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Twenty Iowa Seniors Receive College Scholarship from Nonprofit

Iowa High School Seniors Each Earn $1,500 for Demonstrating Financial Know-How

April 23, 2015

High school seniors from across the state earned $1,500 for college while learning important financial literacy skills through the 2015 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship sponsored by Iowa Student Loan®.

More than 2,000 Iowa high school seniors registered for the scholarship in January and February. Of those, nearly 1,200 completed two online financial literacy tutorials and a related assessment to qualify for one of 20 scholarships. The 20 winners were those who scored highest on the assessment or, in the case of a tie for top scores, received the highest scores on an independently judged essay.

"We have these great tools available for free that help students understand how borrowing money, and a host of other financial decisions, make an impact on their success after college," said Christine Hensley, chair of the Iowa Student Loan board of directors. "The scholarship program is one way we encourage high school students to internalize these concepts before they ever need to take out a loan."

The tools, along with tips that registered students received by email through the scholarship period, are designed to help students avoid the pitfalls of heavy student loan debt, a continuing concern for college graduates in Iowa and nationwide, Hensley said. Student Loan Game PlanSM and the ROCI Reality Check were developed by Iowa Student Loan to help students understand the consequences of college borrowing and discover how to maximize their return on college investment, or ROCI.

The tools were useful to many of the students who participated in the scholarship process. "Through this opportunity, I have learned valuable information about how my college borrowing choices will affect my chances in the future, and I plan to use this information to keep my student loan debt as low as possible," said Meghan McLaughlin, a scholarship recipient who plans to major in engineering.

"This is the second year for this scholarship program, and we have had great participation," said Steve McCullough, president and CEO of Iowa Student Loan. "We are proud to recognize these students who have demonstrated their knowledge of how to minimize college debt."

Scholarship Recipients

The following students each earned a $1,500 scholarship. Iowa Student Loan will send scholarship funds directly to recipients' colleges.

Student Name Student School Student Name Student School
Aaron Buelow Valley High School, West Des Moines Timothy Morris Benton Community High School
Caitlin Campbell Boone High School Michaela Ostendorf Madrid High School
Valerie Charter Ballard High School Spencer Peterson Boone High School
Shuling Cheng Johnston High School Anna Poulton Lamoni High School
Brock Fischer Linn-Mar High School Connor Smith North Iowa High School
Hannah Grizzle Guthrie Center High School Mary Stoneking Northwood-Kensett High School
John Krone Johnston High School Travis Thiltgen Hempstead High School
Taryn Kroymann Prairie High School, Cedar Rapids Courtney Tifft Spirit Lake High School
Alex Larson Alta-Aurelia High School Macy Visser Urbandale High School
Meghan McLaughlin Easton Valley High School Sophia Vogeler Urbandale High School

Program Future

Although details are not yet finalized, Iowa Student Loan anticipates offering the scholarship next year. More about the Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship is available at

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Media Contact

Megan Garrett, Corporate Communications & Media Relations, (515) 273-7145,

Additional Resources

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