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We are proud to collaborate with the Bright Foundation to ensure students receiving a scholarship funded by them have a top-notch experience during their time at UNI. Bright Scholars have the opportunity of a lifetime with their fully funded scholarship that is complemented with mentoring and community building opportunities through UNI Honors & Scholars Programs.

Selection Process

Are you a top student attending an Iowa high school who lacks the financial means to attend college? You may qualify for a scholarship that would allow you to graduate debt-free from selected Iowa universities or community colleges.

The Bright Scholars of Iowa Award is a need and merit based grant, funded by the Bright Foundation, designed to help ensure that a selected number of outstanding Iowa high school seniors have the financial means to complete a two-year or four-year college education without debt.  

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current senior attending an Iowa high school
  • Out­stand­ing aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment (top 10% or equiv­a­lent of high school grad­u­at­ing class, or ACT of 28+, or RAI of 299+)
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning and community service, as well as success in the face of adversity
  • Pell Grant-eligible as determined by FAFSA
  • Maintain full-time enrollment

Qualifying students should complete the FAFSA and UNI Scholarship Application by January 15, 2022, to be considered for the 2022-2023 academic year. Pref­er­ence is giv­en to stu­dents whose par­ents have not grad­u­at­ed from an accred­it­ed four-year col­lege or university. This award is renewable for an additional three years provided students maintain a 2.50 cumulative GPA and continuous full-time enrollment.


to present

The first Bright Scholar was awarded at UNI in 2012. Since then, 5 to 14 students have been awarded this scholarship each year.



Individual scholarship amounts vary and are equal to UNI's total cost of attendance less all other gift aid.*



80% of UNI Bright Scholars graduated within four years.

*Gift aid includes Pell Grants, institutional grants and scholarships, and other private scholarships.