College Access and Success

Department Vision:

Each day, the Ewing Marion Kauffman School works to create college graduates. The College Access & Success Department is a key support in this important mission. We are not satisfied with getting students to college – our goal is to see 100% of our students graduate from college. We know that a college degree not only represents a student’s success, but the gateway to a meaningful career, a living wage, and a future with options. Intensive one-on-one supports begin a student’s junior year in high school and continue through college graduation.

Summer Experiences:

The Kauffman School is committed to supporting students in applying to summer experiences so that students can learn more about their interests, develop new skills and competencies, and boost their college applications through meaningful summer learning experiences. Below is a list of summer experiences available to Kauffman School students. In 2020, participation among high school students in summer experiences declined by nearly 75% nationally, yet EMKS increased overall participation by 15% since the summer of 2019.

Summer 2020 Highlights

  • EMKS facilitated 22 STEM focused internships for EMKS high school students and alumni
  • EMKS developed 5 visual and creative arts focused internships for EMKS High school students and alumni
  • By fall 2020, 86% of EMKS students will have completed an internship or competitive summer experience
Other Summer Experiences
Summer Experience Student Reflection:
"My name is Jose, I am a Sophomore at the Kauffman School. My goals are to graduate college and start my own company in either Technology or Photography. While working at MINDDRIVE, I want to know what it feels like to work in a team and understand how a real job works, since this is my first job. I want to understand the ropes of working at a job. Also I want to see if working at MINDDRIVE this summer will interest me into coming back to MINDDRIVE and working as a mentor." 

Pre-College Programs:

Kauffman School students, with support from the College Access Department, apply and are often accepted for competitive local and national opportunities that give them opportunities to expand their interests and prepare for college.


Featured Class of 2026 (EMKS Class of 2022) Opportunities:

  • Dasia and Jayden, Class of 2026, were accepted to the Carleton Liberal Arts Experience at Carleton College. Dasia and Jayden will have the grand opportunity to take history, science and math courses through the perspective of African-American culture and identity at one of the top liberal arts schools in the country in the summer of 2021, in addition to receiving ACT preparation and college essay workshops. This program only accepts 52 students in the U.S. per year. Hats off to Dasia and Jayden for a well-deserved opportunity!
Featured Class of 2025 (EMKS Class of 2021) Opportunities:
  • The Class of 2025’s Koree and Cherish are our first set of students to be accepted as Bovard Scholars at the University of Southern California. This program assists high-achieving students with financial need gain admission to and succeed at the nation’s top universities. Through this program, they will take summer classes that will enhance their college admission essays and develop their career and college-going identities. Congratulations to Koree and Cherish!
  • Saniya is among the selected group of students accepted to Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America (LEDA). LEDA selects approximately 100 students in the country to participate in their leadership development program every summer to help high-achieving students reach their full potential and obtain admission to colleges and universities that complement their intellectual curiosity and aspirations. Congratulations to Saniya for your outstanding work!
  • Congratulations to Tytiana, Cherish and Saniya for getting accepted to the Questbridge Scholars program, one of the most selective college preparatory summer programs in the nation. Questbridge has assisted thousands of high-achieving students with financial need to obtain admission to the country’s most competitive universities through essay workshops, career counseling, ACT preparation and scholarship opportunities. They are walking in the footsteps of many former EMKS Alumni who are also proud Questbridge Scholars: Asia (‘23) and Josiah (‘24).
  • Leland completed a summer internship with North Kansas City Hospital. Leland assisted with patient intake forms and data entry. He worked alongside college Juniors applying to med school and was the only high school student chosen for this internship.
  • Mikaela and Alley were accepted to the Musical Bridges program at the University of Missouri Kansas City. This highly-selective program offers year-round training to students wanting to pursue the fine arts on a collegiate level. Mikaela and Alley will receive private voice lessons from music professionals throughout high school and college. Send some sizzle to these two young artists as they work towards receiving their bachelor of fine art degrees in Vocal Performance and Musical Theater.
  • 8 rising seniors earned the coveted KC Scholars Scholarship award. This scholarship is valued up to $10,000 per year and can be renewed up to 5 years at 17 different colleges and universities between Missouri and Kansas. Congrats to Corveonna, Alley, Quynton, Kaleya, Tytiana, Saniya, Tasaana and Koree for the hard work they put forth in earning this award.
  • 15 additional rising seniors earned the KC Scholars Scholarship award at Mizzou and UMKC. This means they will receive up to $10,000 per year for up to 5 years upon their matriculation at Mizzou or UMKC starting in the Fall of 2021. Congratulations to Alejandro, Jaeonie, Skye, Cameron, Jose, Cherish, Clyniece, Khalil, Gabriela, Aunecia, Kelssy, Mya, Malik, Da’Marcus and Samaia!

College Lists:

Kauffman School students develop their college list throughout their junior year to support students in narrowing their focus to colleges that align with their individual interests and goals. Most students will have ten colleges on their lists. Below is a roundup of helpful resources and sites to consider in building a strong list of colleges.

Apply to College:

Kauffman School students use their college lists to begin applying to colleges as early as August of their senior year.

Financial Aid:

At the Kauffman School, every junior and senior receives 2-3 in person meetings where college counselors help students to compare the cost of their top college choices. The College Access staff creates individualized financial aid offers for students. This allows families to estimate the true cost of attendance even before a student applies to college. Additionally, during the Kauffman School's College Seminar classes, students learn about options for how to pay for college through a combination of financial aid, including grants, scholarships, loans, and more. Below is a list of resources to consider in college financial aid.

Contact Our Team:


Morgan Tillett - Manager of College Access and Success


Ellen Clayton - College Persistence Counselor


Tyla Daniels - Underclassman Counselor

Henry Munk - College Counselor
  • Phone: 847-363-0292
  • Email: