Top Scholarships in Iowa State to Apply in May 2024

Scholarships in Iowa alleviate the monetary requirements Iowa residents face when pursuing post-secondary education. Iowa college students can find external funding and support through these scholarship opportunities.

Scholarships and other financial aid options empower students to pursue their educations and reach their goals, regardless of financial circumstances. There are many scholarship programs designed to assist students seeking higher education. New scholarships are created every day, offering a variety of scholarship opportunities for all types of students.

Top 10 Scholarships for Iowa Students

  1. The Lois Johnson Kemble Memorial Scholarship: This $1,100 award supports two female students pursuing degrees in business or teaching. First-generation high school seniors from Nebraska or Iowa with a 3.0 GPA or higher can apply.
  2. Charles Cheesman’s Student Debt Reduction Scholarship: Assists students in reducing their existing student loan debt.
  3. Uniball’s Skilled Trades Scholarship: Supports students pursuing a career in the skilled trades.
  4. Expand Your Horizons Scholarship: Encourages students to explore new educational and career opportunities.
  5. Snap Finance “Funding The Future” Scholarship: Provides financial support for students’ education expenses.
  6. Informed Consumer Scholarship: Promotes financial literacy and helps students manage their finances.
  7. “A Bold Life” No-Essay Scholarship: Easy application process with no essay required.
  8. “Equal Opportunity” Scholarship: Supports students from diverse backgrounds pursuing higher education.
  9. Ben Bonner Memorial Scholarship: Open to high school seniors with strong academic records and community involvement.
  10. Davila Scholarship: Assists high school seniors and current college students with financial need.

Iowa Students and Student Debt

Many Iowa residents remain in-state to attend college, often due to the benefits of in-state tuition. Around 90.7% of students enrolled in Iowa State community colleges in Fall 2021 were Iowa residents. Among the students enrolled in college, 64.6% are state residents while 35.4% are nonresidents. Approximately 43% of Iowa residents have an associate’s degree or higher with roughly 427,900 student loan borrowers living in Iowa.

Iowa state residents hold $13.2 billion in student loan debt, and it is estimated that 68% of the Iowa workforce aged 25-64 will need a credential of some kind to fulfill labor force needs by 2025. The next generation must obtain a skill set or form of education to have successful careers in the state of Iowa.

Colleges in Iowa

Iowa is home to numerous colleges and universities, including public, private not-for-profit, and private for-profit institutions. Iowa’s agricultural land results in many agricultural degree programs being offered at top universities, among other diverse programs.

Career and Technical Education includes education programs offered by Iowa schools dedicated to preparing students for careers in current or emerging fields. Iowa State prides itself on the comprehensive curriculum offered at each community college, providing students with a more defined pathway toward career and educational goals at a more affordable price than many alternatives.

The University of Iowa has recently advanced its national ranking among public universities to No. 33, holding the top public writing program in the country along with a top 10 nursing program. Iowa offers a vast array of post-secondary education programs for students residing in Iowa and for out-of-state students.

Student Debt in Iowa

Currently, U.S. student loan debt is the second-highest form of debt in the country, with 45 million loan borrowers. As a result, Americans collectively owe $1.7 trillion in student debt, with an average debt of more than $30,000. Despite being a costly endeavor, higher education is an important personal and professional investment.

Roughly 1 in 7 residents in Iowa have student loan debt. The average private not-for-profit college and university costs $42,000, whereas community college costs an average of $12,000. College students in Iowa are more likely to obtain student debt, with a rising debt of $13.2 billion. Despite the alarming number, Iowa residents owe significantly less on average compared to other states. While student loan debt is concerning for many Iowa students, federal student aid, private grants, and scholarships can lessen the financial burden.

Additional Scholarships for Iowa Students

In addition to Iowa-specific scholarships, students can find numerous other scholarships that consider academic merit, financial need, athletic ability, and more. Here are some additional options:

  1. International Studies Scholarship: Supports students pursuing international studies.
  2. Slater Miller Memorial Fund: Provides financial aid to students in need.
  3. Stride Funding Affordable Tuition Scholarship: Helps students afford their tuition.
  4. Diversity in Law Scholarship: Encourages diversity within the legal field.
  5. Veterans Next Generation Scholarship: Supports veterans pursuing higher education.

Scholarships for High School Students in Iowa

High school students, including freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors, are encouraged to apply for scholarships early to increase their chances of winning. Here are a few options:

  1. Ben Bonner Memorial Scholarship
  2. Davila Scholarship
  3. Noah Wilson “Loaded Spinach” Arts & Mental Health Awareness Scholarship
  4. Kenyada Me’ Chon Thomas Legacy Scholarship
  5. Tyde Memorial Scholarship

Scholarships for Current College Students in Iowa

Current college students, including graduate students, can also apply for scholarships. Here are a few options:

  1. International Studies Scholarship
  2. Slater Miller Memorial Fund
  3. Stride Funding Affordable Tuition Scholarship
  4. Diversity in Law Scholarship
  5. Veterans Next Generation Scholarship

Scholarships for Nursing Students in Iowa

Nursing students face rigorous coursework and extensive tuition costs. Scholarships for nursing students can help alleviate some of these financial burdens. Here are a few options:

  1. Amber Lotts’ Health Heroes Scholarship Foundation
  2. Dashanna K. McNeil Memorial Scholarship
  3. National Health Care Heroes Grant For Nurses
  4. WiseGeek Nursing No-Essay Scholarship
  5. Deborah Stevens Pediatric Nursing Scholarship

Scholarships for Women in Iowa

There are many scholarships specifically for women, particularly those pursuing education in male-dominated fields. Here are a few options:

  1. Linda Hicks Memorial Scholarship
  2. Learner Women in Mathematics Scholarship
  3. Shoot Less, Throw More- Girls Wrestling Scholarship
  4. Women’s History Scholarship
  5. Surya Education Assistance Scholarship

Scholarships for Education Majors in Iowa

Education majors are vital to society, and scholarships for education majors can help future educators achieve their goals. Here are a few options:

  1. Marissa Collections Scholarship
  2. Lucille Hobbs Education Scholarship
  3. Future Teachers of America Scholarship
  4. Dr. Ruth Lewis Knight Memorial Scholarship Educators

Frequently Asked Questions about Scholarships in Iowa

How to apply for an Iowa scholarship?

Start by reaching out to your college’s financial aid office to see what assistance and scholarship opportunities your college offers. External scholarship platforms like can also help you find funding opportunities. Create an account, browse available scholarships, and apply to the ones you qualify for.

How do I know if I qualify for scholarships in Iowa?

Check the eligibility criteria for each scholarship. Ensure you meet all the requirements before applying. The more requirements a scholarship has, the fewer eligible recipients there will be, increasing your odds of winning.

To receive a scholarship, do I have to fill out the FAFSA?

Scholarship policies vary, but most scholarship applications do not require a completed FAFSA form. Check with your college’s financial aid office for specific requirements.

Are there Iowa scholarships for out-of-state students?

Yes, some universities offer scholarships for out-of-state students. Check with individual colleges for specific opportunities.

How can I use a scholarship?

Scholarship funds can be used for any educational expense, including tuition, books, and housing. Funds are typically sent directly to your college’s financial aid office.

Are scholarships counted as income?

Scholarship funds used for qualified education expenses are generally not considered taxable income.

How many scholarships can I win?

There is no limit to the number of scholarships you can win. Apply for as many as you are eligible for to increase your chances.

Do I need a certain grade point average to apply?

Not all scholarships require a high GPA. Many scholarships consider other factors such as extracurricular activities, community service, and personal essays.

By applying for a variety of scholarships, Iowa students can find financial support to help them achieve their educational goals. Start early, apply often, and take advantage of all the opportunities available to you.