New to Iowa State University

Welcome to Iowa State University!

We are excited to welcome you to the Cyclone family!  Our Financial Aid Director has an important message for you as you prepare for your Cyclone Adventure.

Plan to attend Orientation

Freshman Students:

As part of your Orientation schedule, make sure to attend one of our Financial Aid Overview sessions.
  • Our sessions are presented Monday-Thursday at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m and Fridays at 10:00 a.m in the South Ballroom of the Memorial Union.
  • The Financial Aid Overview session will cover everything you need to know about receiving financial aid at Iowa State and preparing financially to meet your expenses.
  • If the session doesn’t answer all of your questions, you can speak with a Financial Aid Adviser in our office during our walk-in service Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m-4:00 p.m.
  • If you are attending a Sunday orientation, we’re here to help! The Financial Aid Overview session will be held at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 10 and June 24, in the South Ballroom of the Memorial Union.  Walk-in service is available those two days as well from 8:00 a.m.-12: 00 p.m.

Transfer Students:

We will be available to assist you during Orientation as well. During your one day orientation, we will offer the Financial Aid Overview session at 9:00 a.m. in the Memorial Union. The Office of Student Financial Aid will have a table at the Resource Fair from 9:00 a.m.-10 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union. If the presentation or resource fair do not answer your questions, we offer walk-in service from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

All Incoming Students:

You can review the Financial Aid Overview presentation as well as the Financial Aid Checklist to ensure all required steps are completed to allow financial aid to disburse on time to your U-Bill.

Parents, Friends and Family Members

We understand the financial aid process can feel overwhelming; as a result, many of our students have a parent, friend or family member helping them navigate the process.  Below are some important financial aid policies, resources, and information about receiving financial aid at Iowa State.

Protecting your student’s information

Keeping student and FAFSA information secure is our top priority.  In order to best answer your questions, we will ask students and parents (if listed on the student’s FAFSA) to verify their identity.
  • If you call our office, it is best to have your student’s ID number and financial aid award available.
  • To keep your student’s information secure, we will not be able to discuss financial aid information with any individual other than the student, parent(s) listed on the FAFSA or persons whom the student has granted Third Party Access via AccessPlus.
  • While we cannot give specific dollar amounts on the phone or in an email, we can confirm dollar amounts you see on your student’s financial aid award.
  • It is important that your student knows how to access and navigate AccessPlus. We encourage all students to set-up Third Party Access in AccessPlus. Third Party Access allows other individuals, like family members, to have their own log-in for AccessPlus to view financial aid and other information the student approved.

Expectations of Your Student

  • Communicating with your student regarding financial aid

    The Office of Student Financial Aid uses ISU e-mail as the primary source of communication when reaching out to students.  Students should regularly check their ISU e-mail for important notifications from the Office of Student Financial Aid.
  • Employment and Students

    The Office of Student Financial Aid encourages all students to work while enrolled. Working while enrolled provides many benefits which might include improved time management skills, work-place skills, resume building and earned money that does not need to be repaid. There are a variety of job opportunities for students that average about 10-15 hours of work each week.  Jobs are continually updated for students throughout the year.  All students have access to the Student Job Board in AccessPlus.  If your student is interested in working, they should check the Job Board for available jobs.
  • Enrollment and Financial Aid Eligibility

    Generally, a student must be enrolled at least half-time to receive any financial aid and keep student loans in a deferment status.  As a student changes their schedule, it may impact their ability to keep their current financial aid or receive financial aid in the future.  Our Financial Aid Enrollment Status policy as well as the Withdrawal From Classes and Less than Full-Time Enrollment and Financial Aid policies are important to be aware of when considering how many classes to take.
  • Academic Performance and Financial Aid Eligibility

    If a student is receiving federal financial aid, their academic performance can impact their ability to receive financial aid.
    • A student must maintain a minimum GPA and pass most of the classes they attempt each semester.
    • If a student is not meeting those requirements, their financial aid eligibility may be jeopardized.
    • Details regarding the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy can be found online.
    If your student is impacted by SAP, the Office of Student Financial Aid will contact your student.

Important information about your financial aid award:

Your financial aid award letter will tell you the types and amount of financial aid you qualify to receive as a result of filing the FAFSA.  Make sure you review the financial aid award sent to you in the mail. The same information can be viewed in the Financial Aid section of AccessPlus at the “Financial Aid Award” link. Our Guide to Your Financial Aid Award will help explain the information on your financial aid award as well as detail next steps.
  • Awards are contingent upon continued funding from federal, state and institutional sources. Awards are subject to change and may be rescinded or reduced if funding is insufficient or discontinued, your financial need changes, your tuition assessment changes, or you receive aid from other sources. In the event that a student receives outside/private scholarships in excess of the standard cost of attendance, institutional aid will be reduced up to the excess amount.
  • If your financial aid award changes (ex: your FAFSA has been verified, you receive additional outside scholarships, etc.), you will be notified via e-mail to view your updated financial aid award in AccessPlus.
  • The 2018-19 FAFSA uses 2016 tax information and would determine students’ financial aid eligibility for 2018-19. If your financial situation has changed since 2016, you may want to explore our Special Conditions process.