Avila Now

January 24, 2023

$13.7 million scholarship commitment provides a low-cost pathway to a bachelor’s degree from Avila University for Metropolitan Community College students.

Chancellor Kimberly Beatty (MCC) and President Jim Burkee (Avila) shake hands on a $13.7 million scholarship venture
MCC and Avila Sign Scholarship Agreement. For the next six years, up to 50 Metropolitan Community College graduates annually will receive full-tuition scholarships to attend Avila University. The two institutions' agreement also makes transferring college credits from MCC to Avila seamless.

The agreement also makes Avila the most transfer-friendly university for MCC students. 

Metropolitan Community College and Avila University leaders signed a six-year, $13.7 million scholarship agreement today, creating high-quality, low-cost pathways to obtaining a bachelor’s or master’s degree. The brief ceremony, led by MCC Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty and Avila President Dr. James Burkee, marks the beginning of a renewed commitment to access and opportunity.

“A college degree remains the gateway to economic mobility in the United States,” said Burkee. “But vast inequalities exist, inequalities our friends at MCC, and we are dedicated to changing.”

Under this agreement, Avila will commit to providing $13.7 million in guaranteed, full-tuition scholarships between 2023-2029 for up to 50 MCC graduates annually, based on financial need. Plus, most students graduating with an associate degree from MCC will receive automatic admission to Avila. Should they choose to earn their master’s degree, Avila will also offer a discounted pathway to graduate degree programs for these MCC students. 

“As we all know, finances are frequently the biggest obstacle for students wishing to further themselves through education,” said Beatty. “This agreement makes it incredibly easy for a student with an associate degree from MCC to transfer seamlessly to Avila.”

By accepting the transfer of the first 60 credit hours in a block and then up to 90 total transfer credits, the agreement will mean huge cost savings for MCC students who need it most.

“You’ve already done the hard work of getting into college and earning an associate’s degree; you should keep it. We’re not going to add new hoops for you to jump through to earn your bachelor’s degree,” said Burkee.

This agreement will enable students to transfer credits seamlessly between MCC and Avila to obtain a bachelor’s or masters in as few credit hours as possible. 

“When we can ease the burden by making the transfer to a four-year institution easier, that translates to fewer additional courses for completion and less debt load for our students,” said Beatty. “We are incredibly proud to partner with Avila, which — like MCC — serves many first-generation college students and underserved populations who will benefit greatly from this agreement.” 

“I am excited about what this investment means for the students and their families, as well as for the Avila family,” said Dr. Burkee. “Avila is the university of student opportunity in Kansas City. Making Avila the most transfer-friendly university for all MCC students while investing in a cohort of 50 new MCC scholars each year demonstrates this commitment. We are thrilled to add so many ambitious and determined students to our community.” 

In most cases, students who bring an associate in arts, associate in science, or associate in applied science degree from MCC will enter Avila as juniors, and the first 60 MCC credit hours will be applied toward an Avila bachelor’s degree. Some students can transfer up to 90 hours of MCC credit to Avila, depending on the degree program.

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