Today, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that more than 5,800 Iowa students have received the new Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship for fall 2019. Early numbers show more than $6.6 million has been awarded for the fall semester, helping pave the way for more Iowans to acquire the education and training needed for good-paying, high-demand jobs. That’s over half of the $13 million appropriated by the Iowa Legislature for the 2019-20 academic year. This is the first semester the Last-Dollar Scholarship has been available.
“When Iowans find good-paying jobs in cutting-edge careers, it can be life-changing for them and their families,” said Gov. Reynolds. “The Last-Dollar Scholarship is connecting more Iowans to rewarding career opportunities, which will help employers hire the skilled workers they need to grow.”
The Last-Dollar Scholarship focuses on meeting business and industry workforce needs in four key areas: (1) health care and biosciences; (2) information technology; (3) advanced manufacturing production, installation and maintenance; and (4) construction and engineering.
The scholarship covers tuition and qualified fees for postsecondary credentials up to two-year degrees after an eligible student has applied other non-repayable state and federal aid. The average award for fall 2019 is $1,132.
“This scholarship is a critical tool for growing incomes, closing the skills gap, and helping meet the needs of a competitive economy,” Gov. Reynolds continued. “These initial numbers show the program is on track to be a huge success, and I want to thank Iowa College Aid as well as our other incredible state agencies, community colleges, participating independent colleges, and private-sector partners for their diligent work to implement this program.”
Today’s announcement was made at the Governor’s weekly press conference. Gov. Reynolds was joined by two Last-Dollar Scholarship recipients who shared their stories. She was also joined by Iowa College Aid Executive Director Karen Misjak, Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend, Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham and Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise.
Students awarded the scholarship attend all 15 of Iowa’s community colleges as well as Mercy College of Health Sciences and St. Luke’s College. The numbers released today are preliminary. Final numbers will be available from Iowa College Aid in December.