Iowa Student Loan And Financial Aid Programs
Iowa has several private student loan and financial aid programs that can help you pay for college. If you're going to be attending college in Iowa, you need to be looking to take advantage of these programs.
These programs are designed to help make college more affordable - so that you can get the education you need. These programs can include scholarships, grants, and student loans.
Don't forget that there are Federal student loan programs available as well. You can find out more on how to get a Federal student loan here.
There is also a specific order of operations to pay for college that we recommend students follow. These programs specific to the State of Iowa can help you to avoid borrowing more money than you need to.
Iowa Student Loan Programs
Iowa has a state-based supplemental student loan program created by their legislature in 1991. This program is administered by the state-based nonprofit, Iowa Student Loan.
Iowa Student Loan offers two in-school loan programs for students and parents (borrowing on behalf of the student.) There is also a refinance program available.
You can learn more about these programs here: Iowa Student Loan. You can also read our full ISL Education Lending review here.
If you're just looking for private student loan options, we recommend:
- Credible - Like the Kayak of student loans, they help you shop around and compare options. Try Credible here.
- College Ave - One of the best private student loan lenders. Get A Quote At College Ave Here.
Check out our complete guide to finding the best student loans here.
Iowa Scholarship Programs
Iowa has several scholarships available to students who want to attend school in the state.
All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship
The All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship (AIOS) is a state-funded scholarship program for Iowa students who attend an eligible Iowa college/university.
The amount of the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship adjusts each year; the maximum value for the 2022-23 school year will be determined in Spring 2023. For reference, the 2021-22 maximum was $4,772.
Students who are first-time recipients of AIOS in the 2022-23 school year can receive the scholarship for up to eight full-time semesters, or sixteen part-time semesters.
Learn more about the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship.
Gov. Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship
The Gov. Terry E. Branstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship recognizes outstanding Iowa high school seniors who have actively participated in the Iowa State Fair.
Up to ten awards, not to exceed $5,000 per award, will be awarded annually. No student shall receive more than the student's established financial need. Scholarships are awarded for the recipient's first year of college only.
Learn more about the Gov. Terry E. Brandstad Iowa State Fair Scholarship.
Robert D. Blue Scholarship
The Robert D. Blue Scholarship, named after the former Iowa governor, provides funds ranging from $500 to $1,000 to Iowa students who demonstrate literary and scholastic ability; exhibit qualities of truth, courage, and fellowship; and display moral force of character.
Applicants for this scholarship can be current high school seniors or students already enrolled at an Iowa college or university.
Learn more about the Robert D. Blue Scholarship.
Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship
The Last-Dollar Scholarship is available to new high school graduates who enroll in a qualified program of study full-time for the fall immediately following high school graduation, apply for all other available state and federal grants and scholarships, and meet ongoing requirements.
Learn more about the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship.
Iowa Grant Programs
Iowa also has a grant program to provide need based financial aid to Iowa residents.
Grants are one of the best forms of financial aid because, in most circumstances, you don't have to pay the money back.
Future Ready Iowa Grant
The Future Ready Iowa Grant is open to students must have previously earned at least half the credits necessary for an eligible bachelor’s degree that leads to a high-demand job and enroll in at least six semester hours (unless they can complete a degree in less than six semester hours). Students must not have been enrolled in college for two academic years before receiving the Future Ready Iowa Grant. They must also apply for all other available state and federal financial aid.
Learn more about the Future Ready Iowa Grant.
Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant
The Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant (NGEAP) provides annual awards to Iowa National Guard members who attend eligible Iowa colleges and universities. Maximum individual awards cannot exceed the current average resident tuition rate at Iowa Regent Universities.
National Guard officials have determined that they will pay 100 percent of the average regent tuition rate. The Iowa Adjutant General determines eligibility.
You can learn more about the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant.
Iowa Tuition Grant
Iowa Tuition Grants are awarded to Iowa residents enrolled at one of Iowa's eligible private colleges and universities. Priority is given to applicants with the greatest financial need. The statutory maximum award is set at the average Regent tuition and fee rate, although the maximum award for an academic year may be less depending on the funding available and number of projected recipients.
Recipients can receive grants for up to four years of full-time, undergraduate study. Part-time students may be eligible for adjusted amounts.
Learn more about the Iowa Tuition Grant.
Iowa Vocational-Technical Grant
Iowa residents enrolled in career or technical education programs at Iowa community colleges may be eligible to receive this grant. The maximum award is $900 per year for up to two years of education. Part-time students may be eligible for adjusted amounts.
Learn more about the Iowa Vocational-Technical Grant.
Iowa residents enrolled in specified career or technical education programs at Iowa community colleges may be eligible for this grant program. The maximum Kibbie Grant award is one-half of the average Iowa community college tuition and mandatory fees per year for up to two years of education. Part-time students may be eligible for prorated amounts.
Learn more about the Kibbie Grant.
If you already have student loans and are looking for options as a Iowa resident, check out our Iowa Student Loan Forgiveness Program page. That page has all the different options available to Iowa residents to potentially get some of your student loan debt forgiven.
You might also look at refinancing your student loans and saving money in interest while also potentially lowering your payment. Check out our guide on the Best Places To Refinance Your Student Loans.
If you're looking for ways to save for college in Iowa, check out the Iowa 529 Plan and College Savings Guide.
Finally, check out the other student loan and financial aid programs by state.