Koch Industries:
Based in Wichita, Kan., Koch Industries, Inc. is one of the largest private companies in America according to Forbes. Koch companies have a presence in about 60 countries and employ more than 100,000 people worldwide, with about 60,000 of those in the United States. In 2013, Koch companies paid compensation and benefits totaling nearly $4.8 billion to U.S.-based employees and supported a total of more than 200,000 jobs and earnings of about $11.8 billion. From January 2009 to present, Koch companies earned more than 800 awards for safety, environmental excellence, community stewardship, innovation, and customer service. Koch focuses on philanthropic programs that enable inpiduals to improve their lives, find fulfillment, and realize their full potential.

About the Charles Koch Foundation:
For more than 50 years, Charles G. Koch has supported research and educational programs focused on improving people’s lives. Since 1980, the Charles Koch Foundation’s giving has supported universities and other non-profit organizations to improve understanding of the institutions that foster societal well-being.

Opportunities for Faculty

The UNCF/Koch Scholar Program will award micro-grants to eligible colleges and universities that are organizing creative initiatives to teach students how to develop and apply an entrepreneurial mindset.

Examples of programs include but are not limited to:

  • Course development
  • Undergraduate research
  • Panel discussions
  • Speaker series
  • Book clubs
  • Field trips or experiential learning activities

We welcome creative ideas for potential initiatives. To submit a proposal, please email kochscholars@uncf.org. Please be sure to include an itemized budget with your proposal.

You may view a list of eligible institutions by clicking here soon.

UNCF/Koch Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does the grant and UNCF/Koch Scholars Program entail?
A. The UNCF/Koch Scholars Program offers scholarships, mentorship, academic support, and networking opportunities to talented African American undergraduate students. The grant represents a major opportunity to help young, aspiring African American students who are seeking scholarship assistance. The program is focused on how entrepreneurship, economics, and innovation contribute to well-being for individuals, communities, and society.

 

Q. Who are the supporters of the program and how did it come about?
A. In 2014, Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation provided a $25 million grant for the UNCF/Koch Scholars Program.

When UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax met with Charles Koch, chairman of the board and CEO of Koch Industries Inc., they expressed a shared vision of the value of education in creating better futures for young people, a vision that is at the core of UNCF’s current Better Futures® campaign. That campaign builds off of UNCF’s iconic motto that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste” by adding “but a wonderful thing to invest in.™”

 

Q. How are UNCF/Koch scholarships awarded and how many students have been impacted?
A. UNCF/Koch scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen and rising sophomores for one semester and are renewable every semester thereafter provided eligibility requirements are maintained. The funding provides support to students at universities across the country (including the 37 UNCF-member HBCUs) and will help ensure that motivated and deserving African American students can achieve their dream of a college education.

As of early 2017, more than 177 students have received funding from and participated in the program. There are an additional 200 scholarships available for fall 2017. 

 

Q. How much is awarded for each UNCF/Koch Scholarship?
A. Students can receive up to $2,500 per semester ($5,000 per year), provided they meet and maintain scholarship eligibility requirements.

UNCF/Koch Scholars Program: In the News

 

Wichita Business Journal: UNCF Koch Scholar sets his sights on Wichita’s commercial real estate market, October 2017

Black Enterprise: Charles Koch’s Principles of Higher Learning, December 2016 

Black Enterprise: Designing a New Generation of Business Leaders, December 2016 

USA Today: Unite with anybody to do right, October 2016 

UNCF: UNCF Celebrates Three Years of UNCF/Koch Scholars Program, September 2016 

Rolling Out: Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Koch Foundation Support UNCF’s ‘A Mind Is …’ Gala, March 2015

Rolling Out:  UNCF and Koch Have Teamed Up to Give Away Scholarship Money,  February 2015

Rolling Out: Koch Brothers Donate $25 Million to UNCF; Open Doors Wide for Future Entrepreneurs, August 2014 

Atlanta Journal Constitution: Koch Brothers’ Donation Will Help Black Students, August 2014 


If you have any questions regarding the UNCF/Koch Scholar Program, feel free to contact us.

E  kochscholars@uncf.org
T  202 810 0313


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