First-Year Scholarships

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

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Academic Scholarships

Below you will find the minimum scholarship awards for incoming Fall 2023 first-year students. Awards are based on high school CGPA.*

President’s Scholarship

Amount: $27,000/year
Criteria: 3.9+

Heritage Scholarship

Amount: $25,000/year
Criteria: 3.67-3.89

Arch Scholarship

Amount: $24,000/year
Criteria: 3.43-3.66


Blue Award

Amount: $23,000/year
Criteria: 3.10-3.42

Gold Award

Amount: $21,000/year
Criteria: 3.09 or below


*Students who live off campus will have their scholarship reduced by $5,000. Students who provide test scores or class rank could increase their scholarship.

Beaver Visit Grant

  • Criteria: To be eligible, you must be a high school senior or college transfer student entering BVU in Fall 2023, and you must make a BVU visit.
  • Amount: $1,000 per year

Schedule your BVU Visit

Multicultural Scholarship

  • Criteria: Must have a GPA of 3.25 or above.  Students must also demonstrate a prior history of active engagement in multicultural activities and leadership and/or the desire to be actively engaged in campus multicultural 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.

Recognition-Based Award

Qualified students may apply for the Mack Family Honors Innovation Fellows Program.

Mack Family Honors Innovation Fellows Program

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

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 vary

Cocurricular Scholarships

  • Available to first-year Storm Lake campus students
  • Awarded to students based on talent and individuals who are dedicated to continued improvement in their respective areas of activity
  • Scholarships awarded in marching band, dance & cheer, rodeo, livestock showing, and esports
  • Award amounts vary
  • Ask your admissions counselor how you may qualify

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

Learn more about this opportunity

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
  • $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

  • We offer full-tuition, four-year scholarships each year to eligible students who have successfully graduated from one of the following BV County high schools: Storm Lake, St. Mary’s, Sioux Central, Alta-Aurelia, or Newell-Fonda.
  • To be eligible, students must: earn a minimum of 3.0 cumulative GPA while completing a college prep curriculum, be a first-generation college student (neither parents nor guardians hold a bachelor’s degree), submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and be accepted to BVU and apply for the Education for Service Scholars program by Nov. 1.

Learn more and apply for this opportunity

Out-of-State Grant

  • Available to any U.S. resident who resides outside of Iowa in a surrounding state
  • $2,000 per year


Earn scholarships for your high school achivements

RaiseMe is a micro-scholarship platform for high school students. By signing up for the program, you could earn BVU scholarships for your achievements in school. Add to your portfolio and watch your micro-scholarships add up!

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