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.

Start Planning Now for 2019-2020

We know that college is a big investment and we want to help you prepare for your Iowa State adventure!

Your first step to receiving financial aid is completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once Iowa State University receives your FAFSA application, we can begin the process of awarding financial aid. Financial Aid Award letters will be sent in the mail to all new students. Continuing and returning students will have access to their financial aid award electronically in AccessPlus. You can check our website  to see when you might expect to be notified your award is ready to review.

It is important to review your Financial Aid Award to understand the types and amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive. Along with your Financial Aid Award, you should have received a Guide to Your Financial Aid Award. This guide is a great resource when it comes to understanding all of the information presented on your Financial Aid Award.

Visit Us at Orientation

You will have various opportunities to have your financial aid questions answered when you attend orientation.

Our Financial Aid Overview session will be offered at 10:00 and 11:00 on day one and at 10:00 on day two in the South Ballroom of the Memorial union. The Financial Aid Overview session covers everything and more about receiving financial aid at Iowa State University, but if you still have questions, you can meet with a Financial Aid Adviser. You can review the presentation slides online. You can use the Guide to Accepting Your Financial Aid to ensure you have completed all necessary steps to receive your financial aid on time in August. Walk-in appointments are available Monday-Friday from 8:00-4:00 and 8:00-12:00 if your orientation session starts on a Sunday. Refer to your orientation schedule for details.

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 (5.5 credit hours) 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 on the “Financial Aid Award” page. 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 2019-20 FAFSA uses 2017 tax information and would determine students’ financial aid eligibility for 2019-20. If your financial situation has changed since 2017, you may want to explore our Special Conditions process.