Thirty Students Receive College Scholarship from Iowa Nonprofit

High School Seniors Earn $2,000 Each After Demonstrating Financial Know-How

April 30, 2020

High school seniors across the state are facing a lot of uncertainty right now. One bright spot is a $2,000 scholarship for college earned by 30 students through the 2019–2020 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship sponsored by Iowa Student Loan®. Students qualified by demonstrating their understanding of important college financing and planning concepts.

Nearly 4,000 Iowa high school seniors registered for the scholarship between Oct. 15, 2019, and Feb. 21, 2020. Of those, more than 1,300 completed two online financial literacy tools and a related assessment to be considered for one of 30 college scholarships.

Steve McCullough, Iowa Student Loan president and CEO, said he is happy the nonprofit organization is providing some good news to students during this difficult time. "We know that when these students go to college, they will make good decisions about student loan debt and other issues related to paying for college. They have demonstrated that they truly absorbed the information we provided and can apply it to real life."

The two tools required to qualify for scholarship consideration, Student Loan Game Plan and ROCI Reality Check, are among Iowa Student Loan's suite of free tools and modules that are designed to help Iowa students and families better prepare for higher education and its associated costs.

"Families need to understand the complete cost of college and how the choices they make can change their debt levels before they take out that first college loan," said McCullough. "The scholarship program is one way for us to draw attention to the resources we make available so they can develop that understanding."

Each recipient's high school will also receive a $250 award to improve or implement financial literacy and scholarship programs.

Details are not yet finalized for the 2020–2021 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship. Interested families should watch for information about the program at

Scholarship Recipients

The following students each earned a $2,000 scholarship. Iowa Student Loan will send scholarship funds directly to recipients' colleges.

  • Aaron Blom, Oskaloosa High School
  • Jennifer DeVries, Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Samantha Ehler, Cedar Rapids Prairie High School
  • Kaila Findley, West Central Valley High School
  • Joe Fletcher, Ballard High School
  • Emma Gibson, Iowa City West High School
  • Keith Harder, Carlisle (Home-School)
  • Alexa Heitman, Sergeant Bluff-Luton High School
  • Isabell Hobbs, Ballard High School
  • Seth Hoffman, Muscatine High School
  • Emma Hovey, Bettendorf High School
  • Joshua Husemann, Dubuque High School
  • Gabrielle Janssen, Emmetsburg High School
  • Laila Kamhawy, Waukee High School
  • Rachel Kaut, Southeast Polk High School
  • Kyle Koppes, Springville Secondary School
  • Zachary McDaniel, Lewis Central High School
  • Tylar Meister, Mitchellville (Home-School)
  • Cade Metzger, West Lyon High School
  • Olivia Nicholson, Earlham High School
  • Megan Norris, Linn-Mar High School
  • Katherine Oosterhuis, Des Moines (Home-School)
  • Sushma Santhana, Liberty High School
  • Mallory Schmitz, Dallas Center-Grimes High School
  • Elena Sierra, Waukee High School
  • Shayna Skiles, West Lyon High School
  • Sarah Stewart, Clear Creek Amana High School
  • Cera Stroh, Ottumwa High School
  • Katherine Stroh, Ottumwa High School
  • Tyler Van Den Top, Netherlands Reformed Christian High School

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Media Contact

Christopher Weishaar, Digital PR Specialist, (515) 273-7102,