$5K Kia Scholarship Application

Find out how to qualify and apply for a Kia scholarship to support your college education. Details on the requirements and application process are provided in this blog.

Kia, the South Korean-based multinational automobile giant, launched a scholarship in 2020 known as the Kia Great Unknowns Scholarship to offer college-bound students financial assistance. The Kia scholarship is similar to the McDonald’s Scholarship and Taco Bell Scholarship as they all have just one scholarship application and award for many students.

It shouldn’t surprise you that multinational corporations offer scholarships because it has been ongoing for many years. Some started offering scholarships as far back as the 90s and continue to date, such as the Burger King Scholarships.

Regarding automobile manufacturers, Kia is not the only automobile corporation offering financial aid to students. Toyota also provides scholarships to college students, and you will find all the info on Toyota scholarships and how to apply here.

Kia scholarship

About Kia Scholarship

Kia scholarship was established to support students pursuing an undergraduate college degree in Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Arts, or Math (STEAM) discipline. The scholarship aims to discover and reward students who embody an unstoppable spirit that inspires them and helps them pursue their academic dreams.

The Kia scholarship is open yearly; only the first 500 submitted applications are considered. Once it reaches 500 applications, the application portal will close and you can only apply again the next year.

Like the Toyota Scholarship, the Kia scholarship is also administered by Scholarship America, a platform trusted by nonprofit organizations and corporations to distribute their scholarships.

Eligibility Criteria for the Kia Scholarship

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to submit applications and be considered for awards:

  • A high school senior in the US
  • At least 16 years old
  • Plan to enroll full-time in an undergraduate program in a STEAM discipline at an accredited two or 4-year college in the US for the entire upcoming academic year.
  • Must reside in the United States
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Have a CGPA of 3.8 on a scale of 4.0
  • Participation in school and community activities
  • Work experience
  • Unusual personal or family circumstances
  • Demonstrated leadership through high school activities, community involvements, and employment history
  • Applicant essay of 500 characters, in which the applicant must answer at least one of the following questions:
    • How do you envision your STEAM college education to play a significant role in your future contributions to the society in which you live?
    • How do you envision innovation and technology to shape your potential future ideas and projects that may change or improve the society in which you live?

This scholarship is based on a combination of financial need and academic performance.

NOTE: An applicant who is, or who has an immediate family or household member who is, an employee, officer, or director of Sponsor, or Sponsor’s affiliates, subsidiaries, agents, distributors, scholarship providers, or advertising and promotion agencies, is NOT eligible to participate in the Program.

Application Materials for the Kia Scholarship

The following are the materials you will need to apply for the Kia scholarship:

  • A current, complete transcript of grades. Grade reports are not accepted. Transcripts must display the student name, school name, grades, and credit hours for each course and term in which each course was taken.
  • One online recommendation form to be submitted on your behalf

When you are selected to receive the award, you will submit the following documents to claim your reward:

  • Signed Code of Conduct Agreement
  • Up to two-minute video explaining how you are energized by your unstoppable spirit and how the award will impact your future.

Award Details for Kia Scholarship

Here is information on the value of the Kia scholarship, how much is given, and how many students are selected.

16 applicants will be selected as recipients. Each selected applicant will receive $5,000 towards their college tuition, room and board, living expenses, study materials, or anything related to their education.

A recipient can renew the scholarship award for up to three (3) years or until a bachelor’s degree is earned, whichever occurs first, so far you maintain a CGPA of 2.5 on a scale of 4.0 or equivalent.

The scholarship payment is processed by Scholarship America on behalf of Kia.

Selection Criteria for the Kia Scholarship

The selection process for the Kia scholarship is based on the following:

  • Financial need
  • Academic performance
  • Quality of essay
  • Recommendation letter

To apply for the Kia scholarship, click HERE.

Tips to Ace the Kia Scholarship

Hundreds of students will apply for the Kia Great Unknowns Scholarship; here are tips that will make your application stand out and give you an edge over competitors.

1.     Quality Essay

The Kia Great Unknowns Scholarship application requires an essay. The essay requires you to provide answers to at least one of the questions. Which means you can provide answers to both questions if you want to. Whichever option you want, ensure your answers are engaging, concise, and in line with the degree you want to pursue and your prospects.

Your essay is your voice; there is no interview in this scholarship, so you have to use the essay as a tool to speak with the judges. After writing your essay, get someone to review it before submitting it.

2.     Apply Early

This is a standard tip in every scholarship application. Prepare all the application material for Kia scholarship early, so that immediately the application opens, you will be among the first people to send in their application. This shows the judges your dedication and commitment towards your educational goals.

When you apply early, the judges will take their time to review your application and put you up for consideration because many applications are not piling in just yet. How your application will be reviewed when they receive 20 applications per week will differ from when they receive over 100 applications per week.

3.     Keep your Grades Up

Remember that the minimum GPA to apply for the Kia scholarship is 3.8 on a scale of 4.0, but those with higher grades have better chances. So, you may want to work hard to keep your GPA up and maintain it for the period you will apply for this scholarship.

4.     Choice of References

The Kia Great Unknowns Scholarship requires two recommendation letters. The recommenders you choose to use must be people who know your abilities well enough and can demonstrate in their recommendation letter what makes you a good candidate for the scholarship.

Contact your recommenders early to notify them, and send the required forms early, too, so that they have enough time to complete them.


Kia scholarship is open to diverse fields and considers both the financial needs and students’ academic performance. The application process is simple and easy to understand. Once you have all the application materials ready, completing the application will take about 5 minutes. Selected applicants will be notified via email.