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Iowa Counties Scholarship Program Qualifications and Criteria

The Simon Estes Foundation awards scholarships to graduating high school seniors planning to attend a college or university through its Iowa Counties Scholarship Program.  All high schools in the counties participating in ROOTS & WINGS will be invited to nominate up to five seniors for consideration to be named a Simon Estes Scholar.

The Scholarship

The Foundation Scholarship Committee reviews applications and essays, and based on their evaluation finalist interviews will be scheduled.  In reviewing scholarship applications, qualities and characteristics that are important to the Foundation are integrity, honesty, enthusiasm, humility, scholastic excellence, high moral standards and a clear focus on a career path.  Students are not limited in their course of study. The funds can be applied to tuition, books, fees or university room and board.  Applicants must be a U.S. resident or in the process of applying for U.S. residency.  Students in the U.S. on a Student Visa are ineligible.  Scholarship funding can be applied to any public or private 2 or 4 year college or university.  Applications must be submitted by participating high schools.  Individual applications will not be accepted.


All applications are reviewed by the Foundation Scholarship Committee, and finalists will be contacted for a personal interview.  Those students selected as Simon Estes Scholars will receive official notification by mail.


  • Documented admission to a 2 or 4 year college or university
  • Demonstrated extraordinary potential
  • Faced personal and/or financial challenges
  • Permanent residence within the State of Iowa
  • Demonstrated financial need as determined by FAFSA


  • Completed application form
  • College letter of acceptance
  • Letter of recommendation submitted by a teacher verifying student's potential and character
  • A 500 word essay written by student applicant addressing the following:
    • A well defined motivation to pursue a college degree
    • Maturity and a sense of purpose essential to a demanding educational experience
    • A personal sense of values
    • How the student plans to use their degree to make a difference in their community
    • Financial need

2011 Simon Estes Scholars

2012 Simon Estes Scholars

2013 Simon Estes Scholars

2014 Simon Estes Scholars