Cornell's Iowa Promise Scholarship

Cornell College is committed to making an immersive, private college education affordable for Iowa students.

Many families think that the kind of education and personal attention available from a private college experience can be out of reach financially, so they don’t apply to a private college like Cornell. We want to make sure that it is within reach for you so you can have the best college experience possible.

For many students, a large state school may not offer the personal attention, small class sizes, and direct faculty mentorship that they would find at a private liberal arts college that gives you the foundation you need for success. As a first-year student, it can be easy to get lost in the crowd and feel isolated even though you’re surrounded by tens of thousands of other students on a large, extended campus. At Cornell, we’re dedicated to ensuring a first-year experience with a support team of faculty and peers. One Course At A Time breaks that down even further—you immediately get to know your classmates, which our students have termed “block friends,” because you’re in class with no more than 24 other students for three and half weeks. Your professor will know your name, and engage with you, by the end of day one of class. (This happens in every class you take here.) You’ll start meeting with your faculty advisor during new student orientation and plan your customized path to graduation. Your peer advisor and faculty advisor will help you find groups to explore and widen your circle of friends.

Who is eligible for Cornell’s Iowa Promise Scholarship?

Any Iowa resident who is admitted to Cornell and attending college as a full-time residential student.

That’s it. All first-year Iowa students who qualify get a minimum $30,000 scholarship that is renewable for up to 4 years if you maintain satisfactory academic progress. Iowa residents who transfer to Cornell get a minimum $25,000 scholarship that is also renewable.

Full-time status means that you attend at least three blocks (of four offered) every semester. Residential means that you will be required to live and dine on campus. First-year means that you are in your first year of college and not transferring from another college to Cornell. If you have taken college credit while in high school, you still qualify for the scholarship. Transfer means that you are bringing credits earned at another college or university post high school to apply to your bachelor's degree.

Let’s break down the numbers

Here’s how attending Cornell College compares to other institutions.

As a qualifying student you will be awarded Cornell’s Iowa Promise Scholarship upon admission, no other paperwork or testing is required. Your scholarship will be a minimum of $30,000. It is possible for high-achieving scholars and students engaging in the fine arts or esports to qualify for more than $30,000 in scholarships.

As an Iowa resident, based on your household’s financial situation, you may also qualify for the Iowa Tuition Grant* which offers you additional funds annually if you attend a private college in Iowa. The total grant cost is set by the State of Iowa, most recently it was $6,800. To find out if you qualify, use our Net Price Calculator. How do we get to our Cost of Attendance? Here's the cost of attendance breakdown. 

  Cornell University of Iowa Iowa State University University of Northern Iowa
Cost of Attendance
$62,335 $26,358 $22,152 $21,409
Cornell's Iowa Promise Scholarship
- $30,000 - - -
Your Cost
$32,335 $25,358 $22,152 $21,409
Iowa Tuition Grant*
- $7,500
not available
not available
not available
Total Cost

Living at Cornell also offers you the safety of a residential campus where your two-person room is within easy walking distance of class, athletics, and social activities. The average daily commute to class? About 5 minutes.

Your final financial aid award package will vary based on your individual need and circumstances. Our financial aid counselors are here to help you with any questions you might have about your financial aid summary.

Ready to find out more?  Email or call 319.895.4267