The Best Scholarships in Iowa

Iowa residents who plan to attend school have plenty of options to choose from. The state has dozens of accredited colleges, universities, and two-year programs. Students also have a wide variety of scholarships and grants available to reduce the financial burden of paying for college. In their scholarship search, Iowa students of all backgrounds can find local and statewide awards to help pay for tuition, fees, books, or housing.

Some are awarded based on academic history, while others focus on community service, work experience, or other personal achievements. Check out our list of these 35 great scholarships. 

1. Brian Pearson Memorial Scholarships

The Brian Pearson Memorial Scholarships is awarded to one male student and one female student who have participated in the Iowa Games. The scholarship committee considers applicants' level of participation in the Games as well as their character and sportsmanship. To apply, students must submit a form listing their community service history, academic achievements, and athletic accomplishments. They also must submit two letters of recommendation and a two-page essay describing their educational and career goals. The scholarship is worth $1,000.

You can learn more about the ​Brian Pearson Memorial Scholarships here.

2. ICSAC Iowa Tuition Grants

The Iowa College Student Aid Commission provides Iowa Tuition Grants to students who are enrolled as undergraduates in Iowa colleges or universities. To apply, students must submit a copy of their FAFSA form. The monetary amount of each grant varies depending on the recipient's financial need, but the maximum amount awarded is $6,000. The grants are renewable for up to four years.

You can learn more about the ​ICSAC Iowa Tuition Grants here.

3. ICSAC Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grants

The Vocational-Technical Tuition Grants are awarded to students enrolled in Iowa community colleges. Applicants must be enrolled in at least three credit hours and demonstrate financial need. To apply, students must submit their FAFSA form, which determines the monetary amount of their grant, if awarded. The maximum amount is $1,200, and the grants can be renewed for a second year.

You can learn more about the ​ICSAC Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grants here.

4. Herman Sani Scholarships

The Iowa Golf Association awards the Herman Sani Scholarships to graduating high school seniors in Iowa who have experience with golf. The recipients are chosen based on academic history, extracurricular activities, and leadership skills. To apply, students must submit their official high school transcript, two letters of recommendation, a statement of financial need, and an essay summarizing their accomplishments. The Iowa Golf Association awards several scholarships yearly, all of which are worth $8,000 and are distributed in $2,000 amounts over four years.

You can learn more about the Herman Sani Scholarships here.

5. Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge

The Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge, hosted by Iowa Student Loan, provides $2,000 scholarships to 30 high school students every year. To compete for the scholarships, students must take two online financial literacy tutorials and complete an assessment. The students with the highest scores on the assessment will receive the scholarships, regardless of financial need, GPA, class rank, or extracurricular activities.

You can learn more about the ​Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge here.

6. Des Moines Women's Club Scholarships

The Des Moines Women's Club awards 11 Iowa scholarships to graduating high school seniors, six scholarships to undergraduate students, and one scholarship to a graduate student each year. They award scholarships for specific majors and programs, including education, music, STEM, and literature. The scholarship amounts range from $1,000 to $2,000. To apply, students must submit their GPA, a letter of recommendation, and an essay about their educational goals. Students can only apply for one Women's Club scholarship per year.

You can learn more about the ​Des Moines Women's Club Scholarships here.

7. Iowa UMF Scholarships

The Iowa United Methodist Foundation awards several each year, ranging in amount from $570 to $2,150. Some scholarships are awarded to students planning on entering the ministry, and others are awarded based on financial need or college major. Applicants for each scholarship must be Iowa residents and members of a United Methodist church. Students must submit three letters of recommendation, their high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, a financial need statement, and letters of recommendation from teachers, mentors, or church leaders.

You can learn more about the ​Iowa UMF Scholarships here.

8. Iowa UMF Seminary Scholarships

The Seminary Scholarships, provided by the Iowa United Methodist Foundation, are awarded to students who are enrolled in a degree at a seminary approved by the UMF. To apply, students must submit their high school transcript, a statement of financial need, and letters of recommendation from church leaders, teachers, or mentors. The UMF awards 14 scholarships each year, ranging in value from $300 to $7,500.

You can learn more about the ​Iowa UMF Seminary Scholarships here.

9. Matthew Shepard Scholarships

The are awarded to graduating high school seniors in Iowa who are openly members of the LGBTQ community. Recipients must have a GPA of at least 3.0, an ACT score of 22 or higher, and a history of activism and community service in the LGBTQ community. The scholarship committee also considers applicants' moral character and leadership qualities. The Silver Award is worth $500 and can be renewed for up to four years. The Gold Award is worth up to $40,000 and is distributed in $10,000 amounts over four years.

You can learn more about the ​Matthew Shepard Scholarships here.

10. PMI Eastern Iowa Chapter Scholarship

The Eastern Iowa Chapter of the Project Management Institute awards a $1,000  to a resident of eastern Iowa who is enrolled in a college or university in a degree related to project management. Priority is given to students who are children or stepchildren of PMI Eastern Iowa Chapter members, but the scholarship committee will consider all students in Iowa who are enrolled in higher education.

You can learn more about the ​PMI Eastern Iowa Chapter Scholarship here.

11. Robert D. Blue Scholarship

The Robert D. Blue Scholarship is awarded to an Iowa student who has a strong academic history and moral character. To apply, students must submit their official high school transcript, a statement of financial need, two letters of recommendation, and a 500-word essay about an individual who has demonstrated good citizenship. The scholarship amount ranges in value from $500 to $1,000.

You can learn more about the ​Robert D. Blue Scholarship here.

12. Telegraph Herald Scholastic Journalist Award

The Telegraph Herald gives the Scholastic Journalist Award to graduating high school seniors in the Telegraph Herald Media coverage area. Applicants must participate in editorial work for newspaper journalism. To apply, students must submit a letter of recommendation from a journalism teacher or adviser, a portfolio of six published works with written commentary from the student, and an essay explaining how journalism has impacted them. The scholarship is worth $1,000.

You can learn more about the ​Telegraph Herald Scholastic Journalist Award here.

13. Iowa Barber and Cosmetology Tuition Grants

The Barber and Cosmetology Tuition Grants are available to Iowa students attending barber or cosmetology schools. The awards are based on financial need, so to apply, students must submit a copy of their FAFSA form. The monetary amounts vary, but the maximum amount awarded is $1,200. Priority is given to first-year students. Students can receive the award for multiple years, but they must reapply each year.

You can learn more about the ​Iowa Barber and Cosmetology Tuition Grants here.

14. Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grants

The National Guard Educational Assistance Grants are awarded to members of the Iowa National Guard who are enrolled in Iowa colleges or universities. Students must have completed Guard training and must be Guard members during each semester they receive the grant. The maximum amount awarded is $6,658. Recipients can renew their grants for up to 120 credit hours if they remain in academic good standing.

You can learn more about the ​Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grants here

15. Horatio Alger Iowa Scholarship

The Horatio Alger Iowa Scholarships are awarded to graduating high school seniors who are enrolled in or plan to enroll in a college or university. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 and a history of involvement in extracurricular activities. Students must also have overcome some sort of adversity in their life. Applicants' families must have a yearly income of $55,000 or less to be considered for the scholarship.The scholarship's value varies each year.

You can learn more about the ​Horatio Alger Iowa Scholarship here.

16. All Iowa Opportunity Grant

The All Iowa Opportunity Grant is available to students who are enrolled in Iowa colleges or universities. Applicants must have graduated from an Iowa high school with a GPA of at least 2.5 and must be enrolled for at least three credit hours. To apply, students must complete the FAFSA and the Iowa Financial Aid Application. They must have an Expected Family Contribution of $8,118 or lower. The grant amount varies depending on financial need, but the highest amount awarded is $8,118.

You can learn more about the ​All Iowa Opportunity Grant here.

17. All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant

The All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant is available to students who aged out of the Iowa foster care system or who were adopted from the foster care system after the age of 16. To apply, students must submit the FAFSA and the Iowa Financial Aid Application. Recipients can use the grants for any college expenses, including housing, transportation, and living expenses. The maximum amount awarded is $9,010 per year.

You can learn more about the ​All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant here.

18. Latinos Unidos Scholarship

The $1,000 Latinos Unidos Scholarship is awarded to a Latino or Latina student who plans to pursue higher education at an Iowa college or university. To apply, students must submit two letters of recommendation, proof of acceptance to a college or university, and their high school transcript. Students must also submit an essay describing their involvement in the Latino community, their leadership roles, their career and educational goals, and how the scholarship will help to fund their education.

You can learn more about the ​Latinos Unidos Scholarship here

19. Larry W. Carter Scholarship

The Larry W. Carter Scholarship is awarded to an African American Iowa student who plans to attend college either full-time or part-time. To apply, students must submit one academic letter of recommendation, one personal letter of recommendation, a summary of their academic achievements and community service, and their official high school transcript. They also must submit a personal statement explaining why they deserve the scholarship and how it will benefit their education. The scholarship amount varies yearly.

You can learn more about the ​Larry W. Carter Scholarship here

20. Mary E. Wood Scholarship

The Mary E. Wood Scholarship is awarded to an African American Student in Iowa who is pursuing higher education. Applicants must an academic letter of recommendation and a personal letter of recommendation as well as an essay describing their educational and career goals and how they could benefit from the scholarship. Students must also submit their high school transcript and a list of academic and community achievements. The scholarship amount varies yearly.

You can learn more about the Mary E. Wood Scholarship here.

21. PEI Teacher of Tomorrow Scholarship

The Professional Educators of Iowa awards the Teacher of Tomorrow Scholarship to a graduating high school senior in Iowa who plans to pursue a career as a teacher. The scholarship committee chooses the recipient based on academic history, community involvement, and career goals. Applicants must submit their official high school transcript, a letter of recommendation from a teacher, a list of accomplishments and community service, and an essay explaining why they plan to become a teacher. The scholarship is worth $500.

You can learn more about the ​PEI Teacher of Tomorrow Scholarship here.

22. Byers Environmental Scholarships

The Byers Environmental Scholarships are awarded to Iowa high school seniors who have helped to improve their community or the environment. Applicants must be enrolled in an Iowa college or university with a major relating to environmental science, natural resources, or community development. To apply, students must submit a personal essay between 300 and 500 words that explains what they have done to benefit the environment and how the award will help them reach their educational goals. Up to five $1,000 scholarships are awarded yearly.

You can learn more about the ​Byers Environmental Scholarships here

23. Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Awards

The Uncommon Student Awards are given to Iowa high school students who propose, design, and accomplish a project in any field. The scholarship committee chooses 15 winners to receive a $1,000 scholarship and present their projects at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum in West Branch, Iowa. Of the 15 winners, three will receive additional $5,000 scholarships.

You can learn more about the ​Herbert Hoover Uncommon Student Awards here.

24. Tim Dwight Scholarship Program

The Tim Dwight Scholarship Program provides scholarships to Iowa high school seniors who have overcome adversity and demonstrate academic merit and financial need. To apply, students must submit their official high school transcript, an essay explaining why they deserve the scholarship, and two letters of reference. The Foundation awards one $1,000 scholarship, one $2,500 scholarship, one $5,000 scholarship, and one four-year, full tuition scholarship. The recipient of the full tuition scholarship must maintain a GPA of 3.0 every semester to renew the award.

You can learn more about the ​Tim Dwight Scholarship Program here

25. CDI Scholarships

The Conservation Districts of Iowa awards three scholarships every year to students who make contributions to the conservation of soil and water. To apply, students must submit their high school transcript, SAT or ACT scores, and a letter of recommendation. They also must provide information about their academic history, community service activities, extracurricular activities, and educational and career goals. The first place scholarship winner will receive $4,000, the second place winner will receive $3,000, and the third place winner will receive $2,000.

You can learn more about the ​CDI Scholarships here

26. Burkart Scholarship

The Iowa Section of the Professional Golfers Association awards the Burkart Scholarship to a graduating high school senior who is involved in golf and has a strong academic history and financial need. Applicants must submit their high school transcript, two letters of recommendation, and an essay explaining their involvement in golf and their educational goals. The scholarship is worth $1,000 and can be renewed for up to four years.

You can learn more about the ​Burkart Scholarship here.

27. FFBC Scholarships

The First Friday Breakfast Club awards several scholarships each year to Iowa students who support LGBT acceptance and help to educate their communities about LGBT issues. To apply, students must answer three essay questions about their involvement in the LGBT community and their efforts to educate others. They also must submit two letters of recommendation, their official transcript, and a list of work experience, extracurricular activities, and community involvement. The number of awards and monetary amounts vary each year, but the maximum amount awarded is $3,000.

You can learn more about the ​FFBC Scholarships here.

28. Governor Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarships

The Governor Terry E. Branstad Scholarships are awarded to Iowa high school seniors who have participated in the Iowa State Fair. Recipients must be enrolled or plan to enroll in an Iowa college or university. To determine recipients, the scholarship committee considers involvement in the State Fair, financial need, extracurricular activities, community service, and GPA. Applicants must also submit an essay explaining how the State Fair has impacted them. The committee awards up to 10 scholarships yearly with a maximum amount of $5,000.

You can learn more about the ​Governor Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarships here

29. Guardian Scholars Foundation

The Guardian Scholars Foundation provides scholarships to current or incoming undergraduate students who are highly motivated and have academic merit. Applicants must have spent time in the Iowa foster care system between the ages of 14 and 18 and must have a GPA of at least 2.3. Priority is given to students attending a four-year college or university, but students enrolled in a two-year program at a community college can also receive the award. The number of scholarships and monetary amount varies yearly.

You can learn more about the ​Guardian Scholars Foundation here

30. IFDA Scholarships

The Iowa Funeral Directors Association provides several $500 scholarships to students who are enrolled in a program related to funeral service or mortuary science at an Iowa institution. Students must have already completed two years of their program and earned 60 credits. To apply, students must submit their college transcript, a letter of recommendation, and proof of legal Iowa residency. Applicants must also submit an essay explaining why they chose to pursue a career in funeral services.

You can learn more about the​ IFDA Scholarships here.

31. HBA Scholarships

The Iowa Home Builders Association awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in the home building industry. To apply, students must submit their high school transcript, a list of volunteer and work experience, and an essay describing their career goals, financial need, and how they believe the home building industry benefits the economy. The Association provides several scholarships each year with a maximum monetary amount of $1,000.

You can learn more about the ​HBA Scholarships here.

32. ISCA Scholarship

The Iowa School Counselor Association awards one scholarship to a graduating high school senior each year. To apply, students must submit a 500-word essay explaining how their school counselor impacted their lives. They can write about any of their school counselors from elementary, middle, or high school. Students must also submit an application form through the ISCA website. The scholarship amount varies each year.

You can learn more about the ​ISCA Scholarship here.

33. Jerry Woods IRMCA Scholarship

The Iowa Ready Mixed Concrete Association awards the Jerry Woods Scholarship to a college student enrolled in a program related to ready-mixed concrete, construction, or engineering. The number of scholarships provided and the monetary amount of each award varies yearly. To apply, students must write a 1,000-word essay explaining why they chose a career related to construction.

You can learn more about the ​Jerry Woods IRMCA Scholarship here.

34. Hills Bank & Trust Leadership Grant Program

The Leadership Grant Program provides scholarships to high school students in Benton, Cedar, Iowa, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, and Washington Counties. Hills Bank & Trust partners with Iowa 4-H to provide these grants, and all recipients are invited to participate in a 4-H leadership program in addition to winning the scholarship. Applicants must have a GPA of at least 2.8 and must plan to attend an Iowa college or university. Each grant is worth $1,000.

You can learn more about the ​Hills Bank & Trust Leadership Grant Program here.

35. Joe Halbur Scholarship

The Joe Halbur Scholarship, funded by the Iowa Association of Naturalists, is awarded to an Iowa resident who is enrolled in a program related to environmental education, outdoor recreation, or cultural interpretation. Applicants must provide a list of extracurricular activities and work experience as well as a short essay describing why they chose to pursue an environmental career. The IAN awards one $500 scholarship per year.

You can learn more about the ​Joe Halbur Scholarship here.

​We've worked hard to include a variety of scholarship opportunities within our list. If you have any suggestions on additional scholarships, please feel free to leave them in the comments section.