Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarships Awarded to Northwest Iowa Community College Students
The new Future Ready Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship, signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds on June 1, 2019, was available to qualified students at Northwest Iowa Community College for the 2019–20 academic year. In order for a program to be designated as a Future Ready Iowa Scholarship eligible program, it must fit two criteria. First, the program must be in a field of study that has a proven workforce shortage within the state of Iowa. Second, the graduates of the program must make a certain income level upon graduation. To be eligible, new high school graduates must enroll as a full-time student. Adult learners may enroll full- or part-time.
Qualifying Programs at NCC:
Advanced Welding Technology/Production Welding
Associate Degree Nursing/Associate Degree Nursing—Extended
Automotive & Light Duty Diesel Technology
Engineering Design/Design Technology
Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance
Industrial & Commercial Wiring
Industrial Instrumentation & Control
Information Technology Specialist
Medical Coding – Online/Health Information Technology – Online
Practical Nursing/Practical Nursing—Extended
Web & Graphic Design
For questions, contact NCC’s Financial Aid Office at 712-324-5061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Future Ready Iowa scholarships have helped 260 NCC students with $800,000+ in disbursements for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 terms. We talked to several scholarship recipients. Here are their stories:
Home: Sheldon, Iowa
Major: Industrial Instrumentation & Control, AAS
Did you attend college prior to NCC? Yes, a 4-year university. I previously earned an Electrical Engineering Degree.
Professional Goals: I want to earn an Industrial Instrumentation & Control degree and find a job in Iowa. My parents and my family live in Iowa, and I want to stay here.
How has the Last Dollar Scholarship helped you? It has allowed me to concentrate on my education. I now only need one job during school instead of trying to work two jobs and attend school full time.
How did you know about the Last Dollar Scholarship? I found out about it on NCC’s website. I was not expecting any financial help, and it was a huge surprise when I found out that I qualified.
What do you think of receiving this Scholarship? I am very thankful. I fully intend to make good use of it. I want to stay in Iowa after I am done with my degree.
Adam’s Story: I have been working in retail since I graduated from a 4-year university, even though my major was Electrical Engineering. For many reasons, it was time for a career change. My dad and brother both work on maintenance crews in production plants, and they told me about the programmable logic control career field and what a growing field that is. They both thought that career was full of opportunities for advancement and earning a great wage. I applied for some jobs, but every potential employer wanted either years of practical electrical field experience or a degree in the field, so I decided to go back to school. I have found that my electrical engineering background has given me a good theoretical base, but this program will give me the hands-on knowledge and a good practical foundation for what is needed in the field. I like working with my hands, so this is a really good fit.
Advice to Others: Follow your passion. Don’t be afraid to make a change in your life. I am on an interesting journey. I was side-tracked for a while, but now I am doing exactly what I want. I am in a career that has a lot of opportunities for advancement, great paying jobs, and jobs that are available right here in Iowa.
Home: Sioux Center, Iowa
High School: Unity Christian High School, Orange City, Iowa
Major: Radiologic Technician, AAS
Did you attend college prior to NCC? Yes, a 4-year university. I previously earned a Psychology degree.
Professional Goals: Earn a Radiologic Technician degree and pass my state boards.
How has the Last Dollar Scholarship helped you? It takes away a lot of stress about finances. I still have a part-time job, but I don’t have to work as much because of this scholarship. I can just focus on my education.
What do you think of receiving this Scholarship? I was surprised and will be forever thankful, grateful, and appreciative of those who created this scholarship. I think it is really good for the state of Iowa. This scholarship is targeted at careers in which the state has a shortage of workers. I think it is a win-win for everyone in the state. I want to say thank you, and I will work hard and follow through and get a job in my field and in Iowa! I want to stay close to home where my family and friends are.
Lindsay’s Story: I didn’t know what I wanted to do after high school. I started at a 4-year university and floated in between majors for a while. I “tried on” education and social work and finally landed on psychology as my major. After graduating with a psychology degree, I went into the workforce outside my major, but I knew I wanted more. My brother asked me to attend NCC with him to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT). I started gaining confidence that the medical field was a good fit for me. For several years I served as an EMT in the Sioux Center area. When I would bring a patient to the hospital for care, I would see x-ray technicians working. I discovered that x-ray techs work in many different capacities in hospitals, from clinics to surgery to ER’s, offering a variety of work experiences. I thought this career was a great way to work in the medical field and to interact with and help people, while having a great job outlook. I don’t know where I will be in ten years, but I want to stay in Iowa and think this is a great step in my educational journey.
Advice to Others: It’s okay to take your time and figure out what you want to do. Shadow people in potential career fields you think you would like, talk to people in industry, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes you need life experiences to figure out where you want to be — and that’s okay.
Home: Hawarden, Iowa
High School: West Sioux High School, Hawarden, Iowa
Major: Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance, AAS
Did you attend college prior to NCC? No
Professional Goals: I want my Heavy Equipment degree. I want to work outside and earn a good living. Hopefully I can stay in Iowa where my family is.
How has the Last Dollar Scholarship helped you? It has helped me a lot. My parents are divorced, and my dad isn’t around and doesn’t help out financially. My mom isn’t working right now, so money is tight. I worked all summer, and I still didn’t have enough money for college. I just couldn’t afford all the expenses of college. I wouldn’t be able to go to college if I didn’t have this scholarship.
How did you know about the Last Dollar Scholarship? After I applied for financial aid, one of the people from NCC let me know that I qualified for it.
What do you think of receiving this Scholarship? I was so surprised. I couldn’t be in the program without this help. I appreciate the help, and I am confident that I can finish the program. I am really thankful. I want to stay in Iowa when I am done with school. When I turn 21 I want to work for a company in Sioux Center, Iowa, and travel the United States working for them.
David’s Story: I graduated from high school last spring. I grew up around this type of work, and I really like it. My cousin graduated from NCC’s Heavy Equipment program a couple of years ago, and he makes really good money, around $30/hour. When he explains everything he does, I think it will be something that I really enjoy. If everything works out and I can earn good money, I will do this for as long as I can.
Do you have other barriers that you face? Yes—quite a few. I live 40 miles away, so I drive about 80–90 miles round trip, 5 days a week — gas is expensive. Also, food and books are really expensive. I couldn’t believe the book cost. One of the biggest expenses is my tools. I still need to pay around $2,000 for my tools, and that is with a big discount that Snap-on Tools gives us.
Advice to Others: If you really want to do something in life, you need to work hard for it. Everything won’t be spoon-fed to you. If you get a scholarship or grant, work hard and get your work done.