About Hixson Opportunity Awards

  • Mission Statement: The mission of the Hixson Opportunity Awards program at Iowa State University is to foster excellence and ensure the success of all participants. The Hixson program provides various academic, financial, and personal supports to recipients of this private scholarship program, named for Iowa native Christina Hixson. Our dedication to serving all students, aligns with the mission of the University and Division of Student Affairs, and underscores our commitment to their overall success and well-being. 
  • Vision Statement: The Hixson Opportunity Awards Program will provide unmatched learning opportunities that inspire students to overcome barriers in their pursuit of higher education and graduate leaders who give back to their communities. The Program will be a national leader among scholarship programs serving first-generation and low-income students.

These awards are designed to demonstrate Iowa State University's commitment to the student potential that exists in various ways beyond the measures of class rank or standardized test scores.

This scholarship is currently available to high school seniors graduating in 2024 who will be entering as a first-year student at Iowa State University in Fall 2024. This program will provide 100 undergraduates with $20,000 to be used over eight semesters. Selection is based on the student's county, eligibility and potential as demonstrated through the application, letter of recommendation, and financial need analysis. Students may major in any curriculum and must maintain a 2.00 cumulative grade point average for renewal. Recipients will be notified by May 1st.

Hixson Opportunity Awards grants one award per county. The county corresponds to the student's residence at the time of high school completion, which may be different from the county in which the high school is located. If a county has no suitable applicants, an award will not be made for that county.

Courses & Activities

  • The Hixson Seminar (U ST 101A) provides an introduction to life and resources at Iowa State University and an orientation to the functions of the Hixson Program. It is a one-credit course consisting of large group lectures and recitation. The seminar helps Hixson Scholars adjust to college life, develop better self-understanding, and gain more knowledge about their learning processes. The course provides a support system for examining difficulties associated with the first-year college experience in an atmosphere that is less formal than traditional college courses. Each first year Hixson scholar will also have a recitation section, led by one of the pairs listed in "Hixson Peer Mentors" tab of the navigation.
  • The Hixson Newsletter is a weekly email and monthly newsletter that informs Hixson Scholars of dates and times of upcoming Hixson activities. This newsletter also conveys important information regarding the university and student services.
  • Hixson Student Board promotes community among Hixson Scholars through activities within the university and through monthly special events. The Hixson Student Board and the Freshman Student board are great ways for Hixson Scholars to get involved in the program, as well as a great leadership opportunity!
  • Community Service is an important part of the Hixson Program. First-year scholars are invited to serve as ambassadors of higher education, attending speaking engagements at their high schools or service clubs.
  • Sophomore Connections are sophomore Hixson scholars who serve as a mentor for the next award winner from their home county. They provide advice and share the fun of being a student at Iowa State.
  • Hixson Leadership Seminars (U ST 311 & 312) are courses designed to give upper division Hixson Scholars the opportunity to lead the Hixson Seminar. Students serve as peer mentors and role models for first year students and complete a one-year intensive training program. In addition, peer mentors develop and implement lesson plans, lead group discussions, and facilitate activities concerning a multitude of topics including ISU history and traditions, test taking, study habits, stress management, identity development, time management, diversity and adapting to change.