Cost of Attendance and Financial Need

The University of Iowa policy and Title IV (federal financial aid) regulations require the sum of all scholarships and grants to be equal to or less than the cost of attendance developed annually by the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA). This includes scholarships and grants awarded by the Office of Admissions, OSFA, colleges and departments, and from agencies and others outside the University of Iowa.

In some cases, students are limited to receiving scholarships and grants up to the student's financial need when certain Title IV (federal financial aid) and institutional need-based scholarships and grants are awarded. Financial need is determined by taking combined scholarships and grants and the Student Aid Index (determined by the 24-25 FAFSA) and subtracting it from the estimated cost of attendance.

It is the responsibility of students to report to OSFA any scholarships and grants they receive from agencies and others outside the University of Iowa. If the sum of all scholarships and grants, combined with outside scholarships and grants, exceeds the cost of attendance and/or financial need then University of Iowa scholarships and grants are reduced to keep all scholarships and grants within the cost of attendance and/or financial need.

If changes to a student’s financial aid package are required, a revised financial aid offer from OSFA is sent.

Scholarship Awarding and Eligibility

Students are automatically considered for Office of Admissions scholarships based upon high school credentials and standardized test scores (if provided). See test optional information. The following deadlines must be met to be considered for scholarships.

  • Merit-based scholarship eligibility will only consider standardized test scores (if provided) administered through February prior to a student’s admission session.
  • Submissions of new or updated academic information is automatically reviewed, and any upgrades to scholarships or award amounts are sent to students.
  • March 1 (prior to a student’s admission session) is the deadline for students to apply for admission to be considered for these scholarships.
  • April 1 (prior to a student’s admission session) is the deadline to submit updated transcript and/or official test scores (if provided) for scholarship reconsideration. Changes to GPA in the final grading period (8th semester) are used for admission purposes only, not scholarship awarding.
  • May 1 is the deadline for all admitted students to accept admission and pay the acceptance fee. Students who don’t meet this deadline are not eligible for scholarships, and any previously awarded scholarships will be canceled.

Superscores will not be used for scholarship consideration. If multiple test scores are submitted, they will not be used to calculate a superscore.

Cumulative high school GPA is used for scholarship consideration. If a GPA is not on a 4-point grading scale, it is converted. If a high school provides both a weighted and unweighted GPA, both values are used.

The following merit-based scholarships from the Office of Admissions may not be combined. A student may receive one of these merit-based scholarships: Iowa Flagship Award, Iowa Scholars Award, or National Scholars Award. If a student meets the minimum requirements for multiple awards, they are automatically awarded the scholarship with the highest dollar amount.

Students who choose to graduate high school early and enroll at the University of Iowa are not eligible for Admissions-awarded merit scholarships until the following fall term.

Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible for any merit-based scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions and OSFA.

Students must be enrolled full-time (12 or more semester hours) their first semester at the University of Iowa and continue to maintain full-time enrollment to be eligible for scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions and OSFA.

Transfer student scholarships are only awarded to students transferring to the University of Iowa for in-person/on-campus programs from community colleges. Students transferring from 4-year institutions, or those who complete their degree through Iowa’s Distance and Online Education programs are not eligible for institutional merit or need-based awards awarded by the Office of Admissions and OSFA.

Students, currently enrolled or enrolling in the future, who have a change in residency status for tuition purposes are not eligible for institutional merit-based scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions. If a student has scholarships awarded by OSFA, they will need to consult with that office directly to check eligibility. Changes to a student’s residency status for tuition purposes are determined through eligibility for state or federal programs or by meeting the requirements outlined in the Application for Resident Classification with the Office of the Registrar.

Release of Scholarship Funds

Institutional scholarships managed by the Office of Admissions are disbursed in two equal payments at the start of fall and spring semesters. Scholarship funds are not released during the summer or winter. The annual amount of a scholarship is never released in one semester for students who may graduate early. A student who finishes their undergraduate degree early will not receive a refund of unused scholarship monies or an increase in their award amount for the enrolled semesters. Scholarships coordinated through colleges or departments may vary on when and how they are disbursed. Scholarship funds can be applied to study abroad programs that are administered by the University of Iowa Study Abroad Office.

Scholarship funds are not released during internship semesters. Scholarship funds can be reinstated the following semester provided the student is enrolled full-time and did not take courses at a different college during their internship semester.

International students whose initial University of Iowa enrollment is part-time (less than 12 semester hours), due to required English language courses, are not eligible to receive scholarship funds during that semester. If a student is approved for full-time enrollment (12 or more semester hours) in regular course work within their first two semesters, their scholarship is reinstated. If enrollment of fewer than 12 semester hours continues beyond two semesters, scholarship funds are canceled permanently.

Scholarship Renewals

All scholarships require full-time (12 semester hours or more) continuous enrollment each semester at the University of Iowa, as well as maintaining the University of Iowa cumulative GPA requirement specified in the scholarship award letter or listed in MyUI. Reviews for scholarship renewals are completed each semester and renewal appeals are managed on a case-by-case basis. Once a student has received their bachelor’s degree, they are no longer eligible for scholarships awarded by Admissions or OSFA. Specific renewal requirements for University of Iowa scholarships are available via MyUI.

Additional Policies

Several Office of Admissions scholarships are initially awarded to incoming first-year students on the basis of self-reported GPA and test scores (if provided) via the application for admission. All students who accept admission are required to submit official final high school transcripts and official test scores (if available) from the testing agency as soon as possible after high school graduation but no later than July 1. An evaluation is completed to compare the final official documents/scores with the self-reported information to verify admission decisions as well as any scholarship offers made based on self-reported information. Scholarships are canceled if it is determined that a student has misrepresented their academic record in this process.

New scholarship programs may be created each year and award amounts for existing scholarship programs are subject to change. Currently enrolled students cannot become eligible for a new scholarship or a new award amount that did not exist when they first enrolled at the University of Iowa. In the event there are reductions in state funding for the University of Iowa, support for institutional scholarships and grants may be impacted. If that happens, awards may be reduced accordingly within the academic year.

We reserve the right to update or modify these policies at any time without prior notice. For this reason, we encourage you to review the policy whenever you are reviewing financial information.

Last Modified: 5/15/2024