Financing Your Education

When you think in terms of lifetime earnings and quality of life, an Iowa State education is worth the investment. The Office of Student Financial Aid is your source for information about and assistance with covering the cost of your education. More than 85% of Iowa State students receive some form of financial aid.

Cost of Attendance

The estimated annual cost of attendance for new students includes Iowa State's tuition and fees, room and meals, as well as an estimate for books and supplies. Total costs of attending Iowa State University may vary based on students' lifestyles, majors, academic colleges, and academic progress.

Need-based Financial Aid

To be considered for need-based financial aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Based on the information that you provide on the FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education determines the amount of money that your family can be expected to contribute toward the cost of your education. If that amount is less than the total cost of attendance, the difference is your eligibility for need-based financial aid. Financial aid awards are typically a combination of grants, loans, and employment. For more information, visit the scholarships and grants pages.

To receive priority financial aid consideration, it is important that you submit your FAFSA by March 1. Students who meet this deadline can expect to receive their financial aid award letter in early April.


Students who are offered admission to Iowa State will be considered automatically for many scholarships. Because some scholarships have early deadlines, it is important to apply for admission as far in advance as possible the fall prior to entry for summer and fall terms. Application for some scholarships requires that students submit additional materials, such as essays, recommendations, separate applications, and/or the completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Check out the scholarships for undergraduate students, departmental scholarships, and other opportunities on the scholarships page.

Student employment

Many students finance their education through part-time jobs. In fact, research has shown that students who work up to twelve hours per week have higher grade point averages than students who do not work. Two types of part-time positions are available at Iowa State: work study and non-work study. To be considered for work-study eligibility, you must submit the FAFSA. For more information, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid's student employment page.