What happened to the Last-Dollar Scholarship?
The Last-Dollar Scholarship still exists and is not going away. However, action taken during this last legislative session required changes to the program’s eligibility requirements.
Since its beginning, the Last-Dollar Scholarship has experienced significant growth in the number of recipients, especially among students with high Expected Family Contribution (EFC) amounts and low financial need. For example, recipients with a high EFC previously represented roughly 11 percent of all Last-Dollar Scholarships. Today, the share is almost 25 percent.
While the number of applicants continues to grow, the funding for the program will remain the same for the coming year. As a result, it was necessary to reassess the program’s eligibility requirements. Iowa College Aid worked closely with the Governor’s office, the legislature, and Iowa’s community colleges to find a solution that provides students most in need of financial assistance the support necessary to achieve their educational and career goals. The consensus among the group led to the legislature passing the requirement that applicants have an EFC at or below $20,000 to qualify for the award during the 2023-2024 academic year.
Why am I no longer eligible?
A law passed during the 2023 legislative session requires applicants to have an EFC at or below $20,000 to qualify for the Last-Dollar Scholarship for the 2023-2024 academic year. Therefore, you will not be eligible for an award if you have an EFC greater than $20,000.
Why am I just finding out about this now?
Iowa College Aid just released its awarding parameters for all state-funded aid programs. This includes the Last-Dollar Scholarship. Unfortunately, appropriations for state-funded aid programs did not occur until the end of the legislative session, and the Governor signed the bill June 1. We are working to communicate the change in Last-Dollar Scholarship eligibility to individuals who we anticipate will be impacted.
What am I supposed to do now?
If your financial circumstances have changed, consult with the financial aid office at your college to explore other options to help finance your postsecondary education.