Financial Aid / Scholarships

You want a college that will invest in your future

Not only is Central committed to a rigorous education, we also are committed to affordability and value. We recognize top students for academic achievement and talent with hundreds of prestigious scholarships that include full tuition.*

*For incoming students entering Central College fall 2023.

First-Year Transfer International Other Scholarships

Academic Scholarships

Calculating your initial scholarship amount is easy!

First, every admitted student receives a $1,000 Journey Scholarship. Next, find the scholarship that matches your GPA, followed by the scholarship that matches your test score range. Subtract both of those scholarship amounts from your total costs of $33,048. Then, participate in scholarship events for additional scholarships mentioned on this page. Central College scholarships are renewable each year for four years.

$1,000 Journey Scholarships

Every admitted student receives a $1,000 Journey Scholarship, made possible by generous donors. Central alumni, family and friends are investing in you to pursue your dreams. Supporting students through the Journey Scholarship is a top priority.

Cumulative GPA Based Scholarships*

Cumulative GPA Scholarship Amount
4.0 and above $5,000
3.75 – 3.99 $4,500
3.5 – 3.74 $4,000
3.0 – 3.49 $3,500
2.99 and below $2,500

Test Score Based Scholarships*

ACT Score Amount
28 – 36 $2,500
23 – 27 $1,000
18 – 22 $500


SAT Score Amount
1300 – 1600 $2,500
1130 – 1290 $1,000
960 – 1120 $500

*Central’s application for admission does not require standardized test scores. However, candidates may submit standardized test results for the purpose of an admission decision if they desire. Eligibility for some scholarships require the submission of a standardized test score. Students are eligible for either an ACT score scholarship OR SAT score scholarship, but not both.

Deadline for admitted students to submit updated ACT/SAT scores and/or academic transcripts is March 1.

Central’s ACT code is 1284; our SAT code is 6087.

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Scholar Days

Participate in One of Our Prestigious Scholar Day Events: Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Jan. 28 or Feb. 4

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The Central experience creates connections and opens doors to a future filled with relationships you can lean into time and time again. It starts with a conversation with faculty during Scholar Day, where you and other accomplished students have the opportunity to earn top academic scholarships up to full tuition. Not only will you have the chance to make friends and meet professors, you’ll also participate in an open-ended group challenge designed to showcase collaboration, creativity and communication. These events are open to all admitted students.

Scholar Day is a great opportunity to visit campus and meet future classmates. Students attending this event will be eligible for various scholarships and likely form friendships for a lifetime. Scholar Day gives students the opportunity to compete for scholarships beyond what is awarded at the time of admittance.

These include the following scholarships and awards:

Full-Tuition Scholarships

Central awards multiple Kuyper, Rolscreen and Thomas Ross Smith Scholarships — which cover recipients’ tuition all four years. These scholarships are the most prestigious awards granted at Central. Recipients are chosen after all Scholar Days are completed.

$500–$1,500 Scholar Day Awards

These are available to students who participate in Scholar Day.


Learn More About Scholar Days

Additional Financial Aid Sources

$500 Heritage Awards

Awards are available to students who are the child of a Central College alum OR have a sibling who is a Central alum, current student or are members of the Reformed Church in America.

$500 Endowed Music Scholarships

These scholarships are for students interested in performing in one or more of Central’s music ensembles.

Schedule your audition online or contact the admission office for more information.

Music Major Scholarships

These $2,000 scholarships are awarded to seven incoming students majoring in music and are hand-selected by music faculty. Students must participate in at least one music ensemble to be eligible. The incoming student must major in music or music education for scholarship renewal.

Diversity Awards

These $500 annual scholarships are selected from applicants who belong to an underrepresented group.

$7,500* Iowa Tuition Grant

Must reside in the state of Iowa, attend a private college or university and demonstrate financial need as specified by the state of Iowa. Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) due to processor by July 1. Renewal is determined each year by filing the FAFSA.

*If state funds are insufficient to pay the full amount of each approved grant, the Iowa Student Aid Commission has the authority to reduce the award.

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2023-24 Price
Tuition: $20,988
Room: $5,800
Board: $6,260
Total Price: $33,048

Remember, you can subtract Central-awarded scholarships and federal and state awards from this total for an incredibly affordable experience.

Federal Grants

You may be eligible for additional federal grants. Apply using the FAFSA at

Student Employment

Central College awards student employment to nearly 85% of our students. Many campus jobs enable students to gain applicable work experience. Students are paid directly and may use their paychecks to meet personal expenses.

Federal Student Loans

Numerous types of loans are available for college students. Central College is a direct lending school, which means all loan questions can be processed through us. Many students successfully utilize student loans to finance their education.

Federal Parent Loans

Parents may borrow using the Federal PLUS Loan for the remaining cost of students’ balance. We can help you through the process.

Early Estimator

The Early Estimator is an easy way for you and your family to determine the potential scholarships or grants available from Central. You will work closely with our financial aid office to complete the estimator.

Interested in the Maximum Amount of Financial Aid?

If you’re not sure which scholarship category you fit into, don’t worry! We will consider your academic background and unique situation to prepare your individual financial aid award.

Make sure to complete these additional steps to maximize your financial aid.

  1. Apply early for admission.
  2. Take the ACT or SAT prior to March 1.
    Central does not require test scores for an admission decision. However, eligibility for some scholarships require the submission of a standardized test score. Central’s ACT code is 1284; our SAT code is 6087.
  3. Participate in all Central College scholarship opportunities.
  4. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after October 1. Central’s FAFSA school code: 001850.
  5. Apply for outside scholarships.


Contact Wayne Dille, director of financial aid, at or 641-628-5336

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