First Cyclones Scholarship Program

Iowa State University is thrilled to announce the The First Cyclones Scholarship Program. 

The First Cyclones Scholarship Program aims to enhance the ISU undergraduate experience for first-generation and income-restricted students by providing students and families campus navigational, financial and personal support Resources; student leadership and personal development; and student career readiness opportunities -- comprehensively advancing the student's academic success and their ability to become future global leaders.  

The associated scholarship award grants up to one hundred (100) scholarships in the amount of full tuition to incoming first-year students, who are U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents and have a demonstrated financial need and/or are first generation college students. Students will also need to demonstrate advanced commitment to their academic success via well-written scholarship application essays. 

The scholarship is renewable for a maximum of eight semesters, provided the student complies with all scholarship program components listed below.

  • Be a new, direct out-of-high school student. Prospective students who have been out of high school for over one year and have not gone to college are not eligible. Transfer students are not eligible 
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. Students who identify as undocumented or as Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are not eligible for the scholarship 
  • Be admissible to Iowa State University 
  • Be a First-Generation college student (meaning that your parents did not complete a 4-year college or university degree, regardless of other family member’s level of education) and/or low-income eligible. The term "low-income eligible" means an individual whose family's taxable income for the preceding year did not exceed 150 percent of the poverty level amount
  • A FAFSA must be submitted by the priority deadline: February 1, 2024. Your scholarship application can be submitted prior to the completion of your FAFSA.


Up to 100 hundred full-tuition scholarships are awarded to incoming undergraduate US first-year students directly out of high school as part of the First Cyclones Scholarship program. This award opportunity is available to students enrolling at Iowa State for summer or fall 2024. The scholarship is worth full undergraduate tuition for in-state students at a value of $8,678/year or out-of-state students at a value of $25,162/year based on current tuition rates.

February 1st, 2024 is the deadline to apply.


Students will be notified by March 2024 if they are selected to receive the First Cyclones Full-Tuition Scholarship. The scholarship is renewable for an additional three years (for a total of four years or eight semesters of undergraduate study), provided the student maintains a cumulative 2.50 Iowa State grade point average, and each academic year completes 24 new credit hours at the university. Students must also remain continuously enrolled and enroll in and successfully complete the UST 102A and UST 205 courses. The scholarship is not need-based, but we ask all students who want to be considered for the award to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Because the First Cyclones Scholarship is valued at full tuition, recipients are NOT eligible to receive the following awards:  George Washington Carver Scholastic Leadership Scholarship, Loyal Scholar, Forever Scholar, True Scholar, Academic Achievement Award, Expedition Award, Exploration Award, First Year Generations Award,  Science Bound Tuition Scholarship, and the ISU Grant.  Recipients may use other scholarships awarded by Iowa State as well as outside scholarships and grants (including the Federal Pell Grant) to pay for room and board, fees, books and personal expenses.  Please note that fees are separate from tuition.

Application to the First Cyclones Scholarship is administered through OneApp. To apply, students must be admitted to Iowa State University in order to receive access to the OneApp site.

The 2024-2025 application will open October 26th and close on Febrauary 1st, 2024.

  • Maintain full-time enrollment (12-credits per semester)
  • Complete twenty-four (24) new credit hours each academic year
  • File the FAFSA each year by the priority deadline for that application year.  While a FAFSA is required each year, proving low income and first-generation status every year would not be required.
  • Maintain a 2.0 cumulative Grade Point Average or higher at Iowa State University
  • Meet learning community program requirements and engagement with peer mentors in first academic year
  • Enroll in and earn a passing grade in UST 102A in your first Spring Semester and UST 205 your second Fall Semester