Independent Students

What is Iowa State University’s Cost of Attendance?
How do I apply for financial aid?
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for federal funds and apply for scholarships for institutional funds.
Understanding your Financial Aid Award Letter
What is Iowa State University’s FAFSA school code?
  • ISU’s school code is 001869.
What is Iowa State University’s priority date for filing the FAFSA?
  • Iowa State’s priority date for filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is December 1st. If you have not filed your tax returns before this time period, it’s okay to estimate to ensure you get the FAFSA filed on time. Once your taxes are complete you can go back into the FAFSA and enter in the correct figures.
What is the status of my financial aid?
  • Current students can check the status of their financial aid on AccessPlus by selecting “Aid Status” from the “Financial Aid” menu option.
What happens if I withdraw from all of my classes?
I want to move off campus next year. How will my financial aid change?
  • Your financial aid eligibility does not change if you live off campus. Students who live off campus are not billed by the university for housing. Aid that would have paid these charges will be refunded to you to pay your living expenses.
My parents no longer claim me on their tax form. Am I an independent for financial aid?
  • No. Whether your parents claim you on their taxes has no bearing on your financial aid. Financial aid dependency is determined by section three of the FAFSA.
How do I get money to pay my bill?
How do I get in touch with the Office of Student Financial Aid?
What is the difference between a subsidized and unsubsidized loan?
  • Subsidized loans are awarded based on need. The U.S. Department of Education pays the interest while the student is in school at least half-time.
  • Unsubsidized loans charge interest from the beginning of the loan until full repayment. Students can either pay the interest as they go or allow the unpaid interest to compound upon the principal.
What is a Private Loan?
  • Private loans are through private agencies that are willing to lend to students for education purposes. These loans are unsubsidized and allow the student to defer the payments until after they graduate or drop below half-time status. Learn more about Private Lenders .
How do I apply for scholarships at Iowa State University?
  • The university offers a wide variety of scholarships based on academic college, intended major, test scores, and co-curricular activities. To be assured of receiving consideration for the various academic scholarships administered by the university, freshman applicants should apply for admission nine to twelve months before their planned entry date. Once students are offered admission they are automatically considered for many of the academic merit based scholarships administered by the university.
  • All students are encouraged to apply for Scholarships under each of the four categories presented on the Scholarship webpage. Be sure to look out for application deadlines as they are unique across the different scholarships areas.
  • The university not only accepts scholarships from outside donors but encourages students to pursue such scholarship opportunities through their high schools, parents’ employers, or involvement in activities through which scholarships might be available.
Am I an independent student?
Does my financial status change if I quit my job to come to school?
Does my financial aid increase if I have dependent children?
I’m worried about paying my university bill on time.
Should I tell the Office of Student Financial Aid if I’m receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) funds?
  • Yes. Be sure to let the Office of Student Financial Aid know after you receive your Financial Aid Award. If you have been offered any grants that would reduce your AFDC benefits, we will change the financial aid offer so your benefits will not be affected.
What benefits am I eligible for if I am a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
Where can I go for financial counseling?
Where can I get information on child care resources?
Can Iowa State release personal identifiable information to an authorized third party?
  • As of February 1, 2018, the Office of Student Financial Aid will no longer provide nor confirm personally identifiable student information to an entity outside of Iowa State University.
  • Section 483(a)(3)(E) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended, specifically restricts the use of FAFSA data, and states the data collected on the FAFSA shall only be used for the application, awarding, and administration of aid awarded under federal student aid programs, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions or such entities as the Department may designate. Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education confirms that even if a student authorizes the release of this information, financial aid administrators are prohibited from doing so.
  • In the event Iowa State students need to provide their individual FAFSA data, Expected Family Contribution (or EFC), federal and/or institutional awards, or other financial aid-related information to an entity outside of Iowa State, students will need to provide this information to outside organizations or agencies themselves.
  • Students can access their Iowa State University Financial Aid Award in AccessPlus which will display their Expected Family Contribution (or EFC) as calculated by the FAFSA, Cost of Attendance (or COA), and current financial aid award information. On the “Financial Aid Award& page in AccessPlus, students should use the “Print PDF” option in order to print and provide to entities requesting financial aid information. Students also have access to their FAFSA Student Aid Report (or SAR) which can provide additional FAFSA information.