Prospective Applicants

Scholarships are available to full-time (12 hours or more) students who will be starting their junior year in the fall semester of the award year. While amounts may vary somewhat, typical awards are $6,000 at public universities and $8,000 at the private colleges. Scholarships may be renewed for the senior year, but such renewal is not automatic, with students required to re-apply for a second year of support.  Potential applicants must apply directly on-line to the participating college or university of their choice by clicking on the application link on this web site.


  • Sophomore students currently enrolled in one of the three Regents’ universities or one of the 23 participating four-year private institutions holding membership with the Iowa College Foundation
  • Sophomore students currently attending a community college in Iowa, who intend to transfer to one of the participating four-year institutions as a junior in the fall semester of the award year.


  • Residency. Students applying for scholarships must be a United States citizen and have graduated from an accredited high school in the state of Iowa or have been a resident of the state of Iowa for at least five consecutive years immediately prior to application.
  • Areas of Study. Students in all fields of study are eligible for an award.
  • Social Factors. Students must present evidence of unusual barriers they have encountered, or are facing, in their pursuit of full-time college attendance.
  • Financial Need. Students must demonstrate financial need on the basis of a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) filed prior to March 1st of the award year.
  • Merit. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.8 on a 4.0 scale. Administrative officials at the participating institutions will be required to verify GPAs for accuracy based on the student’s official academic transcript.


Participating colleges will be responsible for reviewing applications and selecting scholarship recipients for their particular institution.

Students selected for awards will be those who “fall between the cracks” of other financial aid programs.  Similar to Roy Carver himself, who “pulled himself up by his bootstraps” and lived the American dream, awardees will be students of great potential and promise, who have encountered challenging or debilitating circumstances in their lives, but have worked hard to overcome them and make ends meet.

In addition to grades and financial need, selection committees consider social barriers and other extenuating situations when choosing Carver Scholar recipients.

A qualified applicant must be able to demonstrate that his or her circumstances and accomplishments, when combined with financial and merit determination, might be overlooked in other types of student aid programs, but nevertheless represent high achievement and determination in the face of significant obstacles.


In order to be considered for a Carver Scholarship, an applicant is responsible for:

  • Completing a first-year or renewal on-line application form to be submitted electronically to the college or university you are planning to attend by clicking on the application link on this web site. The application form requires:
    • First-year applicants must provide a typed essay presenting evidence of the unusual social and/or other barriers that may deter you from attending college. The document may be “cut and pasted” or processed directly into the on-line application form. Essays should be a minimum of 250 words, but must not exceed 500.
    • First-year applicants must provide the names and e-mail addresses of two professional individuals (other than family members) to serve as references, whom you have asked to submit letters of support on your behalf, verifying that the information included in your essay is accurate.  The purpose of the documentation is to confirm the difficulties you have overcome and to give insight into your character.  At the time your application is submitted, the on-line system automatically forwards an e-mail to the address you provide for your references (teacher, physician, therapist, etc.).  References should submit comments (limited to 250 words) via the link provided in their e-mail notification.  These must be received by the April 1st submission deadline in order for your application to be considered complete.  Administrative officials at the participating institutions will confirm authenticity of electronically submitted reference materials in advance of the selection process.
  • Applicants will also be responsible for filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1st of the award year for submission to the financial aid office of the college that you are planning to attend.

If you have further program-related questions or require assistance in preparing your application, please refer to the name and telephone number of the contact person (listed in Step 2 on the on-line application form) of the institution that you are planning to attend. Completed applications must be submitted and reference comments must be received on-line by April 1st.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early. 


All applicants should be notified of the outcome of the selection process by the college to which application was made by June 1st of each award year.