Bright Scholars

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 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

  • Be an Iowa resident entering UNI directly from high school
  • Top 10% of high school grad­u­at­ing class; OR RAI of 299+; OR ACT of 28+, OR GPA of 3.7+
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning and community service, as well as success in the face of adversity
  • Have financial need
  • Maintain full-time enrollment

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.

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