Iowa Scholarships and Grants

Deciding how to pay for your college education can seem frustrating or confusing. Faced with a mountain of applications and financial aid forms, you may feel overwhelmed.

Thankfully, there are a number of ways to fund your higher education. Scholarships and grants are in no short supply in the state of Iowa. These funds are free, without repayment obligation, and significantly lower college expenses.

The educational funding opportunities listed below are designated for Iowa residents. Searching for additional scholarships or grants may produce other, nationwide opportunities as well.

All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship

This financial assistance scholarship provides up to one year’s worth of fees and tuition at an accredited Iowa Regents University, and up to two year’s worth at an in-state community college. Qualifications for this scholarship include the following:

  • Financial need
  • Completed FAFSA application, available at this link.
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 3 credit hours per semester
  • GPA of at least 2.5, higher GPA preferred
  • Resident of Iowa
  • Enter college within the first two years after graduation from high school

Southeastern Community College Foundation

The Southeastern Community College Foundation of Iowa proudly awards over 400 annual scholarships to incoming, returning, or alumni students who plan to further their education. Scholarship funds may be used toward a wide range of on-campus programs, career/vocational classes, and Arts & Sciences (to be transferred to a 4-year institution).

In total, the Foundation offers 108 separate scholarships and grants, each with its own unique qualifications. In general, the specific qualifications are related to the degree or program that the funds are intended to cover. Some have no specific qualifications, but all restrict funding to current students.

General Qualifications for this scholarship include the following:

  1. Incoming, returning, or alumni student of Southeastern Community College

For more information about the numerous funding opportunities, or to apply for a scholarship, follow this link:

Southeastern Community College

The Iowa Grant

The Iowa Grant helps low income students to pay for their college tuition. Students attending community colleges, independent universities and colleges, or Regent Universities are eligible. A maximum award of $1,000 is granted annually for as many as four years. Since funding for this grant comes from the federal government, students who demonstrate the greatest financial need are given first priority.

Qualifications for this grant include the following:

  1. Current enrollment in an accredited institution of higher education within the state of Iowa
  2. Iowa resident
  3. Completed FAFSA application, available here.
  4. Financial need

Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program (NGEAP)

All active members of the National Guard who attend an approved Iowa universities and colleges can receive a maximum of $2,680 toward tuition, not to exceed the respective institutional tuition rates. Awards can be renewed annually by completing a new application before the application deadline. Eligibility for this grant includes the following

  1. Resident of Iowa
  2. Satisfactory completion of National Guard training
  3. Satisfactory Guard duty performance
  4. Current and continuing member of an Iowa-based National Guard unit
  5. Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  6. Enroll in and pursue an undergraduate degree or certificate at an accredited Iowa university or college
  7. Complete FAFSA application, available here.

To apply for this scholarship, follow this link.

Hardcopy applications for the Iowa National Guard Grant can be requested by mail, but they must be turned in through the respective Guard unit. These must arrive to the Education Services Offices before the application due date. To request a hardcopy, write to the following address:

Iowa National Guard Headquarters
Military Personnel Office
7700 NW Beaver Drive
Johnston, IA 50131-1902

The Robert D. Blue Scholarship

The Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation, which was founded in 1949 by Gov. Robert D. Blue, provides scholarship funding to young college students who demonstrate scholastic and literary ability; exhibit personal qualities of fellowship, courage, and truth; and show good moral character. The amount and number of awards vary annually, as funding for the scholarship is derived from interest earnings. Funds are available for incoming students as well as continuing college students.

To apply for this scholarship, students must provide the following information:

  1. Current tax return for parents (if a dependent) or yourself and/or spouse (if independent)
  2. Proof of current acceptance to or continuation in an institution of higher learning
  3. Statement from college or university financial aid office disclosing any additional grants and/or awards you have or will receive (if applicable)
  4. 2 letters of recommendation from respected members of the community (other than family), who know you and can attest to your character. Must include contact address and phone number.
  5. An original essay, 500 words or more, on a respected individual in the community who is not related to you, who has consistently demonstrated what it means to be a responsible citizen. The essay should discuss what this person has done or continues to do to support his or her community. Spelling, grammar, sentence structure, and good overall flow are essential.

Awards for the Robert D. Blue scholarship are very competitive. Applicants are scored based on personal references, essay, financial need, and high school GPA. In addition to the application requirements, qualifications for this scholarship include the following:

  • Good high school GPA (at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale)
  • Financial need

Applications are accepted exclusively online. To apply for this scholarship, follow this link: RdBlue.Org

Dale Schroeder Charitable Trust Scholarship Program

The Dale Schroeder scholarship awards a maximum of $15,000 per year, for a maximum of 3 years. While there are not a designated number of awards, competition is very rigorous. Scholarships are awarded to individuals who show good employment or financial history; regularly participate in volunteer/community activities, and who demonstrate leadership, academic achievement, and school activity participation. Funds must be used toward undergraduate fees and tuition.

Eligibility requirements for this scholarship include the following:

  • Graduating High School student with a 2.5 (or higher) GPA
  • Resident of Iowa
  • Live in a small community with no more than 10,000 residents
  • Currently enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program
  • Attending one of the following approved universities: University of Northern Iowa, University of Iowa, Iowa State University
  • A completed online application
  • Two recommendations, one from a recent high school official stating your character, academic potential, and leadership capability. The second recommendation must come from a noteworthy individual in your community, such as a member of the clergy, law officer, or city official, who can attest to your character and involvement in the community.

To apply for this scholarship, go to the following link: Act.Org

Professional Educators of Iowa (PEI) Scholarships

PEI scholarships are designed to help Iowa students pay for tuition and fees at an accredited institution of higher education. Numerous awards are available through the foundation, with 5 awards for students pursuing any degree, an education degree, or a humanities degree. These awards are intended to support students and teachers as they engage in worthy educational endeavors. The number and amount of each award varies based on available funding and the number of eligible applicants.

Eligibility requirements for each scholarship vary, but in general the following basic requirements must be met:

  1. Resident of Iowa
  2. Currently enrolled in an Iowa college or university
  3. Demonstrate satisfactory academic achievement
  4. Demonstrate acceptable writing and scholastic ability

Instructions, applications, and further eligibility requirements can be found at the following link: Peiowa.Org

Professional Educators of Iowa
974 73rd Street, Suite 14
Windsor Heights, IA 50324

Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust Scholarship

The Carver Scholars Foundation distributes thousands of dollars each year to Iowa college students who are struggling to overcome economic or social obstacles, or whose living conditions may not be taken into consideration by alternative financial aid programs. While awards vary, the average award is between $5,200 AND $7,600. The scholarship is available to junior and senior level students, and is renewable upon reapplication.

Eligibility requirements include the following:

    • Sophomore college student currently enrolled in an approved participating college or university


  • Sophomore college student enrolled at an Iowa community college with the intention of transferring to a participating institution as a junior during the award year.
  • Meet residency requirements
  • Demonstrates financial need
  • Complete the FAFSA form
  • Have a GPA of at least 2.8
  • Complete a 500 word, typed, properly formatted essay discussing the student’s unusual barriers or social circumstances that create a barrier to attending college. This essay can be pasted into the online application form.
  • 2 professional letters of recommendation from respected members of the community who can verify the circumstances detailed in the essay.

The prospective applicant should be experiencing financial or social hardships which are unrecognized by the traditional financial aid programs. The student must be able to demonstrate that they are willing to work hard to pull themselves out of their individual circumstances. They must also show great promise and potential. Some examples of debilitating or unusual circumstances include, but not limited to, the following:

  • Students who come from a one-parent family
  • Student who work a full-time job while attending college
  • Students with physical, mental, or social handicaps
  • Students who have families to support

Applicants for this scholarship must apply directly online through one of the numerous participating universities or colleges. For a list of participating institutions, follow this link: CarverTrust.Org

Larry W. Carter Scholarship

This scholarship, which is administered through the Greater Des Moines Community Foundation, is designated for minority college students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree in Iowa. It was founded to help minority students to meet tuition, housing, and educational supply needs. One scholarship is awarded each year, with more scholarships planned for the future as additional funding becomes available. Eligibility for this scholarship includes the following:

  • African-American or minority group descent
  • Financial need
  • Enrollment in an institution of higher learning within the state of Iowa
  • Legal resident of Iowa

Applications are available through state-wide financial aid offices or by mail. To request an application, write to the following address:

Greater Des Moines Community Foundation
1915 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309
Attn: Larry W. Carter Scholarship

Iowa Credit Union Grants and Scholarships

The Iowa Credit Union Association is proud to offer the Family Involvement Board scholarship program, which provides 6 separate scholarship opportunities for nontraditional students and young adults for the purpose of funding higher education. The Association also offers a number of other scholarships for a variety of purposes.

The student scholarships are awarded based on financial need, scholastic ability, and quality essay submissions. The essay must be between 500 and 600 words, discussing why financial education should be a requirement in the Iowa public school system.

Eligibility for the scholarships through the Association includes the following:

  • Resident of Iowa
  • Enrolled in an Iowa college or university
  • Demonstrate good grammar, spelling, and writing skills
  • Show satisfactory academic performance in past and current (if applicable) courses

The application for all available scholarships can be completed through the following online link: IowaCreditUnions.Com

H.L. Taylor Scholarship

The H.L. Taylor Scholarship, which is offered through the Iowa State PTA, is available to all graduating seniors from an accredited public high school within a PTA school district. Applicants must be sponsored by the local PTA organization. The number of awards varies based on financial need, funds availability, and number of applicants. Selection for the scholarship is based on the applicant’s community activities, extra-curricular involvement, references, potential for success, academic record, and financial need.

Eligibility requirements for this scholarship include the following:

  • Graduating senior from a public high school district where a PTA organization is active
  • Resident of Iowa
  • Plan to attend an Iowa university or college, vocational school, or post educational training program.

Applicants should complete the application form, found at the following link: IowaPta.Org

In addition, applicants must provide at least two letters of personal reference from upstanding members of the community, who can attest to the applicant’s character and community involvement. These letters, along with a personal cover letter and the application form, must be mailed in one packet to the following address:

Iowa PTA
5619 N.W. 86th Street, Suite 600
Johnston, IA 50131-2955

Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Award

This award provides from $1,000 to $5,000 to junior high school students in the state of Iowa who propose and then complete a community improvement project of their choice. Financial need, essays, test scores, and grades are not evaluated for this scholarship.

Prospective applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Enrolled as a junior at a public, accredited high school within the state of Iowa
  • Create and implement a community improvement project
  • Provide proof of the completed project, including success or failure respectively
  • Provide letters of recommendation from at least 2 respected members of the community who can attest to the applicant’s personal character and verify the student’s project.

Application forms, recommendation forms, and additional information about the scholarship can be found at the following link: HooverAssociation.Org

Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

This scholarship is designated for Iowa college students who are pursuing a degree in visual arts, traditional arts, theater, music, literature, or dance. Awards range from $1,000 to $2,000 and are designated for the next academic year. The number of awards and amount will vary based on available funds and the number of applicants.

Eligibility for this scholarship includes the following:

  • Iowa resident
  • Iowa high school graduate during the previous academic year
  • Proven ability or talent in one of the following fine arts areas: visual arts, traditional arts, theater, music, literature, and dance
  • Must be accepted to an accredited Iowa university or college and enrolled full-time in pursuit of one of the fine art areas listed above

Note: Anyone who is directly or indirectly involved or related to the Young Iowans Cultural Council or the Iowa Arts Council is ineligible for this scholarship.

All applications must be received, not post marked, by the application due date. Emailed, faxed, handwritten, illegible, or incomplete applications will be rejected. The application must include two letters of recommendation and a one page essay discussing the applicant’s artistic abilities and educational endeavors. Each application is personally reviewed by a decision panel consisting of professionals who are well versed in the arts. Applications are scored based on the review criteria, with the final decision coming from the IAC director.

All applications should reflect dedication to your specific art discipline. Each applicant should demonstrate academic ability as well as artistic achievement, as well as a desire to gain professional training. Finally, the applicant should demonstrate future objectives and goals which are related to the arts.

Applicants can find the necessary application form at the following link: IowaArtsCouncil.Org

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3 Comments on “Iowa Scholarships and Grants”

  1. Titus Musyoka wrote:


    I am Titus Musyoka from Kenya,

    Are there grants for incoming international freshman,who will be attending full time classes in An Iowan university?

  2. Maria Flores wrote:

    I am going to attend St. Lukes College this upcoming fall. Are there any scholarships that’s I am eligible for?

  3. Maria Flores wrote:

    I am a student at St.Lukes College and was wondering if there were any more scholarship opportunities for the 2020-2021 school year? Perhaps the Iowa Promise Scholarship? Thank you for any help.

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