Bright Scholars

Work Hard. Save Carefully. Invest Wisely. Give Back.

We are proud to partner 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 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 from UNI debt-free.

The Bright Scholars of Iowa award is funded by the H. Dale and Lois Bright Foundation and is available to entering freshmen who will graduate from an Iowa high school and demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to students whose parents have not graduated from an accredited four-year college or university. 

The amount of the scholarship is equal to the cost of attendance minus all other gift aid (including Pell Grants, institutional grants and scholarships, and private scholarships). The cost of attendance is equal to tuition & fees, room & board, books, transportation, and personal expenses.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Current senior attending an Iowa high school

  • Outstanding academic achievement (top 10% of high school graduating class or 299 RAI (Regents Admission Index) or higher, or ACT of 28 or above, or GPA of 3.7 or above)

  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning and community service, as well as success in the face of adversity

  • Meet income guidelines as determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

  • Enrolling and maintaining full-time (12 credits or more per semester)

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. 

For more information about this scholarship, check out UNI's Financial Aid webpage or the Bright Foundation's webpage


to present

The first Bright Scholar was awarded at UNI in 2012. Since then, 85 UNI students have been awarded this scholarship.



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


4-year grads

80% of UNI Bright Scholars graduate within 4 years. An additional 12% graduate in 6 years.