Herb Kohl

Educational Foundation, Inc

About Us


The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation Award Program

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation was established in January 1990 and funds the programs described below.

EXCELLENCE SCHOLARSHIP Awarded to date: $10,300,000 to 3,300 students

Excellence scholarships, currently $10,000 per student, are awarded to 100 graduating high school students each year. The statewide competitive selection process begins at the local level, with the number of nominations from each high school based on enrollment. The applications of local nominees are sent to regional screening 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  Homeschooling 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: $14,600,000 to 3,300 teachers and their schools

Teacher fellowships, currently $6,000 per teacher, are awarded to 100 Wisconsin educators in grades pre-K through 12.  Each fellow's school also receives a $6,000 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.

​INITIATIVE SCHOLARSHIP Awarded to date: Approximately $7, 565,000 to 2,159 students 

Initiative scholarships, currently $10,000 per student, are awarded to approximately 100 graduating high school students each year. 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. One hundred 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: $1,356.000 to 113 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/school administrators receive awards, currently $6,000 per principal, and each award recipient's school receives a matching $6,000 grant.

As of August, 2022 the foundation has awarded a total of approximately $33,821,000 million to Wisconsin educators, students, and schools.

The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation, and program co-sponsors, Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, Cooperative Educational Service Agencies,  Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Wisconsin Newspaper Association and Wisconsin Homeschooling Parents Association, do not discriminate against any student, teacher or principal award applicant on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, military status, national or ethnic origin, pregnancy or parenting status, political belief or affiliation, race, religion, sex, or sexual orientation in the administration of the foundation's educational programs and activities.  


The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation is a component of Herb Kohl Philanthropies, which supports several initiatives, all aimed at improving education, economic opportunity and quality of life for the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin.  These initiatives include Herb Kohl Charities and Learning Journeys, in addition to the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation.

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