Financial Aid Policies

FAFSA Policies

NEW University - FAFSA Listing

Students who complete a FAFSA prior to December 1st 2016 but did not list Iowa State University as a recipient must have their FAFSA information submitted to Iowa State University no later than May 1st 2017 to be considered for priority financial aid, including the following aid types:

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Iowa State University (ISU) Grant
  • Iowa Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • College Work Study (Federal or State)

FAFSA Verification Document Deadline Policy

June 1st is the deadline for submitting all verification documents to insure retaining priority aid (institutional need-based and Campus-Based aid) as part of an award package. Failure to submit documents by this date could potentially result in the loss of priority aid if budget circumstances would dictate such action.

FAFSA Cooperative Education Program

Cooperative programs that ISU students participate in do not fall under the definition of ‘Cooperative Education Program’, as defined by the Department of Education for FAFSA purposes. If a student is selected for the verification process, in conjunction with filing a FAFSA, any dollars reported under the question of “Earnings from work under a cooperative education program offered by a college”, will be removed.

Current Student

NEW Financial Aid Enrollment Status

Students may receive “full-time” status from the Office of the Registrar or Student Disability Resources for multiple reasons, including:
  • Internship, Independent Study, or Research
  • Disability Accommodation

The “full-time” designation from other offices is not used for financial aid purposes. When determining eligibility for student financial aid, the number of credits enrolled is reviewed. Students are awarded financial aid based on full-time enrollment. Students who are enrolled less than full-time may be eligible for a prorated award.

Financial Aid Enrollment Status Definitions for Undergraduate Students for the Fall and Spring Semesters

  • Full-time enrollment - 11.5 credits per semester
  • Three-quarter time enrollment - 8.5-11 credits per semester
  • Half-time enrollment - 5.5-8 credits per semester
  • Less than half-time enrollment - 0-5 credits per semester

Financial Aid Enrollment Status Definitions for Graduate Students for the Fall and Spring Semesters

  • Full-time enrollment - 8.5 credits per semester
  • Three-quarter time enrollment - 7-8 credits per semester
  • Half-time enrollment - 4.5-6.5 credits per semester
  • Less than half-time enrollment - 0-4 credits per semester

Summer Financial Aid Enrollment Definition, please go to: www.financialaid.iastate.edu/summer

C-Base Graduate Student Enrollment Status

Graduate students who are employed in a c-base graduate assistantship may be enrolled in a reduced number of credits and receive federal financial aid. If you are registered in at least two credit hours, you may be considered a half-time student if you are on an assistantship and are working on your dissertation, thesis, or doing research needed to complete your degree.

Your financial aid may be subject to review each semester to confirm your employment in an eligible graduate assistantship.

The amount of financial aid received will be based on the cost of attendance determined by the actual amount of tuition assessed. The Office of Student Financial Aid urges students to carefully examine the amount of student loans needed to complete their course of study.

NEW Undeclared Graduate Students

Graduate students may be classified as “Undeclared” by the Graduate College. Per Federal Student Aid policy, these students may receive the undergraduate Direct Stafford Loan annual limits for a 12 month period in this status as a “preparatory student”.

Direct Stafford Loan Limit - $2750 per semester, up to two semesters, must adhere to the $31,000 lifetime loan aggregate. These students do not receive the additional $2000 in Unsubsidized Stafford Loans that a junior/senior level student receives.

Unsubsidized Stafford Loan Limit - $3500 per semester, up to two semesters, only if considered an independent student for criteria excluding being a graduate student. If an independent student, they must adhere to the $57,500 lifetime loan aggregate.

This population is not considered a graduate student for Federal Student Aid. Therefore:

  • They are not eligible for the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan. They may seek funding through a private loan if they are in need of additional funds.
  • They can receive Parent PLUS Loan funding if they are considered a dependent student.
  • Their FAFSA should not be changed to independent due to being a graduate student.

Financial Aid Census Date Policy for Undergraduate Students

In accordance with federal regulations, the Office of Student Financial Aid will recalculate federal, state, and institutional student aid awards based on the enrollment status as of the published Census Date (Count Day) by the Office of the Registrar, which is typically the end of the 10th day of class for both Fall and Spring terms. (The Census Date for Summer enrollment will vary based on the length of the course(s) taken.)

  • The Census Date for Fall 2016 is September 2, 2016.
  • The Census Date for Spring 2016 is January 25, 2016.

If you drop credits prior to the 10th day of class (the census date), you may be required to repay some or all of your aid that was disbursed to you if you do not, at that time, meet the enrollment requirements for the types of aid you have been awarded.
If you add credits after the 10th day of class (the census date), you may not be eligible to receive additional financial aid.

The Office of Student Financial Aid is not able to adjust all types of aid after the Census Date but will work with special situations on an individual basis. Students should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at financialaid@iastate.edu before adding courses after the Census Date that would affect enrollment level (for example: moving from half to three-quarter time, etc.).

Withdrawal From Classes

Withdrawing from classes may affect a student's financial aid eligibility.
More information about Withdrawal From Classes

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)

Federal regulations require the Office of Student Financial Aid to monitor the academic progress of students receiving financial aid.
More information about SAP

Repeating Courses — Impact to Financial Aid

An undergraduate student is allowed to retake any previously passed course one time and receive federal financial aid for that course. For this purpose, passed means any grade higher than an “F”. If a student passed a course once then received federal aid for retaking it and fails the second time, that failure counts as their paid retake. If a student takes a previously passed course for the third or more time, that course will not be eligible for federal financial aid and will not be included in their enrollment status for financial aid purposes. This could cause their federal financial aid to be reduced or removed from that semester’s award depending upon their enrollment status excluding the repeated course. A student may repeatedly receive federal aid for repeatedly failing the same course (normal SAP policy still applies to such cases).

Less than Full Time Enrollment and Financial Aid Policy

Iowa State University students who are enrolled at a less than full time status (11.5 credits for undergraduates and 8.5 credits for graduates) will have their financial aid cost of attendance reduced if they are receiving federal grants, institutional gift aid, and student and/or parent loans. The cost of attendance will be reduced to reflect a student’s assessed tuition and fee amount. This may cause a change in financial aid eligibility, even if financial aid has already been disbursed. Students will be responsible for paying back disbursed aid if financial aid eligibility changes. Tuition credit refunds will be held for 10 business days to adjust a student's financial aid account. The TEACH Grant and some Pell Grant recipients are eligible when enrolled less than half-time. The ISU Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), Perkins Loans, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, and Graduate/Parent PLUS Loans require a student be enrolled half-time to be eligible.

Adjustments to enrollment status made after the 10th day of class will not cause an adjustment in the cost of attendance.

CA & RM Positions

Regarding CA [Community Advisor] / RM [Residence Manager] positions: The U.S. Department of Education requires that room and board received as employment compensation be considered as either a resource in calculation of the student's financial need (reported on Worksheet B of the FAFSA) or as financial aid. Iowa State University considers CA/RM compensation as financial aid. Therefore, the student should not report their CA/RM room and board compensation on Worksheet B of the FAFSA.

Concurrent Student Enrollment

Operational policies for concurrent undergraduate/graduate students:

  1. At the point that a student is classified as a graduate student, undergraduate aid will cease. Students will qualify for graduate student aid consistent with current policy.
  2. Students receiving institutional recruitment scholarships may continue to receive them until eligibility is exhausted. Non-resident students on assistantship who receive an in-state benefit will have the award adjusted to reflect the resident rate. This is consistent with current policy for non-resident undergraduates who become resident students.
  3. Students assessed tuition and fees at the graduate level will no longer qualify for institutionally funded undergraduate financial aid programs, with the exception of the work-study program.
  4. Outside and college/departmental scholarships must meet donor parameters.

Second Bachelor's Degree and Teaching Endorsement after First Bachelor’s Degree

Students working toward their second bachelor's degree or teaching endorsement after first bachelor’s degree will not be awarded priority financial aid, including the following aid types:

  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
  • Iowa State University (ISU) Grant
  • Iowa Grant
  • Federal Perkins Loan
  • College Work Study (Federal or State)

Students working toward their second bachelor's degree or teaching endorsement after first bachelor’s degree not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant.

NEW Proof of Attendance

Federal Regulations require that students who receive a Pell Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, College Work Study, and/or a Perkins Loan and receive a non-passing grade or drop a course must prove that they attended one day of that course. Students will need to submit proof of attendance in the form of an assignment, quiz, or test, or other documentation deemed acceptable by the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Veteran's Benefits

The U.S. Department of Education, starting with the 2009-2010 academic year, no longer requires that education benefits received by the student from the Veterans Affairs Administration (Chapters 30, 33, 35, 1606 and 1607) be considered as a resource toward meeting a student's 'need' when awarding 'Federal' Title IV student financial aid. These chapter benefits are no longer required to be reported on the FAFSA.

University Nondiscrimination Statement

Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries can be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3350 Beardshear Hall, (515) 294-7612.