First-Year Scholarships

These scholarships are available to new Buena Vista University students. A student may receive only one scholarship for academic achievement; competitive or merit-based.


Beaver Visit Grant

  • Criteria: To be eligible, you must be a high school senior or college transfer student entering BVU in Fall 2021, and you must make a BVU visit. Schedule a virtual visit here.
  • Amount: $1,000 per year
  • Deadline: May 31, 2021

Multicultural Scholarship

  • Criteria: GPA and ACT combination. Students must also demonstrate abilities in and/or desire to be engaged in campus multicultural-based activities and organizations.
  • Amount: $4,000 additional award stacked on top of the merit scholarship
  • Deadline: Students admitted before Jan. 30 must interview by Feb. 28. Students admitted after Jan. 30 must interview within 30 days of admission. Students admitted after May 1 are not eligible.

Merit-Based Awards

Awarded based on high school CGPA, ACT score and residency status. Renewable with the BVU CGPA indicated.

President’s Scholarship

  • Amount: $22,000-$27,000/year
  • Criteria: 2.5 CGPA to renew

Heritage Scholarship

  • Amount: $19,000-$24,000/year
  • Criteria: 2.5 CGPA to renew

Arch Scholarship

  • Amount: $18,000-$23,000/year
  • Criteria: 2.5 CGPA to renew

Blue Award

  • Amount: $17,000-$22,000/year
  • Criteria: 2.0 CGPA to renew

Gold Award

  • Amount: $11,000-$16,000/year
  • Criteria: 2.0 CGPA to renew

Recognition-Based Awards

Qualified students may apply for the Honors or Dean’s Fellowship Programs. To be eligible, students must meet two of the three criteria.

Honors Program

  • 3.75 GPA and top 10 percent of high school class
  • $2,500 travel stipend
  • Priority class registration
  • Research and conference funding

Dean’s Fellowship Program

  • 3.5 GPA and top 20 percent of high school class
  • $1,000 travel stipend
  • Recognition at graduation

Other Awards & Grants

Fine & Media Arts Awards

  • Awards available for animation, art, art therapy, graphic design, scientific illustration, digital media, instrumental music, music production or vocal music; both those majoring in these disciplines or participating in the associated cocurricular program
  • Students majoring in one of areas listed above must compete in an audition or portfolio review before March 1. Students participating only must audition or provide a portfolio for review by Feb. 28
  • Award amounts varies

Legacy Scholarships

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

Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship

  • Award available to first-year Storm Lake campus students
  • Preference given to students who have demonstrated financial need
  • Have a strong academic record
  • Have been an active participant in school and their local community through organization involvement and volunteering
  • Students must hail from one of the following 19 Northwest Iowa counties: Buena Vista, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Humboldt, Ida, Kossuth, Lyon, Palo Alto, Plymouth, Pocahontas, O’Brien, Osceola, Sac, Sioux, Webster, and Woodbury
  • Up to $5,000 per year for four years

Undergraduate Rural Medicine Education and Development (URMED)

  • Each year, at least three pre-med students are selected to intern at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake and three other area hospitals over the course of January interim
  • $3,000 stipend to help defray expenses associated with applying to medical school
  • Also available: professional enrichment opportunities for pre-professional students interested in physical therapy, radiology, optometry, and pharmacy careers in rural settings

Buena Vista Grants

  • Issued to some full-time students
  • Determined by financial need and other BVU gift aid
  • Must continue to make satisfactory academic progress for renewal.

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.
  • 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.

Learn more and apply for this opportunity