Fall 2020 Automatic Freshman Merit Awards

Your hard work in the classroom can pay off! Iowa State University offers merit-based awards to new students based on their academic records. Start by applying for admission and you will be considered for our special awards!

Recipients are notified about automatic scholarships shortly after their admission to Iowa State. For qualified students, the Generations Award requires an application. Homeschool students are reviewed individually for scholarships. Students who receive a full tuition scholarship are not eligible for these merit awards from the Office of Admissions.

We have an exceptional adventure in store for high-achieving and highly motivated students like you! Explore your scholarship opportunities now.

Select your state below to review all of the awards available to you through the office of Admissions.


ADVENTURE AWARD: GPA 3.30, ACT/SAT 28/1300, Amount $32,000 ($8,000/year for 4 years);
JOURNEY AWARD: GPA 3.00, ACT/SAT 26/1230, Amount $26,000 ($6,500/year for 4 years);
QUEST AWARD: GPA 3.60, ACT/SAT not required, Amount $22,000 ($5,500/year for 4 years);
GENERATIONS AWARD: Return to Iowa Generations Scholarship, Must be the child/grandchild of an Iowa State alum, Amount $6,000 ($1,500/year for 4 years)

Important Scholarship Information

Iowa State offers recognition awards to out-of-state students who fulfill specific academic requirements. The awards are automatically awarded to out-of-state students who have been offered admission to Iowa State.

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA): Minimum cumulative high school GPA (4-point scale). We accept weighted GPA.
  2. Test score: ACT/SAT: Minimum ACT composite or Minimum SAT Total (Reading and Writing+Math) is required. We use a student's best score.
  3. Deadline: July 15, 2020 as a freshman entering directly from high school. Scholarships are reviewed annually and are subject to change for future enrolling classes.
  4. Final Transcript and Test Score: Awards are offered based on preliminary or self-reported academic information, but all awards are contingent upon receipt of the official, final high school transcript and test score verifying the requirements have been met. The award will be withdrawn if all requirements have not been fulfilled. Students will not receive more than one award. Students will be offered the highest award value they qualify to receive and awards can be updated during the year if their GPA or test score improves.
  5. Freshman Status: A student must enroll at Iowa State University for the fall semester immediately following high school graduation to qualify for a freshman award; a student who has attempted college coursework following high school graduation (with the exception of the summer term) is not eligible for freshman awards. A student must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, refugee, or asylee to qualify.
  6. Eligibility for other awards: These awards are not tuition specific. They can be used toward a student’s total University bill and be combined with scholarships offered by an undergraduate college, department, or the Office of Student Financial Aid. Students who receive a full tuition scholarship like the National Merit Tuition Scholarship, George Washington Carver Tuition Scholarship, Multicultural Vision Program Tuition Scholarship, or Science Bound Tuition Scholarship are not eligible for other merit awards from the Office of Admissions including the Loyal Forever True Awards or Recognition Awards for Out-of-state students.
  7. Home school students: When calculating a home school applicant's high school GPA for scholarship purposes, only those grades which have been assigned by an independent entity (e.g., the local high school, a college, or an accredited online curriculum) are factored into the cumulative GPA. Home school applicants must have earned independently assigned grades in at least 12 semester credits of college-level coursework or at least 5 Carnegie units of high school-level coursework (or a combination of both) before their independently assigned grades can be used to establish their high school GPA.

    Home school applicants who do not have enough independently assigned grades to establish their high school GPA will be awarded Admissions automatic scholarships if they meet the minimum ACT/SAT score requirements for those awards. For the two automatic awards which have only a GPA requirement, home school students who do not have an established GPA must achieve the following minimum ACT/SAT scores to be eligible for these awards:

    • True Scholar: 26 ACT composite score or 1230 SAT combined score
    • Quest Award: 25 ACT composite score or 1200 SAT combined score

Renewal Requirements:

To renew these awards the student must remain continuously enrolled at Iowa State University on a full-time basis in good academic standing with a minimum of 12 credits per semester, be assessed nonresident tuition and maintain a minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average. These awards are available during fall and spring semesters only, not during the summer term.

Generations Award:

The Generations Award is awarded to students who are nonresident children or grandchildren of Iowa State graduates. A graduate is defined as any person who has been awarded a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from Iowa State. In order to be considered for this scholarship, students must provide information so the graduation of the parent, step-parent, legal guardian, or grandparent may be verified. Students may complete the scholarship application form available online at admissions.iastate.edu/generations.

Other Resources:

Office of Student Financial Aid   financialaid.iastate.edu
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) fafsa.gov
Additional Scholarship Opportunities financialaid.iastate.edu/scholarships