Skip Sub Menu

Scholarships and Grants

More than 5,000 scholarships and grants are awarded annually to Drake University students. These scholarships include awards based on demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, and artistic or athletic talent. Funds are provided by the University and through the generosity of friends and organizations interested in Drake students. When students apply for financial aid at Drake University, they are automatically applying for available need-based monies. The FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA is the only application required for need-based aid.

Drake University Scholarships

Merit-Based Scholarships for Students Entering Directly from High School

Drake National Alumni Scholarships

The Drake University National Alumni Association awards prestigious scholarships each year to outstanding first-year students entering directly from high school. Applicants for the National Alumni Scholarship need not be related to Drake alumni. The scholarships awarded through the National Alumni Scholarship Program include:

  • Six National Alumni Scholarships providing for the costs of tuition, room and board in University housing, and student fees.
  • Ten George T. Carpenter Scholarships providing for the cost of full tuition.
  • Trustee Scholarships of $1,000 toward tuition are awarded to all eligible students who complete the National Alumni Scholarship application process and participate in a Scholarship Day.

Merit scholarships are available for a maximum of eight semesters (fall and spring terms only) with renewal based on the maintenance of full-time enrollment and maintaining the required cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale: Alumni and Carpenter 3.25, Trustee 2.0. Additionally, Alumni Scholars must live in Drake University housing to renew the room and board portion of their full scholarship award. Alumni and Carpenter Scholarships supersede all other Drake merit awards.

Applicants for National Alumni Scholarships must:

  • have one of the following minimum test scores: ACT composite score of 30 or SAT combined score of 1300 (qualifying scores cannot be derived by combining sub scores from different testing dates);
  • rank in the top 5 percent of their class and/or have a cumulative GPA of 3.75 or above on a 4.0 scale; and
  • participate in one of the National Alumni Scholarship Days on campus.

Participation in a Scholarship Day is required for further consideration for the Alumni, Carpenter and Trustee scholarships. Provisions are made via telephone, fax and e-mail for applicants outside the continental United States.

Alumni Scholarship applicants must ensure that all admission materials and National Alumni Scholarship application materials fulfill eligibility criteria and are postmarked by December 1. There are no exceptions to this deadline.

Applicants must send the following directly to the Office of Admission: an application for admission, an official school transcript, ACT or SAT test results (may be submitted on official school transcript) and the $25 application fee (waived for students who apply online). Applicants must submit to the Drake Office of Alumni and Parent Programs the National Alumni Scholarship Application Form, which is only available online, and the National Alumni Scholarship Essay.

Presidential Scholarships range from $6,500 to $12,000 per year. All prospective students who have applied and been admitted by the priority deadline of March 1 are automatically considered for these awards. Recipients of these tuition scholarships are chosen on the basis of academic achievement.

Merit-Based Scholarships for Transfer Students

All full-time transfer students are considered for merit-based scholarships at the point of admission. Scholarships may be awarded in the fall or spring semester and are renewable for additional semesters, depending on the number of credits transferred, as long as consecutive full-time enrollment and good academic standing is maintained. Students with previous bachelor’s degrees are not eligible. To be considered, students must first submit an application for admission to Drake's Office of Admission. Please note: The cumulative GPA is based on coursework from all post-secondary institutions attended.

Presidential Transfer Awards ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 are awarded to prospective transfer students. All transfer students who have applied and been admitted are automatically considered for these awards. Recipients of these tuition awards are chosen on the basis of academic achievement.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships of $1,000 are awarded to community college transfer students who meet the following criteria: Applicants must seek full-time enrollment at Drake; submit verification form from PTK advisor documenting current PTK membership; complete a minimum of 45 academic semester hours prior to first-time enrollment at Drake and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50 on a 4.0 scale from all post-secondary schools attended. Other than the verification form and the application for admission, no separate scholarship application is required. The PTK scholarship is given in addition to the Presidential Community College Scholarship.

The Carver Scholarship is a selective scholarship for students at Iowa community colleges, two-year private colleges and four-year colleges who demonstrate high need, have graduated from an Iowa high school or have been residents of the state of Iowa for at least five consecutive years immediately prior to applying. Qualified applicants must also have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.80 on a 4.0 scale and be ready to begin their junior year at Drake. Contact the Office of Student Financial Planning for an application. The application deadline is April 1.

Additional Drake Scholarships

Fine Arts Scholarships are available to select students who display exceptional talent in art, music or theatre arts and who are seeking a fine arts degree. Information and applications for these scholarships are available from each of Drake's Fine Arts departments (art, music and theatre arts). Fine Arts scholarships are tuition-specific (may only be used toward full-time tuition costs for Fall and/or Spring semesters).

Division I NCAA Athletic Scholarships are offered to outstanding student athletes in men's and women's sports. Men's scholarships are available in basketball, soccer, track and field, cross-country, golf and tennis. Women's scholarships are available in basketball, track and field, cross-country, golf, soccer, volleyball, softball and tennis. Contact the coach of the sport in which you participate to obtain information on athletic scholarship opportunities.

Drake University Legacy Awards are available to children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Drake graduates. The awards are $1,500 per year. The award, which is not based on financial need, is given in addition to other awards received and can be applied only to the cost of full-time tuition. No separate application is required.

National Merit Scholarships range from $1,000 per year for students with no financial need to $2,000 per year for students who demonstrate financial need. Incoming first-year students who rank as National Merit finalists and who have indicated Drake University as their first-choice institution may be considered for Drake-sponsored scholarships.

Federal and State of Iowa Grants and Scholarships

The following are examples of federal and state grants and/or scholarships that can be included in a financial aid package. To apply, students must complete a FAFSA.

The Federal Pell Grant provides assistance to undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need. For 2009-2010, the maximum award is $5,350.

Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) provides additional Freshmen and Sophomore students who receive a Federal Pell Grant in the same term. ACG recipients must have graduated from high school (GED students are not eligible) having completed a rigorous high school curriculum. For 2009-2010, Freshman awards (up to $375 per term) can be made to students who graduated after January 1, 2006; Sophomore awards (up to $650 per term) require high school graduation after January 1, 2005. Other specific enrollment period, credits earned and college 3.00 cumulative GPA must also be achieved.

Federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant provides additional funding for Junior and Senior students who receive a Federal Pell Grant in the same term. The maximum grant award is $2,000 per term. SMART Grant recipients must have a minimum 3.00 college cumulative GPA and must have declared one of the following majors at Drake: astronomy, molecular/cell biology, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, mathematics, neuroscience, environmental science or physics. Other specific enrollment period and credits earned criteria must also be achieved.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) provide funding for students with demonstrated financial need. Students receiving Federal Pell Grants are priority recipients of FSEOG funds on a funds available basis.

Iowa Tuition Grants are awarded to qualified Iowa residents planning to attend a private college in Iowa. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission sets the awarding parameters annually. The FAFSA must reach the processing center by July 1 annually. For 2009-2010, the maximum grant is $4,000.

Several states provide transportable grants and scholarships that may be applied to your education at Drake. Your high school guidance counselor can help determine if your state offers this option.

ROTC Scholarships and Grants

Scholarship students lead essentially the same life as other college students. Students may pursue any course of study leading to a baccalaureate degree that is listed in the Approved Academic Disciplines List and may engage in any activity that does not interfere with ROTC requirements, which include prescribed military science courses, participation in scheduled drill periods and attending a 4-week ROTC Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC) between the junior and senior years.

Questions about Army ROTC and ROTC scholarships and grants should be directed to.

Military Science Department
Drake University
1153 24th Street
Des Moines, IA 50311
515-271-3952 or 800-44-DRAKE, extension 3952
Or 800-600-ROTC, extension 0308

Endowed University Scholarships and Outside Scholarships

Drake University awards many endowed scholarships each academic year. Most endowed scholarships are based on academic performance and calculated financial need (as determined by the student’s FAFSA application and other awards already received). Recipients are chosen by the Office of Student Financial Planning and/or the student's academic department. In most cases, endowed awards are used to replace already-awarded Drake need-based or merit-based grants or scholarships.

Several outside scholarships are available to students. Outside scholarships are typically awarded by corporations, civic groups and other groups, and most often require the completion of separate applications. Good sources for identifying outside scholarships include:

  • Libraries
  • Many firms and agencies extend educational benefits to their employees. Contact the personnel office of you or your parent's places of employment to find out if the employer(s) will help finance student’s education.
  • For helpful links for financial assistance, scholarships and fellowships, visist

Please note that outside awards are used in meeting financial need. If outside awards combined with need-based aid exceed need or cost of attendance, a revision of the student’s financial aid package will be necessary.

Federal Loan Funds

The Federal Stafford Loan Program allows students to borrow low-interest loans from participating lending institutions. In the 2009-2010 academic year, the loan limits for freshman students are $5,500, sophomores $6,500 and $7,500 for juniors and seniors. These loans may be subsidized or unsubsidized depending on the applicant's financial need. Independent students may have expanded borrowing capabilities. Students must file a FAFSA to determine their loan eligibility. Repayment with a fixed interest rate of 5.6 percent for subsidized and 6.8 percent for unsubsidized begins six months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

Federal Perkins Loans are available as funds permit. The Perkins loan program allows undergraduate students with financial need to borrow directly through Drake University up to $4,000 per year. Repayment with a fixed interest rate of 5 percent begins nine months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time. Since Perkins funds are limited, typical Drake awards are $3,000 or less.

Health Profession Student Loans are awarded to students as funds permit and generally do not exceed $3,000 per year. To qualify for consideration, students must be enrolled full-time in the Doctor of Pharmacy program and file a FAFSA.

The Federal Plus Loan (Parent Loan) provides funding for parents of dependent students. Parents may borrow the difference between the student's cost of education and all other financial assistance. A FAFSA application is not required for the Federal PLUS. Payment and interest charges begin within 30 to 60 days following disbursement of funds o, or the loan payment may be deferred on the same schedule as the student Stafford loan. The interest rate for PLUS is fixed at 8.5 percent.

Student Employment

Human Resources administers and assists interested students in locating employment opportunities on campus. Drake students are employed on campus in student residence halls, libraries, recreation services, dining services and in many other campus offices. Positions available on campus are listed on the Web site

Additional employment opportunities in the Des Moines community are available to students who qualify for Federal Work Study, which is determined by the Office of Student Financial Planning. To be considered for Federal Work Study, a FAFSA must be completed.

Employer Tuition Deferred Payment Plan (ETDP)

A deferred plan is available for part-time students when their employer agrees to reimburse the student for all or part of tuition costs once the course is completed. A separate application must be filed for each term and may be faxed to 515-271-4004. In addition, there is a $35 nonrefundable processing fee for each term. The maximum amount for the payment plan may not exceed the amount the employer will reimburse at the end of the term or tuition cost for nine credit hours, whichever is less. Repayment is required within 45 days following the end of the term or withdrawal. No co-signature is required. Applications are available for download at Applications must be received at the Office of Student Accounts no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of each term. For questions regarding the ETDP plan, please contact the Office of Student Accounts at 515-271-2151.

Financial Aid for Adults and Part-Time Students

Part-time students admitted and enrolled in a degree program may apply for many financial aid programs by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Eligible students may be awarded

  • Iowa Tuition Grant (July 1 FAFSA filing deadline)
  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Federal Stafford Loans
  • Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG Grants)
  • Federal Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talents Grants (SMART Grants)

The Iowa Tuition Grant program requires minimum enrollment of 3 credits; the Federal Stafford Loan ACG, and SMART grants require a minimum enrollment of 6 credits. For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Planning.

[ back ]

University Events
September 25, 2018
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
University News