Scholarships Awarded by Iowa State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Exceed $3 Million

AMES, Iowa — Scholarship funds awarded annually by the Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have topped $3 million.

The college awarded 2,300 scholarships to students for this academic year. Annual scholarships awarded to agriculture and life sciences students have grown by a million dollars in the past five years.

“We’re proud to have reached the $3 million mark in scholarships, made possible by many generous alumni, friends and supporters,” said Wendy Wintersteen, endowed dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The college continues to attract many excellent students, and scholarships play a key role. This fall our college has record enrollment for the fifth straight year, so it’s critical we continue to accelerate our fundraising efforts to provide them with more support available through scholarships.”

“Scholarships help to open doors for bright, hardworking students who might not otherwise be able to attend college,” said David Acker, associate dean of academic and global programs. “They also help more students connect to meaningful and sometimes life-changing experiences our college offers in leadership, global awareness and scientific and practical experiences.”

The $3 million level of scholarship funding reflects increased support from donors. Donors also have been motivated by the Moving Students Forward initiative announced by Iowa State President Steven Leath in 2012. The initiative’s goal is to reduce financial burden on students through scholarships to support the cost of educational enrichment programs and study abroad opportunities.

Scholarships are awarded at both the college and departmental levels. Students are selected based on scholarship criteria that may include academic achievement, leadership, service and financial need.

“Offering a variety of scholarships helps recruit and retain students and reflects the broad subject areas offered throughout the college, from production agriculture to the life sciences,” said Andy Zehr, director of marketing and recruitment for the college.

The college’s diverse scholarship portfolio includes support for freshmen, transfer students, upperclassmen and graduate students, and awards that enhance many areas of a student’s education both in and out of the classroom, including hands-on learning, study abroad opportunities and leadership growth. Selected examples of the college’s annual scholarship awards include:

The Ag Excellence Awards. This group of scholarships focuses on academic achievement and leadership. “These are awarded to the highest-achieving, first-year students. The award is renewable with varying dollar amounts depending on their academic performance,” Zehr said.

Dean’s Leadership Scholars. Freshmen receiving a Dean’s Leadership Scholarship participate in the Dean’s Leadership Seminar, a one-credit class that meets weekly for six weeks. The class is led by Acker and Dean Wintersteen. The leadership class offers an opportunity to learn from challenges confronting today’s leaders. “Dean Wintersteen and I enjoy introducing these students to opportunities that will help them maximize their leadership development while at ISU,” Acker said.

Growth in leadership. One of the prominent leadership scholarship programs in the college, the Fred Foreman Scholarships for Growth in Leadership Participation encourage leadership and participation in campus clubs and organizations. Each year 60 students benefit from the scholarship— 20 sophomores, 20 juniors and 20 seniors. Priority is given to students who are working to support college initiatives such as student recruitment or public education.

Hands-on learning. Scholarships based on hands-on learning include the Dean’s Leadership Scholarship and the Neal and Kitty Conover Science With Practice Scholarship. Each year 24 students receive these two scholarships. Along with scholarship funding, the students earn wages through on-campus jobs, many of which include working on research projects. Students often continue their research beyond the length of the scholarship.

Study-abroad awards. Supporting international experiences for students is a priority for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This past year, there were 171 recipients of three study-abroad scholarships: the Dean’s Leadership Study Abroad Scholarship, the Dwight and Marilyn Conover Study Abroad Scholarships and the Gregg Behrens Scholarship for Study Abroad. After returning to campus, students meet with scholarship donors to share what they learned from their travels.

Multicultural and geographic awards. A number of scholarships support multicultural students and interests in the college, including the Dean of Agriculture Multicultural Scholarship and the Harold R. and Rachel K. Crawford Multicultural Scholarship. Several scholarships also support students from specific geographic regions, including Iowa residents, specific Iowa counties and out-of-state students.

For information about College of Agriculture and Life Sciences scholarships go to