Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

In-State Scholarships for Freshmen

Admissions Scholarships for Iowa Resident Incoming Freshman (for students entering Fall of 2020):

These scholarships are awarded at the time of admissions and do not require an application.  Admissions scholarships can be stacked within the award. For example, a student could receive multiple Admissions Based Scholarships if they are eligible for each of them. 

All scholarships require continuous, full-time enrollment for renewal, along with a college cumulative GPA of 2.5.

  • Panther Impact Award: Available to Iowa residents, new high school graduates. Students must meet both GPA and ACT (or SAT) requirement to be eligible. There are four levels of the award:

    • $3,500/year ($14,000 total), minimum 3.8 GPA, 29 ACT (SAT 1330)

    • $3,000/year ($12,000 total), minimum 3.5 GPA, 25 ACT (SAT 1200)

    • $1,500/year ($6,000 total), minimum 3.3 GPA, 23 ACT (SAT 1140)

    • $1,000/year ($4,000 total), minimum 3.5 GPA, 20-22 ACT (SAT 1030-1100)

  • UNI-T.E.D Scholarship (UNIfying through Excellence and Diversity): Available to Iowa residents, new high school graduates. Can be received in addition to receiving the Panther Impact Award (stackable). Students must meet one of the following criteria and a GPA requirement:

    • From a traditionally underrepresented population (African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan Native or American Indian, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, or Multiracial) OR

    • Have participated in a TRIO program

    • $2,000/year ($8,000 total), GPA 3.7+

    • $1,500/year ($6,000 total), GPA 3.3-3.69

    • $1,000/year ($4,000 total), GPA 3.0-3.29

UNI Scholarship Application Required:

The following scholarships require completion of the UNI Scholarship Application.  Apply for thousands of scholarships by completing the UNI Scholarship Application.  Deadlines can vary, however the most common deadline date is January 15.  View the chart for awarding additional scholarships that require completion of the UNI Scholarship Application: Scholarship Criteria (PDF)

UNI Residents of Iowa Scholars of Excellence (UNI RISE) Award

  • Be an Iowa resident entering UNI directly from high school

  • $4,000 per year/($16,000 total)

  • Have an ethnic or racial status of African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan Native or American Indian, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander

  • Have an ACT composite score of 23 or higher, (SAT combined EWR+M of 1140 or higher), OR a 3.7 GPA 

    • Students who do not meet the ACT or GPA criteria may be considered if they have a Regents Admissions Index (RAI) score of 290 or higher

  • Demonstrated involvement in activities outside of the classroom, which could include community service, and display leadership or potential for future leadership

  • Apply for admission and submit the UNI Scholarship Application by January 15

  • Approximately 25 students are awarded yearly

Note: Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA, and/or first-generation students. $2,000 can be applied toward summer tuition during one summer term at UNI. The summer would be optional to students, and could be used for study abroad. Minimum enrollment requirement is 3 credits. 


RaiseMe: Begin earning scholarships at UNI throughout your high school career! RaiseMe is an online platform and app that allows you to earn scholarship dollars based on your achievements throughout high school, such as getting good grades and being involved. Dollars can be awarded as scholarships throughout your academic career at UNI. Follow UNI and start earning today.

Are you participating in any of the following academic programs? Learn more about how you can earn scholarships through UNI and RaiseMe:

Cedar Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)

Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) for out of state students 

Iowa STEM BEST (Businesses Engaging Students and Teachers)

Waterloo Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways

Outside Scholarships:

You may also be eligible for need-based and non-need-based scholarships from other sources. Begin your search while in high school and apply for any scholarship which you are eligible for. Ask your counselor about any hometown scholarships. Also, ask any organizations you belong to if they offer scholarships.