Understanding Your Financial Aid Award Letter

The Office of Student Financial Aid began sending award letters in mid-January for students that have been admitted and filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can view your financial aid award letter on MyUI through your admissions profile. Your financial aid award letter is a document that explains the cost of attendance at the University of Iowa, and details the options available to you in financing your education.

The first part of the award letter will break down cost. The first two line items will give you estimates for tuition & fees and room & board. These are the expenses that will show up on your University Bill. The next three lines give estimates for transportation, textbooks and supplies, and personal or miscellaneous expenses. These costs won’t show up on your bill, but they are things that we want to make sure you keep in mind.

Next, the “grants and scholarships” section will outline any gift aid that you may be receiving. This could potentially include the Federal Pell Grant, merit-based scholarships from admissions, or departmental scholarships. Grants are awarded based on financial need, which is determined by the results of the FAFSA. Scholarships are based on academic merit, including test scores and GPA. If you aren’t currently receiving any scholarships, you will have additional opportunities to apply for scholarships for your sophomore, junior, and senior year through the Iowa Scholarship Portal.

Next, your financial aid award letter will detail student loan options available to you through the federal government. These include Direct Stafford Loans and Parent PLUS Loans. If you have questions regarding your student loan options, I recommend calling the Office of Student Financial Aid at 319-335-1450.

Viewing your award letter is a great opportunity to sit down with your family and have a conversation about financial fit. Before you commit to any school, make sure that attendance is affordable for you and your family, and have honest conversations about paying for college.

If you choose to attend the University of Iowa, there are a few final steps we will ask you to complete to finalize your financial aid. If you are receiving merit-based scholarships through the Office of Admissions, you will need to log into your Admissions Profile and accept those awards. If you are planning to use your student loans, over the summer you will need to complete your student loan entrance counseling and sign your master promissory note. Once you have completed those final steps, your financial aid will be ready to go!

The Office of Admissions and Office of Student Financial Aid are more than happy to help you through any questions you have regarding your financial aid award letter. Be sure to keep in touch! The Office of Student Financial Aid can be reached via phone at (319) 335-1450, and via email at financialaid@uiowa.edu. The Office of Admissions can be reached via phone at 319-335-3847, and via email at admissions@uiowa.edu.

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