Applying for Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used by virtually all two and four-year colleges, universities and career schools for the awarding of federal student aid and most state and college aid.

Filling out and Submitting the FAFSA

The first step in applying for federal financial aid is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The FAFSA can be submitted  online. The online application can be found at FAFSA's Page.  The FAFSA should be submitted  between January 1st  and March 1st of each year.  Deadlines vary by state and by college.  Students will need to check with the college they will attend so they do not miss the filing deadline.

  • When filling out the FAFSA, students will need the following items:

  • Social Security Card

  • Driver's License

  • Income Tax Returns, including W-2 forms and 1040 forms

  • Parent's income tax returns, including W-2 forms and 1040 forms

  • Records and documentation of other untaxed income received.  Examples:  welfare benefits, Social Security Income, veteran's benefits, AFDC, or military or clergy allowances

  • Current bank statements, including records of stocks, bond, mutual funds, and other investments

  • Current mortgage information

  • Title IV Institution Codes for each school the student wishes to apply to.  This information can be obtained from the Counseling Office. 

Receiving  the Student Aid Report (SAR)

Students should receive a student aid report within 4-6 weeks after their FAFSA has been processed.  The SAR information is also sent to the college(s) that were named on the FAFSA.  If students do not receive a SAR on time, or if another copy is needed, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 319-337-5665.

Check with College(s)

Students are responsible for checking with the college(s) that they applied to attend.  Colleges may have additional requirements and/or require additional application or forms.

Award Letter

Students will receive an award letter from the financial aid office of each college you specify.  This document indicates the types of aid the student are eligible to receive.  The student's financial aid eligibility is the difference between the cost of education and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The federal government performs a needs analysis to determine a student's EFC.  The cost of education includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous expenses.