Lois Dale Bright Scholarship

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Are you a top student attending high school in Des Moines Public Schools who lacks the financial means to attend college?

You may qual­i­fy for a schol­ar­ship that could allow you to grad­u­ate debt-free from Iowa’s pub­lic universities.

Helping Students from Des Moines Public Schools

The Lois Dale Bright Schol­ar­ship is a need- and mer­it- based grant designed to help ensure that a select­ed num­ber of out­stand­ing Des Moines Pub­lic Schools (DMPS) high school seniors have the finan­cial means to com­plete a col­lege edu­ca­tion with­out debt.

In 2015, the Bright Foun­da­tion fund­ed five schol­ar­ships to grad­u­ates of East High School in Des Moines. Addi­tion­al schol­ar­ships were award­ed at East High School in 2016 and 2017.  In 2018, the pro­gram expand­ed to award schol­ar­ships at all 5 com­pre­hen­sive high schools in DMPS, and with the addi­tion of Vir­tu­al Cam­pus, expand­ed again in 2022.  Each year, 12 to 15 new Lois Dale Bright Schol­ar­ships are typ­i­cal­ly awarded.

Award recip­i­ents will be part of a grow­ing net­work of Bright Schol­ars across the state.

Award Details

The amount of the schol­ar­ship is equal to the res­i­dent cost of atten­dance, less oth­er gift aid (includ­ing Pell Grants, insti­tu­tion­al grants and schol­ar­ships, and pri­vate schol­ar­ships). This award is renew­able for up to three addi­tion­al years, pro­vid­ing the stu­dent main­tains a 2.50 cumu­la­tive GPA and full-time enroll­ment. The amount of the award each sub­se­quent year is based on the same for­mu­la as the ini­tial reward.  Renewals are not guaranteed.

The Bright Foun­da­tion also pro­vides addi­tion­al com­mu­ni­ca­tion and expe­ri­ences for recip­i­ents, such as peer con­nec­tions and net­work­ing, to enhance the col­lege expe­ri­ence and help schol­ars reach their goals. Recip­i­ents are expect­ed to pro­vide the Bright Foun­da­tion reg­u­lar updates on their col­lege expe­ri­ence through sur­veys sent at the con­clu­sion of each semester.

Who Can Apply

Eligibility Criteria

To be eli­gi­ble for a Lois Dale Bright Schol­ar­ship, a stu­dent must be accept­ed by one of the three state uni­ver­si­ties (Iowa State, Iowa, UNI), as well as meet the fol­low­ing criteria:

  1. A min­i­mum 2.5 cumu­la­tive high school GPA
  2. Have sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial need as demon­strat­ed by an SAI (Stu­dent Aid Index) from FAF­SA less than or equal to 10,000.  Con­sid­er­a­tion for unique sit­u­a­tions, includ­ing those unable to com­plete a FAF­SA, may be given.
Appli­cants are eval­u­at­ed on the fol­low­ing criteria: 

  1. Aca­d­e­m­ic per­for­mance in high school
  2. Strong poten­tial for suc­cess in the col­lege setting
  3. Finan­cial need
  4. Com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment, includ­ing at the home high school
  5. Poten­tial to pos­i­tive­ly con­tribute to the grow­ing net­work of Bright Schol­ars on cam­pus and as alumni.

Appli­cants need to com­plete an appli­ca­tion form, includ­ing activ­i­ty sum­ma­ry, short answer, and reflec­tive respons­es in addi­tion to pro­vid­ing a let­ter of rec­om­men­da­tion from a teacher and their transcript.

Stu­dents who have a famil­ial or oth­er­wise close per­son­al rela­tion­ship with any mem­ber of the Bright Foun­da­tion Board of Direc­tors or its employ­ees are not eli­gi­ble for the award.

How to Apply

Interested in Applying?

Appli­ca­tions are avail­able through the high school coun­sel­ing office and relat­ed web­sites.  They should be returned to the coun­sel­ing office when com­plete. Appli­ca­tions are typ­i­cal­ly avail­able in Octo­ber — Novem­ber and due in late Jan­u­ary — ear­ly Feb­ru­ary. Final­ists are typ­i­cal­ly noti­fied by ear­ly March with inter­views held at the end of March and awards announced short­ly there­after.  If you have any ques­tions about the appli­ca­tion process or to find out if you might qual­i­fy, please check with your School Coun­selor at your home high school.

The following information will need to be submitted:

  • Com­plet­ed fil­l­able pdf appli­ca­tion with com­mu­ni­ty involve­ment sum­ma­ry, short answer, and reflec­tive responses.
  • Let­ter of recommendation
  • Tran­script