The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Excellence Scholarship and Fellowship Award programs were established in January, 1990. The foundation funds the programs described below. It does not provide grants to other programs or organizations.
Excellence Scholarship Awarded to date: $2,500,000 to 2,500 students
Beginning in 2015 Excellence Scholarships will be increased to $3,000 and will be awarded each year to 100 graduating high school students. Selection of scholarship recipients begins at the local level, with the number of nominations from each high school based on enrollment. The names of local nominees are sent to regional selection panels, composed of teachers, administrators, civic leaders and community representatives. Final selection is made by a statewide committee composed of civic leaders, representatives from the Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools, Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, Cooperative Educational Service Agencies, Wisconsin Parents Association, and several other education-related associations.
Scholarship recipients are chosen for their demonstrated academic potential, outstanding leadership, citizenship, community service, integrity and other special talents.
Fellowship Award Awarded to date: $5,000,000 to 2,500 teachers and their schools
Fellowships in the amount of $1,000 have been awarded each year to one hundred Wisconsin teachers.
Each fellow's school has also received a $1,000 grant. Beginning in 2015 each fellow and school will receive grants of $3,000. The educator nomination process begins within each public school district, or nonpublic school organization. Further screening takes place at the regional level, and the statewide selection committee chooses the award recipients.
Educators are chosen for their superior ability to inspire a love of learning in their students and ability to motivate others, and for their leadership and service within and outside the classroom.
The Herb Kohl Initiative Scholarship was established in October, 1997.
Initiative Scholarship Awarded to date: Approximately $1,455,000 to 1,455 students
Initiative Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 have been awarded each year to approximately 85 graduating high schools students. In 2015 the scholarship will be increased to $3,000. This scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated a high level of motivation to achieve, have shown strong promise for achieving success in college and beyond, and have overcome significant personal obstacles or adversity, but have not yet received other academic-based scholarships. Approximately 85 different high schools throughout Wisconsin are designated annually to select an Initiative Scholarship recipient.
As of August, 2014 the foundation has awarded a total of approximately $8.98 million to Wisconsin educators, students, and schools.