Scholarships and Grants - Returning Students

Federal Scholarships & Grants

For federal or state aid eligibility, enrollment status will determine award amounts; full time status for the undergraduate program is 12 or more hours per semester, 3/4 time is 9-11 hours, 1/2 time is 6-8 hours, and less than half-time is below 6 (see Graduate Program section for enrollment status requirements). Students will not be allowed to include any courses repeated more than one time where a passing grade (D or better) was earned, or courses that don't count towards degree completion, in enrollment status.

Federal Pell Grant
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant
Robert C. Byrd Scholarship
Federal Teach Grant

State Scholarships and Grants

Iowa Tuition Grant
Iowa National Guard Grant
Iowa Education and Training Grant
All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship

Buena Vista University Scholarships & Grants

The following institutional awards are available to Storm Lake campus undergraduate students only.

Trustee Scholarships
Multicultural Scholarships
Merit Awards-Foundation
Buena Vista Transfer Scholarships
Sibling Grants
National Presbyterian Scholarships
Buena Vista Grants
Fine and Media Arts Awards

List of Outside Scholarships

Federal Grants

Federal Pell Grant - will range from $657 to $6,195 for 2019-20 for eligible students for a full-year, full-time award. Individual awards are determined based on federal formula. Payment is calculated for full-time enrollment (12 or more hours per semester), 3/4 time enrollment (9-11 hours per semester), or half-time enrollment (6-8 hours per semester). Students enrolled less than half-time may also be eligible. To be considered for a Federal Pell Grant, the results of your valid application must reach us while you are still enrolled. Students with prior baccalaureate degrees are not eligible.

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant - Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are available to students who show exceptional financial need and, normally, who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. These grants are partially federally funded, but awarding is controlled by the University. Because funding is limited, priority is given to students who complete the FAFSA by June 1 and list Buena Vista University on the application.

Robert C. Byrd Scholarship - Robert C. Byrd Scholarships of up to $1,500 are made available by the federal government in the form of grants provided to the state. Students can apply for this scholarship through the Iowa College Student Aid Commission. Evidence of financial need is not a requirement.

Federal TEACH Grant The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in grant funds for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at  schools that serve students from low-income families.  The grant reverts to an Unsubsidized Direct Loan if the conditions mentioned are not met within eight years of graduation. To receive a TEACH Grant, students must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the yearly deadline, although financial need is not required.
  • Meet the eligibility requirements for federal student aid.
  • Meet one of the following academic achievement requirements
    • Score above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test (e.g. SAT, ACT, GRE, or
    • Graduate from high school with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) to receive a grant as a freshman, or
    • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) on college course work to receive a grant for each subsequent term.
  • Students enrolled in the post-baccalaureate education program are not eligible
  • Be accepted into a Teach Grant-eligible program

BVU Process to Receive Funding
These steps must be completed each year you would like to be considered for the TEACH grant.

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
  2. Check your academic information to ensure you are eligible
  3. Complete the Undergraduate career plans form or the Graduate career plans form letting us know what you plan to teach and that you have carefully read through the informational provided here and that you have carefully considered whether or not to pursue a TEACH Grant.
  4. Complete a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve
  5. Complete the online TEACH Grant counseling

Iowa Grants

Iowa Tuition Grant - are available, based on financial need, for fulltime undergraduate study and for less than full-time enrollment. The full-time award is currently $6,000 for 2019-20. The grant may be renewable for a total of eight full-time semesters of study.

Iowa National Guard Educational Grants are available to Iowa residents who are members of an Iowa Army or Air National Guard unit while enrolled in higher education. The individual award amount will not exceed the average tuition rate for full-time students at Iowa Regents Universities.

Other gift aid programs, such has the Iowa Education & Training Voucher Grant and the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship, are available from the State of Iowa in limited amounts. These funds currently help Iowa students who have been in foster care, TRIO programs, alternative high schools or are homeless.

These gift sources are available to Iowa residents. If any of these resources are listed on your Financial Aid Award, they should not be viewed as official awards until your eligibility has been approved by the Iowa College Aid Commission. In the event that available state funds are insufficient to pay the full amount of each approved grant, the Iowa College Aid Commission has the authority to administratively reduce the maximum award to an amount less than the statutory maximum.

Students from states other than Iowa should check with the proper agency in their state to receive information on availability of state-sponsored scholarships or grants.

Academic Merit Awards

Trustee Scholarships were awarded through competition prior to the 2020-21 academic year. Recipients first awarded prior to 2017-18 may renew a Trustee Scholarship by maintaining a 3.25 CGPA and full-time status. For these students, the total of all gift aid will never be less than the BVU tuition charge. However, an individual's financial need and direct charges may limit total gift aid (including outside scholarships) received.

Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, up to twenty awards were made with $4,000 added to the student's merit award, with a $26,000 maximum award. These students may renew the award by maintaining a 2.5 CGPA.

Financial need is not required, but FAFSA filing is encouraged. A student's financial need and direct charges my limit total gift aid (including outside scholarships) received. Full time enrollment is required.

Multicultural Scholarships - are awarded through competition to students from diverse populations each year. For these students, the total of all gift aid will never be less than the BVU tuition charge. However, an individual's financial need and direct charges may limit total gift aid (including outside scholarships) received.

Beginning in the 2017-18 academic year, $4,000 awards will be made.

Recipients will be eligible to renew a Multicultural Scholarship by maintaining a 2.5 CGPA and full-time status. Financial need is not required, but FAFSA filing is encouraged.

The total of all gift aid will be limited to direct costs.

Some students who competed for a Trustee or Multicultural Scholarship, but were not selected, had the opportunity to receive a Fisher or Halverson Scholarship. These scholarship are renewable for those students awarded as a new student.

Merit Awards of $2,000-$22,000 per year would have been awarded for a student's first year at BVU based on meeting certain academic requirements. Students enrolled full-time are eligible to renew their individual merit award for up to four years, based on the renewal requirements presented at the time the award was made. For more information on the renewal requirements for a specific award, please contact the Office of Financial Assistance. There is no limit on the number of renewal awards available, but only students awarded a merit award as a freshman/transfer are eligible to be considered for renewal of that award subsequent years.

Eligible students may receive only one of the above scholarships per year and are able to renew the scholarship amount they received at the time they entered BVU based on the renewal requirements indicated.

Recognition Awards

The Mack Family Honors Innovation Fellows recipients receive a $2,500 travel stipend, priority class registration and research and conference funding. The Mack Family Honors Innovation Fellows is available to entering freshmen who meet two of the following conditions: 3.75 cgpa, 28 ACT or a high school class rank in the top 10 percent. a 3.5 CGPA is required for transfer students. Eligible students will be asked to compete.

Fine and Media Arts and Dance and Cheer Awards of various amounts are available to recognize and reward students who demonstrate talent and wish to participate at the collegiate level.  Students will be required to audition or provide a portfolio and are eligible to renew their award for a maximum of four years by meeting participation criteria.

Other Scholarships and Grants

Buena Vista Transfer Scholarships - are awarded based on the student’s college grade point average. To be considered for one of the transfer scholarships, students must have completed at least one semester of college as a full-time student (12 hours). A student is considered a transfer student after they have graduated from high school or completed their GED and have completed one semester at a community college or four-year college/university as a full-time student (12 hours or more). Please check with the Office of Financial Assistance on individual award renewal requirements.

Career and Research Exploration to Enhance Retention in STEM (CAREERS) Scholarships- are available to high-performing students who major in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, mathematics, physics, or science education. Eligible students will receive up to $5,000 per year for four years, a $2,000 stipend reserved exclusively for travel, and opportunities for interdisciplinary research and internships.

2019-20 was the last academic year that funds were available to new students.  Previously eligible students could have funds renewed, based on renewal requirements.

Legacy Scholarships

  • Award for any student beginning enrollment at Buena Vista University during the 2019-20 year or later who has a parent or grandparent with a degree from BVU
  • $1,000 per year

Education for Service Scholars

  • Ten full-tuition, four-year scholarships each year to eligible students who graduate from a high school located in Buena Vista County, beginning in the 2018-19 school year.
  • Six scholarships are exclusively for students who attend the Storm Lake or St. Mary's High Schools, and up to four scholarships will be awarded to students who attend Sioux Central, Newell-Fonda, or Alta-Aurelia High Schools.
  • To be eligible for consideration, students must be a first generation college student, earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and be Federal Pell Grant and Iowa Tuition Grant eligible.
  • Scholarship recipients will serve as Iowa College AmeriCorps volunteers in Buena Vista County communities to build on valuable personal, leadership, and professional skills.

Sibling Grants - are available to any student who has a sibling enrolled. Eligible students will receive a $500 grant for each year of simultaneous enrollment on the Storm Lake campus. The number of awards available is not limited.

National Presbyterian Scholarships - of up to $1,500 per year are available to students who show need and apply to the National Presbyterian Church by the yearly deadline. The student’s first year award may be renewed provided the student continues to show financial need and maintains a 3.0 CGPA. The number of awards available is limited.

Buena Vista Grants - are issued to some full-time students. Financial need and/or the total of other BVU gift aid awarded will determine if an award is made. Students must continue to make satisfactory academic progress to renew the award. The number of available awards is limited.

In addition, gifts from friends of BVU, organizations and special endowments are awarded based upon financial need and/or other criteria. Students are automatically considered for these aid sources when they apply for financial assistance each year.

Any awards made from institutional funds will not change mid-year unless enrollment or living arrangements change.

Institutional gift aid is not available for summer school or for part-time enrollment.