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Scholarship Tips

Online Scholarship Organization

  • The scholarships can be found using several tools: Quick-Search, Full Search, and Browse by Name.
  • Scholarships from individual colleges are also available. Most have been included in our database, but check your college's website additional scholarships. Visit the homepage for links to the scholarships page of each college (on the left).
  • A number of scholarships have unique requirements. It is a good idea to browse and search through different combinations to see if you qualify for any additional scholarships.


  • If you are a Freshman, apply for admission early. Early in the fall of your senior year is the best time to apply for admission - you can be offered admission in time to be considered for all available scholarships
  • Remember to file the FAFSA on time. Priority programs with limited funding are often awarded to students who file the FAFSA between January 1st but prior to March 1st. FAFSA applications received after March 1 will be considered for aid programs based on remaining availability
  • Make sure to check multiple lists. Apply for any and all awards that fit your interests and/or skills. Be proactive when it comes to scholarships. Many private as well as departmental scholarships require action on your part for applications and other documention.
  • Also, pay close attention to deadlines. Many scholarships require you to file your FAFSA by a certain date, while others require applications. Some even require both the FAFSA and a separate application.

Scholarship Notification

  • The Office of Student Financial Aid prepares a Financal Aid Award for all new and returning students who complete the FAFSA and make the results available to Iowa State University (ISU). New students must also be offered admission to ISU.
  • The Office of Student Financial Aid will notify you by email or postcard when your Financal Aid Award information is available on the web through Accessplus. Your Financial Aid Award will list scholarships reported to and awarded by the Office of Student Financial Aid, grants, work-study eligibility, and loan options. You may accept all or any part of what is offered.
  • If you are receiving a scholarship from any source other than ISU, we are required by federal regulations to include these funds in your Financial Aid Award. These scholarships can be reported directly to our office through Accessplus or by emailing

Tips for Writing a Scholarship Thank-You Note

Nothing is appreciated more than a kind letter of thanks! Many Iowa State University scholarships are supported by generous donors who care about students and education. These donors appreciate interaction with current scholarship recipients. With that in mind, these tips are to help guide you through the thank you letter process.

The funds you receive come from real people who have given their own assets to assist you and other students. Writing a thank you letter to a benefactor will let them know that you appreciate their generosity and will make them feel good about the support they are providing.

  • Refer to the scholarship by its name as shown in your Financial Aid Award
  • Tell the donor about yourself. Items may include:
    • Where you are from
    • Year of study (junior, graduate, etc.)
    • Major
    • Why you chose ISU
    • Accomplishments
    • Organizational involvement
    • Professional affiliations
    • How the scholarship has helped you (Do not mention the amount of your scholarship award)
    • Goals
    • Future plans
    • Thank the donor for their generosity in providing this scholarship and tell the donor how their support has made a difference to your education
  • Please proof your letter! Make sure it is grammatically correct and well organized. You are not only representing yourself, but Iowa State University.
  • Be sure you have provided your return address, in case the donor would like to contact you.
  • Please limit your letter to one page, but do not be too brief.

A well-written letter reflects favorably on you and is important to the scholarship donors who appreciate learning about you, your goals, and future plans.