Selection Process and Cost

Individuals must first be nominated in order to apply for Leadership Iowa. Anyone is welcome to nominate an individual for the program online by completing the nomination form. Self-nominations are also encouraged. The deadline to make nominations for the upcoming year is April 1.

After April 1, all nominees will receive communication regarding the application process. To apply, candidates must complete an online application and essay questions, submit a signed consent form from their employer and pay a $50 application fee. This is a one-time fee that is waived for repeat applicants.

All applications are reviewed and evaluated through an extensive selection process by the Leadership Iowa Selection Committee. Applicants are selected based on several criteria including leadership potential, community engagement and more. Diversity amongst the group is also strongly considered. The outcomes and benefits gained from Leadership Iowa are far greater when the group represents a wide variety of professions, backgrounds and geographic locations. All applicants are then notified of their selection status in July.


Leadership Iowa charges a tuition fee. The current program tuition is $2,800. This fee covers the cost of all program materials, experiences and meals during the eight-month program sessions. Participants are responsible for lodging and travel expenses. If needed, scholarships for up to half of the tuition cost are also available for qualified applicants.

Often times, employers are not only willing, but eager to underwrite the cost of their employee taking part in Leadership Iowa. They understand that the benefits of sending employees through Leadership Iowa far outweigh the expense.