Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship

NOTE: The State of Iowa has made changes to the eligibility requirements for the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship for the 2023-24 academic year. Please read the Iowa College Aid Letter detailing the new EFC requirement for Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarships. See all eligibility guidelines below.

Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship FAQs

The Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship is a state-funded program for Iowans who fall into one of two categories:

  • new high school graduates starting college at a part-time or full-time status or
  • adult learners starting college at part-time or full-time status.

This program is designed to cover remaining gaps between federal and state grants or scholarships and tuition and qualified fees. Credentials include postsecondary certificates, diplomas and associate degrees.

Applicants must apply for financial aid by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), meeting with a SWCC academic advisor or admissions representative to register for courses, and attending a new student orientation. 

Eligible Students

Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship requirements for the two qualifying groups are listed below:


  • Must enroll, at least part-time, in a qualified program of study, after graduating from an Iowa high school; or completion of a homeschool program or an equivalency diploma
  • Must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) at or below $20,000
  • Apply for all other available state and federal grants and scholarships
  • Meet continuing requirements


  • Age 20 or older (as of July 1 prior to year of enrollment)
  • Must enroll in a qualified program of study at a part-time status
  • Must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) at or below $20,000
  • Apply for all other available state and federal grants and scholarships
  • Meet continuing requirements

Eligible Programs of Study at SWCC:

Steps to Apply:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by July 1. When prompted, enter SWCC's school code of 001857.
  • If students qualify for Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarships, they will be notified by SWCC's financial aid department through their financial aid packages.
  • For questions or additional information related to other scholarships available at Southwestern Community College, please contact Southwestern's Education Foundation office at 641.782.1453. 

Southwestern's financial aid department will contact you directly if you qualify for the Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship.

Last-Dollar Scholarship Eligibility Changes FAQs

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 2023-24 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 2023-24 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 eligibility for Last-Dollar Scholarship has changed, Southwestern Community College’s Financial Aid Department will reach out to you soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 641.782.1434.

Please visit the Future Ready Iowa website for more information about Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship