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. We have recently sent out an email to all new and incoming students for the upcoming 2020-21 year. Please follow this update for important reminders as we begin disbursing financial aid.

Start Planning Now for 2020-2021

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 Offers will be sent in the mail to all new students. Continuing and returning students will have access to their financial aid offer electronically in AccessPlus. You can check our website to see when you might expect to be notified your offer is ready to review.

It is important to review your Financial Aid Offer to understand the types and amount of financial aid you are eligible to receive.

Visit Us During Orientation

Our Financial Aid Overview session is included in the “Paying for College” content you will see during your online orientation visit. We have also included supplemental videos for you to learn about additional aid resources, such as the FAFSA and Verification process, Student Employment, The Office of Student Financial Success and Student Loans. Other topic specific videos are also available. The required Financial Aid Overview covers everything and more about receiving financial aid at Iowa State University. Please refer to the Financial Aid Checklist to ensure you have completed all necessary steps to receive your financial aid on time in August. Use our Expense Estimator to estimate your U-bill and find your remaining costs after financial aid applies.

If you still have questions, you can request to meet with a Financial Aid Adviser virtually via ISUappointments. The instructions on how to do this will be available at the end of the “Paying for College” session.

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

  • 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 Offer:

Your financial aid offer 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 offer sent to you in the mail. The same information can be viewed in the Financial Aid section of AccessPlus on the “Financial Aid Offer” page.
  • Offers are contingent upon continued funding from federal, state and institutional sources. Offers 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 offer 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 offer in AccessPlus.

Scholarships: What You Need to Know

Outside donor scholarship checks $500 or over will automatically be split between the fall and spring semester unless accompanied by documentation from the donor that all funds should be applied to one semester. Please click here for more information about scholarships.