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Iowa Matthew Shepard Scholarship

Matthew ShepardIn October, 1998, the world was stunned by the brutal murder of a 21-year-old college student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, savagely beaten and left to die tied to a fence, because he was gay.

Matthew clung to life for five days while the world held vigil and prayed for his recovery. His death invigorated thousand of events and millions of people across the planet to protest anti-gay rhetoric, violence and bigotry.

The Eychaner Foundation established the Matthew Shepard Scholarship Program in 2000 to honor Matthew, to promote tolerance and non-discrimination in Iowa schools and to assist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iowa high school students with college financial aid.

To date, the Matthew Shepard Scholarship Program has committed over $1,000,000 in honoring ninety-four Iowans from across the state.

Matthew Shepard Scholars are working to build a diverse and more tolerant Iowa for future generations.


Who Should Apply

Iowa's  Matthew Shepard Scholarship Program works with highly motivated students who are interested in advice and assistance from adult mentors to accelerate their academic experience and performance, improve their adjustment to professional standards of behavior, goals, ethics and success and out-perform their age group in transitioning to adult leadership roles. Scholarship awards are based on academic aptitude, academic achievement, community service and financial need.

Applicants should have a high school GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale, an ACT score of 22 or better, demonstrable LGBT activism and community service and a history of high moral and ethical standards and conduct.


What it pays for

All scholarships are renewable each semester for up to four years upon successfully maintaining a 3.0 GPA, continued service to the LGBT Community and an interview with the scholarship committee. Additional grants are awarded during college for exceptional academic results and for approved summer internships.

Silver Eagle Awards

Iowa's Silver Matthew Shepard Scholarship is an award of up to $7,000 over 4 years that may be used for tuition, books or fees at any college or university in the United States.


Gold Eagle Awards

Iowa's Gold Matthew Shepard Scholarship is an award of up to $35,000 over 4 years that may be used for tuition, books and fees at one of Iowa's three state universities.