Iowa Lakes news

(Estherville, Iowa) The Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship has proven to be a game changer for students at Iowa Lakes, with over $3.5 million in scholarships awarded since the program’s beginning. During the Fall 2023 term, Iowa Lakes students received an impressive $374,800 in scholarship aid from the program.

“The Last-Dollar Scholarship program bridges the financial divide left by other state and federal grants, ensuring many of our students can pursue certificates, diplomas, or degrees within the qualifying programs without the looming shadow of hefty student debt. It’s about empowering our students to achieve their educational goals and confidently step into the workforce,” explained Steve Pelzer, Director of Financial Aid at Iowa Lakes.

In the Fall 2023 semester, the Last-Dollar Scholarship program supported 212 Iowa Lakes students, with an average award of approximately $1,768 per student. For the 2023 to 2024 academic year, the scholarship eligibility focused on students whose Expected Family Contribution (EFC), based on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), was below $20,000.

To be eligible for the Last-Dollar Scholarship, students must enroll in one of the qualifying programs and complete the FAFSA® within the required timeframe. With the recent FAFSA® simplification act, the form will be available beginning December 2023, replacing the EFC with a Student Aid Index (SAI). The state legislature will announce if there will be a cap based on the SAI.

Iowa Lakes offers a vast range of programs eligible for the Last-Dollar Scholarship, including the addition of two new qualifying programs, Accounting Specialist and Certified Professional Bookkeeper.

Other qualifying programs include Agriculture Production Technology, Aviation and Airport Management, Business Administration and Management, Business Specialist Diploma, Computer Programming, Construction Technology, Criminal Justice, Digital, Social, & Broadcast Productions, Electrical Technology, Environmental Studies, Farm Equipment and Diesel Technology, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technology, Licensed Practical Nurse (PN) or Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) programs, Paralegal and Legal Studies, Surgical Technology, Veterinary Technician, Water Quality Technician, Welding Technology, and Wind Energy and Turbine Technology. There are also a variety of shorter-term diploma or certificate programs available under the Last-Dollar Scholarship.

For a detailed overview of the Last-Dollar Scholarship and eligible programs, please click here to visit iowalakes.edu/lds.