The Southwestern Community College (SWCC) Education Foundation is excited to announce the addition of ten annual scholarships, through the H. Dale and Lois Bright Foundation, allowing qualifying students to graduate from college debt-free.  The Bright Scholars of Iowa awards are available to Iowa high school seniors who are strong academically but may lack the financial means to earn college degrees.

The amount of the scholarship is equal to the cost of attendance at SWCC less all other aid (including Pell Grants, institutional grants and scholarships, and private scholarships).  The cost of attendance is equal to tuition and fees, room and board, and books.  The award is renewable provided the student maintains a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and may continue with him/her if the student chooses to transfer an Iowa Regent institution.

To qualify as a Bright Scholar of Iowa, the student must be in the top 10 percent or equivalent of his or her high school graduating class or have a composite ACT score of 28 or above.  The student must also qualify for the Pell Grant as determined by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Dr. Barb Crittenden, SWCC president, believes these scholarships could be invaluable to SWCC students.  “We are thrilled to have these new scholarship opportunities available for some of our strongest students,” Crittenden stated.  “Thanks to the generosity of the Bright Foundation, students receiving these scholarships will be able to focus on academics and spend less time worrying about how they will pay for their education.”

The Bright Foundation was established in 1957.  The Bright Scholars of Iowa awards were first given in 2012.  Dale and Lois Bright, both now deceased, grew up in Lineville, graduating from Lineville High School in 1928 and 1929 respectively.  Upon high school graduation, they moved to Des Moines and married in 1930.  Lois went to work at Rollins Hosiery Mill.  Dale attended Capitol City Commercial College and worked in various positions.  In 1939, he went to work for Western Tool & Stamping Co.  He worked his way up in the company, and in 1958, he retired as vice president.  At the time he retired, Western Tool employed more than 800 people and was the largest lawn mower manufacturer in the country.  

The final deadline for the Bright Scholars of Iowa Award at SWCC is June 4, 2015; however, if the student wishes to apply for other SWCC scholarships as well, the deadline is March 16, 2015.  For the Bright Scholars of Iowa Award application and criteria, please visit