Thirty Iowa Seniors Receive College Scholarship from Nonprofit

High school seniors from across the state earned $2,000 for college while learning important financial literacy skills through the 2016–2017 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship sponsored by Iowa Student Loan®.

More than 3,500 Iowa high school seniors registered for the scholarship between November 2016 and February 2017. Of those, nearly 2,000 completed two online financial literacy tutorials and a related assessment to qualify for one of 30 scholarships. The 30 recipients were those who scored highest on the assessment and, because of a tie for top scores, received the highest scores on an independently judged essay.

“Students face high college costs and, for many, the related student debt,” said Christine Hensley, chair of the Iowa Student Loan board of directors. “We know the decisions students make about spending, college choice and college major may have a significant impact on the amount of debt students need to take on. This scholarship is one way we encourage high school students to experience our online tools to learn about the concepts of minimizing debt and making responsible borrowing decisions. Each year that we offer this program, students, parents and educators comment on the valuable lessons gained through the scholarship qualification process.”

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, 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 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship has provided me with helpful tips and advice to save money, budget my expenses, and overall become a more financially responsible student while in college,” said Jordan Turner, a 2017 graduate of Linn-Mar High School and a 2016–2017 scholarship recipient.

Charlotte Lenkaitis, another recipient and a 2017 graduate of Ames High School, agreed. “This scholarship and the tips that I learned throughout the process will help me to minimize my need to borrow money for college. By making smarter decisions now, I am giving myself greater opportunities for success in the future,” she said.

Each recipient’s high school will also receive a $500 award to improve or implement financial literacy and scholarship programs.

Program Future

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

Scholarship Recipients

The following students each earned a $2,000 scholarship. Iowa Student Loan will send scholarship funds directly to recipients’ colleges.

Student Name Student High School Student Name

Student High School

Katiana Anderson Johnston Gabriel Mintzer Valley (West Des Moines)
Noah Berthusen Waukee Kaytlyn Mulford Iowa Falls-Alden
Amber Brincks South Winneshiek Sophie Nielsen Dowling Catholic
Emily Bruinsma Pleasant Valley Matthew Parcher Northwood-Kensett
Sophie Catus Johnston Isaiah Passmore Crestwood
Janielle Cobler Ottumwa Jacob Peake Southeast Polk
Cole Drenth Alta-Aurelia Hailey Pullman West Sioux
Ashley Erne Harris-Lake Park Ethan Schmitz Columbus Catholic
Dakota Fouts Waukee Brandon Svoboda Okoboji
Tyler Groathouse Waukee Cameron Trentz Pleasant Valley
Collin Hillinger Lawton-Bronson Jordan Turner Linn-Mar
Adriana Jorgenson Linn-Mar Sreeja Vepa Urbandale
Alexander Kock AR-WE-VA Ryan Wagner Fort Dodge
Morgan Koenen Linn-Mar Nichole Winter Maquoketa Valley
Charlotte Lenkaitis Ames Damon Wolter Keokuk

By: Iowa Student Loan