Undergraduate Student Scholarships

Application process

  1. All undergraduate students must apply via OneApp. Applications open September 20, 2023.
  2. All current students must complete the questions asked related to the opportunities recommended to you for the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice Scholarships. New incoming freshmen are not required to answer these additional questions.

After applying through OneApp, all students will be considered for all scholarships for which they are eligible university-wide.


  • FAFSA priority deadline for all students – February 29, 2024
  • Incoming freshmen – February 8, 2024
  • Current undergraduate and new transfer students – April 1, 2024
  • Organizational references – April 7, 2024

Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice scholarships and awards are given to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and achievement in the field of sociology, rural sociology and criminal justice. Details regarding a specific scholarship are listed under the scholarship/award title.


Recruitment opportunities in OneApp

Please note: These awards are available, as specified, for ISU graduate students and undergraduate students in sociology, rural sociology, agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) and criminal justice. Students in interdisciplinary graduate studies or the graduate program in sustainable agriculture may apply when sociology and criminal justice is declared as the home department. Scholarships are for academic year 2024-25. Half of the award will be dispersed fall semester and half spring semester. Must expect to be enrolled in both semesters to apply. The graduate student application process is here.

If the recipient is not registered/enrolled/paying tuition during a semester (due to an internship, graduating fall semester, etc.), or the recipient changes majors, payment is not made for that portion of the scholarship. Undergraduate students, unless specified, must be enrolled as full-time students, and graduate students are expected to actively be involved in the graduate program in residence (on the ISU campus).


Not available this year.

Alpha Kappa Delta – Academic Advancement Scholarship


  1. Current member of AKD, dues paid.
  2. Demonstrates leadership, scholarship, or service.
  3. Any major under the discipline of sociology (sociology, rural sociology, agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) or criminal justice).
  4. 3.0 GPA or higher.
  5. Full or part-time student.
  6. Undergraduate students – junior or senior standing at the time of award dispersal.
  7. Graduate students – completion of one-half year in graduate study.

One of the goals of AKD has been to stimulate scholarship through publication. The first publication of the organization was The Quarterly, established and edited by Dr. Bogardus from 1928-1932. The Quarterly became the Alpha Kappa Deltan: A Sociological Journal.

The purpose of the honor society is to promote scholarship, but the focus has always been fellowship for students, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Conferring a charter signifies that the institution meets high standards of program quality and scholarship.

Student scholarship in AKD is recognized in several ways. The Society sponsors student travel to regional meetings, supporting those who want to present their own work and learn from the scholarly presentations of others. The Society sponsors annual student paper contests, presenting awards which include monetary prizes, travel support, and scholarships. In addition, by funding research symposia and honoraria for guest speakers, the Society supports chapter activities which further education. The Society continues to recognize scholarly excellence in sociology by inducting approximately 4,000 lifetime members each year.


Center for Creative Justice Criminal Justice Scholarship


  1. Undergraduate majoring in criminal justice in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the time of award dispersal.
  2. Shall have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Preference shall be given to students who have volunteered, or are volunteering or working with a criminal justice agency, as determined by the administering authority.


George Freeman Memorial Scholarship


  1. Junior, senior, or graduate student at the time of award dispersal.
  2. Major or minor within any discipline of sociology (sociology, rural sociology, agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) or criminal justice).
  3. Completed 12 credits in sociology at ISU.
  4. 3.0 or above GPA at time of nomination.
  5. Demonstrates actual or potential leadership ability.
  6. Demonstrates desire to facilitate integration of students of color and/or international students into the department, university and/or community.

The George Freeman Memorial Scholarship was established in 1953 in memory of George Freeman, a former Ph.D. candidate in Sociology at Iowa State University.

Freeman was born February 22, 1912 in Kansas City. His father was a railroad brakeman, and his mother was one of the first black teachers in the Kansas City elementary school system. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from South Carolina State College in 1935, where he was a football and basketball star and a campus leader. He was married in 1939.

After teaching at the high school level and working as a supervisor of a National Youth Administrative Camp, he entered the armed forces in 1942 and served in the African, European and Pacific theaters in the Quartermaster Corp during World War II. After the war, he entered Kansas State University, received his M.S. in 1949 and enrolled at Iowa State in the fall of 1949.

He was active in many campus organizations, served as President of the Gamma Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta (the sociology honorary), and was head resident of Friley Hall in addition to his teaching duties and graduate studies. He was the first black person on the instructional staff at ISU. His predecessor, George Washington Carver, had been on staff as a researcher and scientist.

George Freeman died May 8, 1953 before completing his Ph.D. He was a diligent student, a dedicated humanitarian, active in many organizations but especially interested in interpreting and helping people better understand Black Americans. He believed he had to demonstrate by action and example competence as a representative of a minority group. After his death, his relatives and friends at Iowa State and from many parts of the United States set up and contributed to the George Freeman Memorial Scholarship.


Eric O. Hoiberg Scholarship in Agricultural and Rural Policy Studies


  1. Must be an agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) major (undergraduate) or have agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) the declared major for incoming freshmen.
  2. Top 20% of graduating high school class or if a current student, shall have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Preference given to incoming freshman students.
  4. Scholarship will be for one year only.

Eric O. Hoiberg was born March 30, 1944 in Fayette, Missouri. He received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (in 1966, 1969 and 1973). He joined the department in 1974 and served for 21 years as a faculty member and as the advisor for and coordinator of the Public Service and Administration in Agriculture Program (1974-1995). In 1995 he became the Associate Dean for Academic Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences where he remained until his retirement in 2004.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences made the initial contribution and established this award to honor Dr. Hoiberg for his 30 years of service to the University and to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Friends, former students, colleagues and family also contribute to this fund. Dr. Hoiberg’s wish is that the scholarship be used primarily to recruit outstanding students into the Agricultural and Rural Policy Studies (Ag Policy) program.


Sadie Gardine Lasley Memorial Scholarship


  1. Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.
  2. Sophomore through graduate class standing at the time of award dispersal.
  3. Enrolled in any major within the discipline of sociology (sociology, rural sociology, agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) or criminal justice).
  4. Recipient should demonstrate community involvement, how they have reached out to others and how they would use the scholarship to further their career goals.
  5. Preference given to those demonstrating record of volunteerism.
  6. References needed: one from service organization or community agency.

Sadie Gardine Lasley (1905-1992), the daughter of a pioneer farm family in Schuyler County, Missouri. She received a teaching certificate from Northeast Missouri State Teachers College, now known as Truman State University, where she embarked on a teaching career until her marriage. When expecting their first child, she had to quit teaching (in those days, pregnant women were not permitted to continue teaching). She devoted her life to the family farm, and raising her own family including some of her grandchildren one of whom was Paul Lasley (Professor of Sociology, who served as Department Chair, 2002-2015). She helped raise Paul and his five siblings so that Paul’s mother could work outside of the home to help make a living.

Sadie Lasley’s life reflected the central sociological values of community, neighbors and family. She led a humble and modest life that focused on giving to others. She was a strong proponent of equality for everyone, which was perhaps influenced by the rural sociology course she took at NE Missouri Teachers College in 1924. Throughout her life, she wrote short stories and editorials for a wide variety of farm magazines, ladies magazines and newspapers. These writings date from 1929-1987.

This scholarship was created by Sadie’s grandson, Paul Lasley, to award a promising undergraduate or graduate student in the Sociology Department who best represents Sadie Lasley’s ideals. The recipient must demonstrate leadership, community volunteerism, and evidence of a passion to help others.


Mary W. Lees Scholarship


  1. Non-traditional female student returning to college as an undergraduate and enrolled in any major under the discipline of sociology (sociology, agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) or criminal justice).
  2. Demonstrates financial need (U.S. citizens must have submitted FAFSA by February 29, 2024 (early priority deadline). Non-U.S. citizens must have answered the OneApp General Application question or the sociology Apply-To question explaining your family’s financial situation if it presents obstacles to pursuing your degree.).
  3. Demonstrates academic achievement and professional potential.

Mary W. Lees was born December 30, 1926 in Howard, Kansas. She received the B.A. in sociology from the University of Kansas in 1949 and after being married and raising seven children, she enrolled at Iowa State University as a nontraditional student in 1971, receiving the M.S. degree in sociology in 1973. She became the undergraduate academic advisor in the Department of Sociology in 1973.

Mary was active in campus activities and in 1978 was named Outstanding Academic Advisor by the ISU Student Alumni Association and was given the ISU Excellence in Advising Award as well. In 1985 she was named Outstanding Advisor for the College of Sciences and Humanities; she received the ISU Alumni Distinguished Service Award, and the Office of Student Life recognized her for her contributions to the university community in the area of human relations.

Mary was also very involved in activities of the United Methodist Church at the local, district and conference levels, including committee work and serving as a part-time lay pastor for several years. Memberships included the American Sociological Association, the National Council on Family Relations, the National Organization of Women, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, the Daughters of Sarah, Chapter CZ of PEO, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Mary Lees was a beloved student advisor and mentor until she died of cancer in June, 1986. Before her death, she negotiated the establishment of this scholarship in her name to assist nontraditional female students returning to college.


Marvin B. Lind Scholarship in Rural Sociology


  1. Must be a graduate student majoring in rural sociology or an undergraduate student majoring in agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy).


Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Justice


  1. Undergraduate student majoring in agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy), criminal justice or sociology.
  2. Demonstrates academic achievement and professional promise.
  3. Involvement in social justice efforts through volunteer, professional, and/or educational experiences.


Donald and Janet Payer Award in Criminal Justice


  1. Recipients shall be majoring in criminal justice in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
  2. Recipients shall be in the phase of their education of completing an internship in the area of community-based corrections and youth programs determined by the administering authority.
  3. Recipients shall be residents of the State of Iowa as permitted by Federal and State law, and University Policy.
  4. Preference shall be given to students who are completing their internships in Story County or other counties in Iowa.
  5. Available to students with more than 60 credits and who do not plan to attend law school.


Robert O. Richards Memorial Writing Award


  1. Undergraduate with a major or minor in sociology, agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) or criminal justice.
  2. Papers judged on quality of writing and soundness of sociological theory.
  3. Must be enrolled as a full-time student for Fall 2024 and Spring 2025.


George Henry and Maude Drew Von Tungeln Scholarship


  1. Undergraduate and graduate students majoring within any discipline of sociology (sociology, rural sociology, agricultural and rural policy studies (Ag Policy) or criminal justice).
  2. Demonstrates financial need (U.S. citizens must have submitted FAFSA by February 29, 2024 (early priority deadline). Graduate and undergraduate non-U.S. citizens must have answered the OneApp General Application question or the department Apply-To question explaining your family’s financial situation if it presents obstacles to pursuing your degree.).
  3. 2.5 or above GPA.
  4. Good citizenship and character.
  5. Demonstrates promise of succeeding in chosen profession.

The George Henry and Maude Drew Von Tungeln Scholarship was established in 1969 by Mrs. Maude Drew Von Tungeln in honor and memory of her husband, George Henry Von Tungeln. Mrs. Von Tungeln received her M.S. degree from Iowa State in 1929. She passed away in 1973.

George Von Tungeln was born and raised on a farm near Golconda, Illinois. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1909 from Central Wesleyan College, Warrenton, Missouri, an M.A. in 1910 from Northwestern University, was a fellow at Harvard from 1911-1913 where he also received the Ph.D. He was one of the early pioneers in rural sociology and has been closely associated with its expansion in the United States.

In 1913, Dr. Von Tungeln was hired as an assistant professor of sociology at Iowa State College in the Department of Economic Science to teach two courses in sociology and one or more courses in economics. These first two sociology courses were rural sociology and applied sociology.

Dr. Von Tungeln initiated the first formal rural sociology research project with Agricultural Experiment Station funding at Iowa State College in 1915. In this project he introduced an element in his phase of farm tenancy which later became standard in all states and in the federal censuses (classifying tenants as (1) those related to the land owner, and (2) those not related to the land owner).

In 1919, Dr. Von Tungeln was one of a committee of 24 called to Washington, D. C. by President Wilson, through Secretary of Agriculture Houston, to discuss the possible organization of a Rural Life Study Section in the Department of Agriculture and to formulate a program and policy of work for the same, if it was decided that such a section should be organized. The organization of the Section on Farm Population and Rural Life Studies, USDA, came as a result of this committee’s work and counsel with the secretary of agriculture. In 1934 he was elected Chair of the Rural Sociology Section of the American Sociological Society. During his term of office he was instrumental in organizing the Rural Sociological Society. He was also a member of the committee which organized the Midwest Sociological Society.

Extension work in the department was begun in the field of rural sociology in 1921. Activities included conducting rural leader training schools, helping rural groups to organize and develop community activities and programs of service, providing program service help and direction for organizations, development of state programs and standards for rural group activities, and helping with the correlation and coordination of rural organizations’ activities in the state.

By 1932, Dr. Von Tungeln was Head of the sociology section of the department which had been renamed the Department of Economics and Sociology. There were 14 sociology courses being offered with an annual enrollment of 700 students. Four national organizations had asked sociology staff to assist them with their research: 1)The Committee on Cost of Medical Care; 2) Social Science Research Council; 3) President Hoover’s Commission on Social Change and Social Trends, and 4) National Probation Association of America.

Dr. Von Tungeln died suddenly and unexpectedly of a heart attack on April 6, 1944 at 61 years of age as he was completing his thirty-first year as a member of the Iowa State College faculty.