Nonprofit Awards 30 Scholarships to Iowa High School Seniors

Each Student Receives $2,000 for Demonstrating Financial Know-How

April 14, 2021

Thirty Iowa high school seniors each earned a $2,000 scholarship for college through the 2020–2021 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship sponsored by Iowa Student LoanĀ®. 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 October 19, 2020, and February 26, 2021. Of those, more than 1,200 completed two online financial literacy tools and a related assessment to be considered for one of 30 college scholarships.

"This program is an opportunity for us to directly assist 30 deserving students with their college bills," said Christine Hensley, board chair for Iowa Student Loan. "Even more, it's a chance to reach out to a significant number of the graduating high school seniors with important lessons on how to borrow less and make good financial decisions around college costs."

Participating students completed Student Loan Game Plan and the Return on College Investment tool, both of which are always available to anyone at The tools are designed to help students create strategies to reduce college debt and maximize the financial returns they see on their investment in higher education.

"I think it's great that you guys provide this useful information for free to students everywhere," said Keagen Head, a participant in this year's Senior Scholarship. "It's going to be and has already been extremely helpful in my college process."

Annually, approximately 10% of Iowa's high school seniors participate in the program, which is now in its eighth year. Participants represent schools in all 99 Iowa counties. The program has no requirements for GPA, test scores or income but is open to any Iowa high school senior who intends to attend an eligible community or four-year college the following fall.

"It's important to us and our nonprofit mission to reach out to students of every situation," said Steve McCullough, president and CEO of Iowa Student Loan. "The information and strategies students learn from experiencing the tools and the other elements of the scholarship program are useful regardless of their academic record."

Scholarship funds are sent directly to each recipient's college in time for fall expenses. In addition, each recipient's high school receives a $100 award to improve or implement financial literacy and scholarship programs.

Details are not yet finalized for the 2021–2022 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.

  • Ian Allen, City High School (Iowa City)
  • Aren Ashlock, Waverly-Shell Rock High School
  • Hannah Bissen, Harlan Community High School
  • Corinne Bovee, Ankeny High School
  • Sam Burns, Valley High School (West Des Moines)
  • Mason Bush, Ankeny High School
  • Austin Christen, Marshalltown High School
  • Wesley Clark, Ankeny Centennial High School
  • Eleanor Crow, Clear Creek-Amana High School
  • Anna Flynn, Dowling Catholic High School
  • Ellie Kay Gengler, Bishop Heelan Catholic High School
  • Elaine Greer, Valley High School (West Des Moines)
  • Laurel Jenks, Southeast Polk High School
  • Madeline Lawler, Dowling Catholic High School
  • Allyson Mulford, Iowa Falls-Alden High School
  • Nathan Munshower, Wahlert Catholic High School
  • Kayla Natelborg, Pella Christian High School
  • John Post, Rock Valley High School
  • Nathan Rethwisch, Fort Dodge High School
  • Nicholas Rhoads, Des Moines Christian High School
  • Alex Romig, Dallas Center-Grimes Community High School
  • Tyler Ruiz, Lewis Central High School
  • Nicolas Ryan, Washington High School (Cedar Rapids)
  • Cassandra Smith, Pleasant Valley High School
  • Bianca Sponseller, Nevada High School
  • Jim Su, Valley High School (West Des Moines)
  • Brooke Sullivan, Linn-Mar High School
  • Andrew Weig, North Polk High School
  • Caroline Wolters, Ames High School
  • Clair Zmolek, Mount Vernon High School

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Media Contact

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