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David B. Mathis Kemper Scholar Program

The David B. Mathis Kemper Scholars Program at Lake Forest College, awarded by the James S. Kemper Foundation, provides scholarships, internships and career coaching to high-potential undergraduate students enabling them to develop the practical and professional skills they need to successfully launch a career in business.

The Foundation

The Kemper Foundation’s historical mission is to introduce students to careers in the various aspects of the insurance industry. Kemper Scholars must be genuinely open to considering the value of such a career.

The Kemper Foundation hopes to foster future leaders who pursue a vigorous, broad undergraduate education while participating in community service, engaging in campus activities and exploring their vocational calling outside the classroom.

Lake Forest College is one of 14 colleges in the United States that participate in the Kemper Scholars Program.  Our program, though, named in honor of long-time College and Kemper Foundation trustee David B. Mathis, provides up to four awards per year.

Who is Eligible?

Students of any major who are committed to pursuing a career in business and open to exploring job opportunities in the insurance industry.

Yet, the Foundation is particularly interested in students with strong quantitative skills, as evidenced by successful coursework in math, statistics and/or a declared or intended major in economics, mathematics or statistics. The Foundation is also particularly interested in students studying accounting, finance, and computer science.  

The Insurance Industry

One of the fastest growing industries nation-wide, insurance offers opportunities for those interested in organizational development, sports, marketing, information technology, entertainment sales and more. Read more about the opportunities via our Vault Guide to Insurance.  


The deadline to complete an application is Tuesday, January 31.

The process also requires that students solicit two letters of recommendation. Applicants should use the application portal to make these requests for letters of support before winter break—by Friday December 9th—to ensure recommenders have as much time as possible to complete and submit their letters.

Benefits for the Scholars
  • Scholarships. Kemper Scholars receive scholarships of $3,000-$10,000 per academic year during their sophomore and junior years of undergraduate study, depending on demonstrated need. For senior year, Scholars are eligible for up to $20,000 in financial aid, depending on need and on successful completion of a post-junior summer internship (details below under “Internship”).
  • Coaching. Throughout their term as Kemper Scholars, participants are mentored by James S. Kemper Foundation staff. This coaching includes annual goal setting and webinars, one-on-one meetings, and weekly professional development seminars during the post- sophomore summer as part of the Chicago Summer Experience. Scholars also receive coaching and mentoring from their internship supervisors each summer and during their participation in the annual Kemper Career Institute in Chicago.
  • Internships. Post-Sophomore Summer Experience: Scholars receive a stipend and housing to live as a group in Chicago, participate in weekly seminars and cultural outings, and work as interns with different organizations across the city. Post-Junior Internship: Scholars are eligible to apply for a paid internship with Kemper Corporation in a variety of fields and locations across the United States. Scholars selected to intern at the Kemper Corporation will receive a summer stipend of $5,000 for their work and, as noted above, are eligible for increased scholarship (up to $20,000) during their senior year. Scholars not selected to intern with Kemper Corporation, but who remain in good standing in the program, will continue to receive their standard yearly scholarship ($3,000-$10,000). These Scholars will be responsible for securing their own post-junior paid summer internship in a for-profit organization and will receive a summer stipend of $2,500.
To be eligible, students must:
  • Be a full-time first-year student or first-semester transfer student
  • Be academically successful and must maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average. Most Kemper Scholars maintain a significantly higher GPA.
  • Be committed to pursuing a career in business and open to exploring job opportunities in the insurance industry
  • Be committed to your responsibilities as a Scholar
  • Read more about eligibility and what makes a strong candidate
For more information about the program, eligibility and application process, visit the Kemper Scholars website.