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Ralph and Erica Kauten

An Upper Iowa University education will become even more affordable for 10 members of each of UIU’s next two incoming classes thanks to the generous support of Ralph and Erica Kauten.

Mr. Kauten, a native of rural Fayette County and student at UIU in the late 60s and early 70s, has committed $500,000 to establish the “Kauten Scholars” program at UIU. The scholarship initiative aligns the charitable priorities of the Kautens with the strategic priorities of UIU. The generous contribution will be used to award annual scholarships to 10 qualifying students from each of the two incoming classes. The fortunate Kauten Scholars recipients will receive up to $24,000 in tuition aid funded by this program during their four-year educational journey at UIU, provided they remain in good academic standing.

The Kauten Scholars initiative is a continuation of UIU’s efforts to make a quality college degree accessible at an affordable price. In 2021, UIU announced the Peacock Promise initiative, which makes tuition free for any Iowa student who qualifies for the Iowa Tuition Grant. The Kauten Scholars program will target students who do not meet the income requirements for the Iowa Tuition Grant but who still demonstrate financial need.