Scholarships can be designated to most areas of the university and have the potential to support a broad number of student needs. Iowa State students receive scholarships based on financial need or academic performance, or both.

In-state tuition has increased more than 150 percent during the past two decades, and the average debt load for graduates continues to rise. Additional need- and merit-based scholarships are essential to give Iowa State a competitive edge in recruiting high-achieving students.

Scholarships can be designed to fulfill other goals as well, such as rewarding and encouraging students who engage in leadership or international study. Additionally, a number of signature scholarships have been created to meet priority needs of the university. The Iowa State University Foundation can develop a gift agreement detailing the award criteria.

Creating a named scholarship can offer an opportunity to honor a loved one or a favorite professor while providing support for Iowa State students.

Expendable Scholarships

Named, expendable scholarships for undergraduate students are based on outright, cash gifts that are awarded to students on an annual basis. Donors may create a scholarship of this type with a minimum gift commitment of $12,500 (to be paid over five years or less). Expendable scholarships are attractive to many donors because they provide immediate financial support to students, and they don't require a large or long-term pledge commitment.

Expendable scholarships may be created within any college or department, or they may provide general support to any Iowa State student. Donors have the opportunity to work with ISU Foundation staff members to define the scholarship criteria that will meet their philanthropic intent, as well as address the ever-growing need for student support.

Endowed Scholarships

A minimum commitment of $50,000 is needed to endow an undergraduate scholarship. Endowed scholarships create a lasting source of support for students. Endowed scholarships are initially composed of a large gift, which is used to build a permanent fund. A percentage of the gift earnings from the permanent fund are used to award the scholarship each year. This ensures that the original gift remains intact, allowing the fund to grow and continue to provide scholarship awards for generations to come.

Graduate Fellowships

Fellowships are critical to recruit the top graduate students needed to assist with important teaching and research. Fellowships offset the cost of tuition, fees, books, and travel to attend professional conferences. They also support graduate stipends and research projects.

An endowed graduate fellowship may be established with a minimum commitment of $150,000. Private support has been essential to Iowa State University students’ success.