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Scholarships and Grants

Approximately 98 per cent of Drake full-time undergraduate students receive scholarships provided by the University.  These scholarships include awards based on demonstrated financial need, academic achievement, and artistic or athletic talent.  The University provides funds directly and through the generosity of friends and organizations interested in Drake students.

Drake University Scholarships

Merit-Based Scholarships for Students Entering Directly from High School

Drake National Alumni Scholarships

 Drake University awards prestigious scholarships each year to outstanding first-year students entering directly from high school. Applicants for the National Alumni Scholarship competition 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, standard fees, and room and board in Drake residence halls
  • Ten George T. Carpenter Scholarships providing for the cost of full tuition
  • Trustee Scholarships of $1,000 are awarded to all eligible students who complete the National Alumni Scholarship application process and participate in a Scholarship Day

For information regarding the specific requirements for being a part of the Drake National Alumni Scholarship competition, please check the Drake University Office of Admission web site at /admission/

Presidential Scholarships range from $7,500 to $13,000 per year. All prospective students who have applied and been admitted by the priority deadline of March 1 are automatically considered for these awards. Presidential Scholarships are based upon university enrollment goals and the individual academic achievement of applicants for admission.

Merit scholarships are available for a maximum of eight semesters of on campus study (fall and spring terms only) for the student’s undergraduate degree with renewal based on the maintenance of full-time enrollment, satisfactory academic progress, and the required cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA). Requirements for the Alumni or Carpenter Scholarship are a 3.25 GPA.  A 2.00 GPA is required for Trustee and Presidential Scholarship renewal. Alumni and Carpenter Scholarships supersede all other Drake merit awards.

Scholarships for Entering Transfer Students

Presidential Transfer Awards

All full-time undergraduate transfer students, who do not have previous bachelor’s degrees, are considered for merit-based awards. Scholarships are renewable for additional semesters with consecutive enrollment depending on the number of credits transferred.  Presidential Transfer Award renewal is also based on the maintenance of full-time undergraduate enrollment, satisfactory academic progress, and a 2.00 cumulative GPA. In determining scholarship eligibility, the cumulative transfer GPA is based upon coursework from all post-secondary institutions attended.  Presidential Transfer Awards range from $5,000 to $8,000.

Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships of $1,000 are awarded to eligible community college transfer students.  Applicants must seek full-time undergraduate enrollment at Drake and submit a verification form from their PTK advisor documenting current PTK membership.  In addition, students must 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 4.00 scale from all post-secondary schools attended. Other than the verification form and the application for admission, no separate scholarship application is required.

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

Drake Grants provide support for students with significant financial need as demonstrated by the results of filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Drake Grants are available for undergraduate, full-time students for a maximum of eight fall/spring semesters with grant eligibility reviewed annually with the filing of a current year FAFSA.

Fine Arts Scholarships are available to selected full-time undergraduate students who display exceptional talent in art, music or theatre arts.  Fine Arts scholarships are tuition-specific (may only be used toward full-time undergraduate tuition costs for fall and/or spring semesters) and typically require audition and/or portfolio submission to the appropriate fine arts department. Students are selected for Fine Arts awards by the music, theatre, and/or art departments with renewal criteria set by those departments.

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 for children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Drake graduates.  The Legacy Award is $1,500 per year and is tuition specific (can only be used to reduce the cost of undergraduate fall/spring full-time tuition). No separate application is required and the award is limited to eight semesters.

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

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 FAFSA for the appropriate award year.  These grants will be a part of the financial aid award notice of any eligible student.

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students admitted to and enrolled in a first bachelor degree program who are eligible according to the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) criteria established each year by the federal processors. For 2010-2011, the maximum award is $5,550.

Federal Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG) provide support for 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 2010-2011, 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. ACG eligibility is reviewed at the end of each semester with renewal in the next semester dependent upon a cumulative 3.00 GPA and appropriate grade level (0-29 earned credits for freshman eligibility; 30-59 earned credits for sophomore eligibility).

Federal National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grants provide additional funding for Junior (60 -89 credits) and senior (90 -124 credits) 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.  

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) 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 2010-2011, the maximum grant is $3,700.

ROTC Scholarships and Grants

ROTC 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, area of study, and calculated financial need (as determined by the student’s FAFSA application and other awards already received). The Office of Student Financial Planning and/or the student’s academic department select recipients. In most cases, endowed awards are used to replace already-awarded Drake need-based or merit-based grants or scholarships.

Corporations, civic groups and other clubs or organizations may award outside scholarships with most requiring 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, visit

Please note that outside scholarships are used in meeting financial need. If outside scholarships 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 Programs

The Federal Direct Stafford Loan Program allows students to borrow low-interest loans and defer payment while attending college at least half-time. In the 2010-2011 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 have expanded borrowing capabilities. The 2010-2011 interest rate for a Subsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan is a fixed rate of 4.5 percent while an Unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loan has a fixed rate of 6.8 percent.  Subsidized loans do not accrue interest during the time a student is admitted to a degree program and enrolled at least half time in that program.

Federal Perkins Loansare available as funds permit and funding for this program is very limited. Federal Perkins Loans have a fixed interest rate of 5 percent, and loan repayment begins nine months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time in a degree program. Since Perkins funds are limited, typical Drake awards are $2,000.

Health Profession Student Loans are awarded to students as funds permit (funding for this program is very limited) 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 including parental information.  Repayment with a fixed interest rate of 5 percent begins twelve months after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

The Federal Direct 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, or loan payment may be deferred on the same schedule as the student Stafford loan. The interest rate for PLUS is fixed at 7.9 percent.

Student Employment

Human Resources 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  Employment is funded both by the university and through funds provided by the Federal Work Study program.  Human Resources provides direct assistance for entering students with a Federal Work Study award.

Employer Tuition Deferred Payment Plan

A deferred payment plan is available through the Office of Student Accounts 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 submitted 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 deferred payment plan may not exceed the amount the employer will reimburse at the end of the term or tuition costs for nine credit hours, whichever is less. Repayment is required within 45 days following the end of the term or withdrawal. Applications must be received at the Office of Student Accounts no later than two weeks prior to the beginning of each term. Students wishing to submit an application must log into blueView, Student Services Tab, My Drake Account and submit the on line application. Payment of the $35.00 application fee must also be paid before the application can be processed. For questions regarding the deferred payment plan, contact the Office of Student Accounts, 515-271-2151 #4..

Financial Aid for Part-Time Students

Part-time students, admitted and enrolled in a degree program, may apply for financial aid programs by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Financial aid awards for eligible part-time students include:

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

The Iowa Tuition Grant requires a minimum enrollment of three credits per term and is only available for fall and spring terms.  The Federal Pell Grant is available for students enrolled in at least one credit, and the remaining federal grants and loans require at least 6-credit enrollment.  For more information, contact the Office of Student Financial Planning.

Additional Admission and Financial Aid Information

Please visit the following web pages for more complete information regarding undergraduate admission to Drake University and the financial aid programs available for Drake students:

Office of Admission at /admission/

Office of Student Financial Planning at /finaid/


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