Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships

In-State Scholarships for Freshmen

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Admissions Scholarships for Iowa Resident Incoming Freshman:

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. 

Applicants applying directly from high school for Fall 2021 will be automatically considered for scholarships listed below. Scholarships are renewable with a 2.5 GPA and continuous full-time enrollment.

Incoming Freshmen - Iowa Residents







Panther Impact Award for Iowa Residents

$14,000 ($3,500/year for 4 years) 3.8 - 4.0+ GPA
AND 29+ ACT (1330+ SAT)
$12,000 ($3,000/year for 4 years) 3.5 - 3.79 GPA
AND 25+ ACT (1200+ SAT)
$6,000 ($1,500/year for 4 years) 3.3 - 3.49 GPA
AND 23+ ACT (1140+ SAT)
$4,000 ($1,000/year for 4 years) 3.5 - 4.0+ GPA AND 20+ ACT (1030+ SAT);
or RAI score of 320+

Panther Success Award

$6,000 ($1,500/year for 4 years) 3.9 - 4.0+ GPA -
$5,000 ($1,250/year for 4 years) 3.75 - 3.89 GPA -
$4,000 ($1,000/year for 4 years) 3.6 - 3.74 GPA –
Eligible students may also receive:

UNI-T.E.D Scholarship for Iowa Residents*

$8,000 ($2,000/year for 4 years) 3.7 - 4.0+ GPA
$6,000 ($1,500/year for 4 years) 3.3 - 3.69 GPA
$4,000 ($1,000/year for 4 years) 3.0 - 3.29 GPA

* To qualify for the UNI-T.E.D. Scholarship students must identify as being part of 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.

^ Students can only receive a Panther Impact or Panther Success Award, not both.

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: Path to Financial Aid.

Bright Scholars of Iowa

  • Be an Iowa resident entering UNI directly from high school

  • Iowa Resident Cost of Attendance per year

  • Top 10% of high school graduating class; OR RAI of 299+; OR ACT of 28+

  • Qualify for Federal Pell Grant

  • For full details, click here.

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

  • Be an Iowa resident entering UNI directly from high school

  • $16,000 ($4,000 per year for four years)

  • 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. 

CAPS/CTE Programs: 

Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)

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.


We participated with RaiseMe through June 2021. Although we are no longer awarding new students micro-scholarships, we are honoring all previously awarded RaiseMe recipients their four year scholarships.