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: $3,300,000 to 2,700 students
Beginning in 2016 Excellence Scholarships were increased to $5,000. They are 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: $6,200,000 to 2,700 teachers and their schools
Fellowships in the amount of $3,000 are awarded each year to one hundred Wisconsin teachers.
Each fellow's school also receives a $3,000 grant. 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 $2,125,000 to 1,615 students
Initiative Scholarships in the amount of $5,000 are awarded each year to approximately 100 graduating high schools students. 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 100 different high schools throughout Wisconsin are designated annually, based on a seven year statewide rotation cycle, to select an Initiative Scholarship recipient.
Leadership Award Awarded to date: $192,000 to 32 principals and their schools.
The Leadership Award was established in 2016 to recognize outstanding Wisconsin principals in grades pre-K through 12. Award recipients are chosen for setting high standards for instruction, achievement and character, and creating a climate to best serve students, families, staff and community. Annually 16 principals receive a $3000 award and each award recipient's school receives a matching $3,000 grant.
As of August, 2016 the foundation has awarded a total of approximately $11.7 million to Wisconsin educators, students, and schools.