Opportunity for all

Iowa State is committed to making higher education accessible to students of all social and economic backgrounds.

Your financial aid package

The amount and types of financial aid you receive will depend upon your Student Aid Index (SAI). Your SAI is determined by the information you provide when you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Your SAI represents the amount of money your family can be reasonably expected to contribute to your educational expenses. If your SAI is lower than the total cost of attending Iowa State, you will qualify for financial aid. The larger the gap between the SAI and the total cost of attendance, the more need-based aid you may receive.

At Iowa State, financial aid packages are typically made up of three different types of aid: gift aid, student loans, and work study.


  • Gift aid

    Includes grants and scholarships that do not have to be repaid. Typically reserved for students with higher levels of need and/or receiving merit-based aid.

  • Student loans

    Includes types of federal subsidized and unsubsidized loans.

  • Work study

    Includes an opportunity to work and earn money through different types of part-time jobs available to eligible students.