Bright Scholars of Iowa

The H. Dale and Lois Bright Foundation provides the Bright Scholars of Iowa award. It is available to entering freshmen who will graduate from an Iowa high school and demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to students whose parents have not graduated from an accredited four-year college or university. 

The amount of the scholarship is equal to the cost of attendance minus all other gift aid (including Pell Grants, institutional grants and scholarships, and private scholarships). The cost of attendance is equal to tuition & fees, room & board, books, transportation, and personal expenses.

How to Qualify

Eligibility Criteria

  • Current senior attending an Iowa high school

  • Outstanding academic achievement (top 10% of high school graduating class or 299 RAI (Regents Admission Index) or higher, or ACT of 28 or above, or GPA of 3.7 or above)

  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning and community service, as well as success in the face of adversity

  • Meet income guidelines as determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Priority to a child of parents who have not earned a four-year college degree

  • Enrolling and maintaining full-time (12 credits or more per semester)

This award is renewable for an additional three years provided the student maintains a 2.50 cumulative GPA, and continuous full-time enrollment.

How to Apply

Application Process

  • Complete the UNI Scholarship Application by February 15 and upload an essay describing how you have succeeded in the face of adversity in your life (no more than two typewritten pages). Also include a summary of your high school and community service activities, including leadership roles assumed.
  • File the FAFSA prior to February 15
Bright scholarship recipients standing next to each other

The Bright Foundation

Funds for the scholarship are provided by the Bright Foundation. The Bright Foundation also provides additional communication and experiences for recipients, such as peer connections and networking, to enhance the college experience and help scholars reach their goals. Recipients are expected to provide the Bright Foundation regular updates on their college experience through their Bright Scholar portal.