Types of Aid

Federal Programs

Federal student aid is financial assistance provided through the U.S. Department of Education. To apply for federal financial aid, each year students must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit all required documents. The following are federal financial aid programs:

  • Federal Pell Grant
  • Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS (Parent) Loans
  • Federal Direct PLUS (Graduate/Professional Student) Loans

For a detailed explanation of the federal programs offered by the U.S. Department of Education, visit their web site at www.studentaid.ed.gov.

State Programs

The Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC) is a state agency that administers scholarship, grant, and related programs to help Iowa students finance their educational expenses.  For information on state grant assistance for nonresidents of Iowa, contact your state higher education agency.

Financial assistance for students with disabilities is administered through state vocational rehabilitation offices. Contact any district office for information. Information is also available from The University of Iowa Office of Student Disability Services in Burge Hall.

Dependents of veterans who are deceased or significantly disabled as a result of military service may qualify for educational aid including Education Aid to War Orphans. Iowa residents can obtain information from the Iowa Commission of Veterans Affairs.  Residents of other states can contact the Veterans Affairs Office.

Institutional Programs

Two major goals of the University are to provide access for those with limited financial resources and to attract students who will contribute to the quality and diversity of the student population. To help accomplish these goals, The University of Iowa awards institutional scholarships to students based on a variety of factors including pre-admission test scores, high school rank, financial need, special talents, and academic achievement at The University of Iowa. Institutional grants may also be provided to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need with little or no ability to provide family financial resources to attend The University of Iowa. The opportunity to annually renew their scholarships and grants helps students to continue their education each year and to graduate from The University of Iowa. Information on institutional scholarships and grants is included in the scholarships and grants listings on our web site.

Private Sources of Aid

It is not true that millions of dollars of financial assistance goes unclaimed each year, as some private scholarship search companies claim. However, some foundations and corporations do offer scholarships and loans to qualifying students. Many places of employment, professional associations, and labor unions have programs to help pay the cost of education for employees or members (or for their children). Other possible sources include religious organizations, fraternities or sororities, local clubs, and civic groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, YMCA, 4-H Club, PTA, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Elks, the American Legion, Rotary Club, and the Girl or Boy Scouts. Organizations connected with the student's field of interest (for example, the American Medical Association or the American Bar Association) may be additional possibilities.

Many private sources of aid are also listed in scholarship directories, which can usually be found in your local public library or by searching the web. A number of scholarship search sites are listed on our Web Resources page.