FREE College Tuition – Iowa’s Last Dollar Scholarship

You may have heard that some Iowa community colleges are offering free tuition. It is absolutely true. It is made possible through a State of Iowa program called Future Ready Iowa – the Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship. Future Ready Iowa is a workforce initiative that started in 2019 that connects Iowans to the training and education required for high-paying jobs and careers that improve Iowans lives.

The goal of the Last-Dollar Scholarship program is to increase the number of Iowans with education and training in occupations that are in high demand throughout Iowa. The scholarship program will pay tuition – after applying non-repayable federal and state financial aid – for Iowans who enroll in one of the designated programs of study. All students will receive at least $500 even if, for example their federal Pell Grant fully covers tuition. This effort is geared toward helping more Iowans into great jobs meeting the needs of Iowa employers and growing Iowa’s economy.

Karna Hofmeyer, Director of Financial Aid, said, “With this program, the State is investing in our students, our workforce, and our economy. The Iowa Last Dollar Scholarship is truly a game changer. With it, our students/graduates can achieve their educational and career goals, potentially entering the workforce with little to no student loan debt. Iowa businesses and industry benefit as well from an expanded qualified workforce in high-demand career fields.”

“I was surprised and will be forever thankful, grateful, and appreciative of those who created this scholarship,” said Lindsay Mulder, Radiologic Technology Alumna (‘20). “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 wanted to stay close to home where my family and friends are.”

Qualifying Programs at NCC

  • Accounting/Clerical Accounting
  • Advanced Welding Technology
  • Associate Degree Nursing
  • Associate Degree Nursing—Extended
  • Automotive & Light Duty Diesel Technology
  • Business
  • Business Management
  • Design Technology
  • Diesel Technology
  • Electrical Technology
  • Engineering Design
  • Health Information Technology—Online
  • Heavy Equipment Operation & Maintenance
  • Industrial & Commercial Wiring
  • Industrial Instrumentation & Control
  • Information Technology Specialist
  • Medical Coding—Online
  • Medical Lab Technology
  • Powerline
  • Powerline Technology
  • Practical Nursing
  • Practical Nursing—Extended
  • Production Welding
  • Radiologic Technology
  • Web & Graphic Design

How do I apply for the Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship?
File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at Please go to for deadline information. That’s it. If you qualify for the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship, NCC will notify you with an award letter.

Why was this program started?
Education and training beyond high school is the new minimum in today’s technology-driven, knowledge economy. By 2025, 68 percent of Iowa jobs are expected to require training or education beyond high school. To have the most future-ready, capable workforce we have to connect more Iowans with opportunities to obtain relevant education and training. This will help employers and our economy as Iowans earn higher incomes and improve their quality of life.

What is the Future Ready Iowa goal?
That 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce (ages 25–64) have education and training beyond high school by 2025.

To find out more go to NCC’s website – You can also contact NCC’s Financial Aid Office: 712-324-5061, At NCC – Your Success is Our Story!