Cornell College scholarship catching interest of more Iowans wanting to get affordable private education

The idea of the Iowa Promise Scholarship is to show students that private education can be affordable.
Published: Apr. 6, 2021 at 7:53 AM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - Cornell College will offer it’s new Iowa Promise Scholarship to help students afford the costs of private college.

School officials say it will bring tuition costs in line with Iowa’s three state universities. It awards Iowa residents $30,000 in financial aid. That’s about half the cost to attend Cornell, before financial aid.

The idea of the Iowa Promise Scholarship is to show students that private education can be affordable. Without financial aid, Cornell’s website reports attendance costs around $60,000 a year.

To qualify, a person must be an Iowa resident, a first time student and live on campus. The scholarship is renewable up to four years for those with good academic progress.

Drew Shradel is the Director of Admissions at Cornell College. He says Cornell is seeing a 50% increase in applications and attendance deposits since they launched the scholarship last October.

Shradel says he’s excited to see an increase in campus population. “We’re seeing it really kind of explode across the state. We’re seeing western Iowa, northern Iowa, southern Iowa, three areas where we’re not as well known in the state, increase our enrollment,” Shradel said.

Shradel says with the Iowa Promise Scholarship and Iowa Tuition Grant, which offers additional funds annually for attending a private college in Iowa, Cornell’s cost is similar to state universities.

Cassie Stevens, an incoming freshman, says with this scholarship, the price tag for her to attend Cornell is comparable to Iowa’s three state universities.

Stevens is currently a senior at Centerville High School but plans on playing soccer at Cornell next year. She’s already put her enrollment deposit down.

Stevens says the Iowa Promise Scholarship put Cornell on the same playing field as other schools that would normally make more sense financially.

“I saw when they made the announcement for the Iowa Promise Scholarship, and it was $30,000 compared to similar colleges in Iowa that weren’t offering anything like that,” Stevens said.

Stevens says she’s always wanted to go to college and is looking forward to the experience living on campus.

She’s not sure if she has a roommate yet, but hopes it can be one of her teammates on the soccer team.

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