Evolve502 will give every JCPS graduate the opportunity for a tuition-free, two-year college degree, certificate or training.

Evolve502 Scholarship

Making free college a reality

Our goal at Evolve502 is to support students as they pursue the dream of a college education. By expanding educational opportunities and reducing systemic barriers, we can ensure our children reach their full potential and enjoy successful, productive and fulfilling lives. We know that for some young people, cost – or perceived cost – can be a barrier that makes college seem unattainable. We’re working to change that.

Our Evolve502 Scholarship is an investment in our city’s young people, allowing every eligible JCPS graduate to pursue their college and career goals at no cost. We believe that making college free will transform lives.    

The Evolve502 Scholarship, open to all eligible Jefferson County Public Schools Class of 2021 graduates, will allow students to attend any Kentucky Community & Technical College or Simmons College of Kentucky. The Evolve502 Scholarship may be used to earn an associate degree, workforce credential, or as a pathway to earn a four-year degree.      

Our goal is to grow this program, and extend this scholarship program through the Class of 2034.

What is the Evolve502 Scholarship?

The Evolve502 Scholarship is a last dollar scholarship program. The scholarship covers a student’s tuition after federal and state aid have been applied.     

Additionally, any eligible student with a household income of $40,000 or below will receive an Opportunity Grant of $1,000 per semester (up to $2,000 per year) to assist in defraying the total cost of attendance or to help students pay for unexpected expenses which might occur while enrolled.

Scholarship eligibility and limitations


Beginning with the class of 2021, students who meet the following criteria will be eligible:

  • Any student who attended Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) since at least the 9th grade and graduated from a JCPS high school
  • Students who meet all other eligibility criteria, were enrolled in JCPS since at least the 9th grade, and earned a GED within 12 months of their original high school graduation date
  • Individuals who enroll in military no later than 90 days after high school graduation may defer eligibility while in active duty.
  • Any student wishing to receive the Evolve502 scholarship must also be eligible to receive the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES).

Please note: For those JCPS students who might not meet the full eligibility requirements but are interested in the scholarship, please proceed in submitting an application before the deadline. An Evolve502 staff member will follow up with you at a later date to complete an appeals form. A panel of staff and community members will review these appeals periodically and will communicate decisions directly to you.

Maintaining eligibility

To receive the Evolve502 Scholarship students must do the following:

  • gain admission into an eligible institution;
  • complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
  • enroll in at least nine credit hours at an eligible institution by the fall semester immediately following high school graduation;
  • successfully complete nine credit hours each semester;
  • maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) while enrolled.


Limitations of the Evolve502 scholarship include:

  • Scholarships may be used for no more than 6 credit hours of developmental coursework.
  • Students may receive scholarship dollars for up to six semesters, the completion of an Associate Degree, or 60 credit hours; whichever comes first.

Applying for the Evolve502 Scholarship

Our scholarship application opens annually on Oct. 1 and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. June 30.

Below is an overview of the full process to become an Evolve502 Scholar.

  1. Complete the Evolve502 Scholarship Application
    1. The online application is available at the link at the bottom of this page. To fill out a paper application, visit your JCPS counselor’s office.
    1. You’ll need access to the following information before completing application:
      1. Legal name,
      1. Date of Birth
      1. Email
      1. Phone number
      1. Home Address
      1. JCPS ID
      1. High School
      1. Expected graduation date
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.
    1. Beginning Oct. 1, complete your FAFSA form at studentaid.gov.
    1. For an overview of completing the FAFSA and video tutorials about the process, visit the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority website.
  3. Complete high school or GED requirements.
  4. Enroll at any Kentucky Community & Technical College school or Simmons College of Kentucky.
    1. Evolve502 Scholars can attend any Kentucky Community and Technical College school or College of Kentucky
      1. Explore the Kentucky Community and Technical College System online.
      1. Learn about admissions requirements and apply to Jefferson Community and Technical College
      1. Learn about admissions requirements and apply to Simmons College of Kentucky.   

For questions about the application process, please email scholarships@evolve502.org.

“Throughout this country, our best communities that support education are those that work together and wrap their arms together around the issues and problems.”

Dr. Martin “Marty” Pollio, Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent