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 selected Iowa universities or community colleges.
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, bringing the total number of Lois Dale Bright Scholarship recipients to over 35.
Award recipients will be part of a growing network of Bright Scholars across the state.
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 the Bright Scholar GradSnapp Connect Portal.
Who Can Apply
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:
- A minimum 2.5 cumulative high school GPA
- Have significant financial need
- Be an involved community member with strong potential for success in the college setting.
- Share their story of overcoming adversity as it relates to their sense of belonging in college.
Applicants need to complete an application form, including activity summary, short answer responses, and their own #WeBelongInCollege story, 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 and due in late January. Finalists are typically notified by early March with interviews held in early April, with 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 responses, and link or full copy of your #WeBelongInCollege story
- Letter of recommendation