Iowa State University is thrilled to announce the George Washington Carver Scholastic Leadership Program. A prestigious opportunity for first-year students who exemplify the indomitable spirit and legacy of George Washington Carver.

Inspired by the life experiences and enduring legacy of George Washington Carver, ISU actively seeks applicants for this program who aspire to become change agents of society. Carver's remarkable journey as a student, scholar, and inventor serves as a powerful reminder of the transformative impact that education and perseverance can have on individuals and communities.

This program aims to recognize, support, and further cultivate outstanding individuals who demonstrate resilience, academic excellence, and a commitment to making a positive impact on their communities and beyond.

Through the program’s various events and initiatives, scholarships, and resources, the university aims to provide students with the tools, opportunities, and support they need to develop their potential fully. Students will be encouraged to embrace their passions, pursue excellence in their studies, and engage in impactful research, innovation, and community service.

  • Minimum 3.70 cumulative high school GPA
  • Be a new, direct out-of-high school student for the entry term of summer 2024 or fall 2024. 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
  • A FAFSA must be submitted by the priority deadline of February 1, 2024. Your scholarship application can be submitted prior to the completion of your FAFSA.
  • Recipients, through the application essay, shall demonstrate (note word limits within the application):
    • A commitment to advancing their own academic and professional success:
    • Personally, overcoming barriers commonly faced by underserved individuals; and
    • A commitment to advancing the success of and increasing opportunities for underserved populations exemplified in the life and legacy of George Washington Carver legacy.


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 George Washington Carver (GWCSL) 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 GWCSL 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 106 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 GWCSL Scholarship is valued at full tuition, recipients are NOT eligible to receive the following awards:  First Cyclones 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 for George Washington Carver Scholastic Leadership Scholarship is administered through OneApp. To apply, students must be admitted to Iowa State University to receive access to the OneApp site.

The 2024-2025 application will open October 26th and close on Febrauary 1st, 2024 at 5pm CST.

  • Maintain full-time enrollment (minimum 12-credits per semester)
  • Complete twenty-four (24) new credit hours each academic year
  • File the FAFSA each year by the annual priority deadline for that application year
  • Maintain a 2.50 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 106 in your first Spring Semester and UST 205 your second Fall Semester

About George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver, an iconic figure in American history, overcame immense challenges as an African American student, scholar, and inventor. Born into slavery in the 1860s, Carver faced significant adversity from an early age. He had limited access to education, but his determination and thirst for knowledge propelled him forward.

Carver's passion for learning led him to seek education at various institutions, even though discrimination and racism posed constant obstacles. He encountered numerous setbacks, as many institutions denied him admission due to his race. Nonetheless, he persisted and eventually earned acceptance to the Simpson College in Iowa.

Carver's academic journey continued as he pursued his graduate studies at Iowa State Agricultural College (now Iowa State University). Despite facing similar challenges, he excelled in his studies and became the first African American to earn a bachelor’s degree from the institution. Carver further went on to earn his master’s degree.

As a scholar, Carver's achievements extended far beyond academia. He devoted his life to agricultural research and made remarkable contributions in the field of botany. His work primarily focused on the utilization of crops such as peanuts, sweet potatoes, and soybeans to improve agricultural practices and promote self-sufficiency.

Carver's groundbreaking research and inventions revolutionized Southern agriculture, particularly benefiting farmers in the region. His innovative techniques and discoveries, including crop rotation, soil conservation methods, and the development of numerous products derived from peanuts and sweet potatoes, significantly enhanced agricultural productivity and economic opportunities.

George Washington Carver's story exemplifies the resilience, determination, and intellectual prowess of an African American student and scholar in the face of adversity. His tireless efforts as an inventor and advocate for agricultural advancement left an indelible mark on American history, highlighting the extraordinary contributions made by individuals who triumphed over obstacles and created lasting change.