Apply for an IIFSEF Scholarship

The Foundation was created several decades ago for the purpose of raising money to give as scholarships to college level students engaged in insurance and financial services related studies. The goal is to raise awareness of the business of insurance as a career opportunity, to attract the “best and brightest” students to the field, and retain those students for careers in the Iowa insurance and financial services industries. Scholarship program guidelines1 are as follows:

Eligibility:
Eligible students must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and sophomore status or above, and be enrolled in an actuarial science or insurance studies program, or majoring in a related field, such as economics, accounting, finance, or business administration. An emphasis in insurance is preferred. At the time a scholarship is awarded, the candidate must have at least one full academic year remaining.

Amount and Number:
The scholarship award is $2,500. Up to three scholarships may be awarded annually to students at each university. The scholarship will be in addition to any other award of financial aid the student receives. Scholarships shall be awarded on the basis of academic qualifications, background, and financial need.

Participating Schools:
At the present time, the participating schools are the University of Iowa, Drake University, Iowa State University, and William Penn University. Each school receives up to three scholarship opportunities.

Timing:
The scholarship opportunities are publicized in early spring, with applications due by January 31, 2020. The Foundation Scholarship Committee will conduct interviews in February 2020 and make final selections in early March 2020, and the decisions communicated to the respective school program coordinators immediately thereafter. Scholarship funds will be paid to the schools as agreed upon. As noted above, scholarship candidates must have at least one full academic year remaining as of the date of the award.

Application:
A written application form must be included. Along with the application, a candidate must submit a resume and a one page essay identifying why the student has chosen his/her particular area of study, career goals, and why the student is interested in the insurance industry.

Interviews:
The school coordinator and/or Foundation Board Members will review and screen all applications and recommend at least five applicants for in-person interviews with Scholarship Committee members. At least two members are preferred for the interviews, which are held at the respective schools. The committee will select four students for scholarship awards and report their recommendations to the Foundation Board of Directors for approval. Such approval should be granted unless the Board has knowledge of specific information that would disqualify a candidate. 

Withdrawal:
If a student withdraws from school or from the major area of study prior to delivery of scholarship funds, the scholarship will then be awarded to an alternate. If both initial candidates withdraw, the committee may elect to select another alternate, or allow the second scholarship to lapse. If a student withdraws from school or from the major area of study after the delivery of scholarship funds and after the commencement of the school year, the scholarship award remains in place but the student shall be ineligible for any future consideration. If funds are delivered and the student withdraws prior to the commencement of the semester, every reasonable effort will be made to recover the funds.

Repeat Applicants:
A candidate who receives a scholarship for his/her junior year is not disqualified from applying for a renewal of such scholarship for the senior year; however, as the goal of the program is to support as many students as possible, a decision to grant an award to a student for a second year should be supported by qualifications, experience or potential that is deemed to be far above and beyond all other candidates in the pool that year.

Meeting With Education Foundation Board:
The candidates are encouraged to make every reasonable effort to attend the Education Foundation’s annual fundraising event. The board of directors may also schedule one or more lunch meetings and invite the scholarship recipients to attend.

1  Scholarship Program Guidelines are subject to future revision at the sole discretion of the Iowa Insurance and Financial Services Education Foundation Board of Directors.

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