Office of Student Financial Aid
The University of Northern Iowa Office of Student Financial Aid administers a comprehensive program of financial assistance for students. The office offers all federal student aid programs as well as a variety of scholarship assistance.
Financial Aid/Student Employment Center contact information is:
Office of Student Financial Aid
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0024
Web site: http://www.uni.edu/finaid
Student Employment Center
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0024
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Summer Hours: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Financial Aid Information On the Web
Financial Aid Award Notification, Online Job Board, University Scholarship Application, scholarship directory, general information and information needed by the Office of Student Financial Aid to continue processing a student's aid is posted on MyUNIverse at http://myuniverse.uni.edu. An e-mail notification is sent to the student's UNI e-mail address when information is needed, and the student is responsible for checking MyUNIverse for details. A postcard reminder is also sent to new UNI students.
Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to have eligibility determined for a Pell Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Perkins Loan, Work Study, or Direct Stafford Loans (subsidized and unsubsidized). Students need to apply for financial aid each year. Applying for a Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) does not require the completion of a FAFSA, however, it is recommended.
Qualifying for student aid requires enrollment of at least half-time, and admission in a degree or certificate program. Financial aid is not available for correspondence (specified as Guided Independent Study at UNI), Camp Adventure, or audited courses.
Pell Grants. These awards help undergraduates pay for their education while working on their first bachelor's degree. Amounts vary based on FAFSA results and enrollment status. A Pell Grant does not have to be repaid.
TEACH Grant. The Federal TEACH Grant is for students who will be teaching in a low-income school and in a high-need field of study. A student could receive a grant of up to $4,000 a year for four years as an undergraduate and two years as a graduate.
Perkins Loan. Perkins Loans awards are based on need and range from $200 to $2,000. Interest begins accruing 9 months after the borrower is no longer at least a half-time student. Repayment to the university is made in monthly installments. Deferments are possible if a borrower returns to college at least half-time.
Work Study. These are programs for students with financial need who desire employment to help pay for educational expenses. Both undergraduate and graduate students can qualify for work study. The minimum pay rate is $7.25 per hour.
Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized). The Subsidized Stafford Loan is based on financial eligibility. The Unsubsidized Stafford Loan is available to all degree-seeking students. Freshman students may borrow up to $5,500 for an academic year. Sophomore students may borrow up to $6,500 for an academic year. Junior or senior students may borrow up to $7,500 for an academic year. Independent students have an additional $4,000 (freshmen or sophomores) or $5,000 (junior or seniors) in unsubsidized loan eligibility. The total amount an undergraduate may have outstanding cannot exceed $36,000. Graduate students can borrow up to their cost of attendance as determined by UNI or $20,500, whichever is less, per academic year. The total amount any one student may borrow for a combined undergraduate and graduate program may not exceed $138,500. Repayment begins six months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time.
Parent Loan for Undergraduate Student (PLUS). A parent of a dependent student may be eligible for an amount up to the cost of education less any other Direct Stafford Loan, financial aid, or scholarship money available to the student to use for educational expenses. Interest is fixed at 7.9%. Repayment begins within 60 days following the last disbursement of the loan or can be deferred until 6 months following a student being enrolled less than half time.
*Policy changes are scheduled to take place beginning with the 2011-12 academic year. See the Office of Student Financial Aid for details.
Standards of Satisfactory Progress is a two-part federal regulation to ensure that students receiving aid are:
- making satisfactory progress toward a degree, and
- completing a degree within a specific time period, regardless if financial aid was received in the past.
The aid programs that are affected include, but are not limited to: Pell Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant**, SMART Grant**, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Perkins Loan, Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Federal, State, and UNI Work Study, institutional grants, state grants, Direct Stafford Loan (subsidized and unsubsidized), Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students, and certain education bank/private lender loans.
**The Academic Competitiveness Grant and SMART Grant are only applicable through 2010-11 academic year.
- Making Progress Toward a Degree Each Semester
Only Fall and Spring semesters are evaluated. (Summer is not evaluated.)
Students who enroll full-time (12 credit hours or more per semester) are required to complete a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester.
Students who enroll 6-11 credit hours per semester are required to complete a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester.
Students who enroll 1-5 credit hours per semester are required to complete all the hours enrolled that semester.
- Completing A Degree Within a Specific Time Frame For Financial Aid Eligibility
The total academic record (Summer included) is reviewed, regardless if aid was received or credit was earned at UNI.
First BA students are required to complete a degree within 12 full-time semesters, 18 three-quarter time semesters, or 24 half-time semesters or upon completing 160 credit hours.
Second BA/Teaching Certification/1st MA/1st Doctorate students are required to complete a degree within 6 semesters, 9 three-quarter-time semesters, or 12 half-time semesters, or upon completing 60 credit hours. Please inform the Office of Student Financial Aid if your program requires more than 60 credit hours.
Other degrees, such as 2nd BA, 2nd MA, 2nd Doctorate after beginning a 1st MA, must be funded by the student without financial aid. (Exceptions may be allowed through the Appeal Process as indicated below.)
- Other Guidelines
Grades. Grades of A, B, C, D, Cr, P, or X are counted as meeting the required hours. Failed classes, audited classes, incomplete grades, and withdrawn classes are not counted toward completed hours for Satisfactory Progress.
Financial Aid Academic Progress Warning. The first semester in which a student does not complete Satisfactory Academic Progress, the student will receive a warning notification, but will continue to be eligible for financial aid. Also, a student who is nearing the allotted timeframe to complete a degree will be notified and informed of the number of financial aid semesters remaining.
Not Eligible Status for Financial Aid. Once a student has received a warning, any subsequent Fall or Spring semester in which the student does not maintain Satisfactory Progress will result in the student being notified about the loss of financial aid eligibility. A student who has reached the allotted timeframe to complete a degree will also lose financial aid eligibility. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid if the graduate program requires more than 60 credit hours.
Appeal Process and Deadline. An appeal process is in place for those experiencing extenuating circumstances that affected their ability to make satisfactory academic progress. Appeal forms may be obtained from the Office of Student Financial Aid. Appeals must be submitted no later than the end of the first week of classes following the suspended semester or within 15 calendar days of the date on the academic progress letter, whichever is later. (If suspension occurs at the end of the spring semester, students are encouraged to appeal during the summer period.) A written outline of required course work per semester until graduation signed and dated by the student and the advisor is required.
Reinstatement of Financial Aid. Students approved to receive aid again will be expected to adhere to the Satisfactory Progress Policy outlined above and any conditions listed on the Appeal Approval Contract.
Financial Aid Adjustment. If financial aid has already been awarded and an appeal is not completed or approved, the financial aid funds will be canceled 30 days after the start of the suspended semester. Reinstatement of the financial aid is contingent upon the availability of the funds at the time the appeal is approved.
Grant Adjustment. Grants are need-based aid. The Pell Grant Program is for students working on their first B.A. degree. Due to federal regulation and university policy, the actual amount of grant that you receive is based on the number of credit/hours for which you are enrolled. This means that if a grant has already been disbursed to you and you add or drop classes during the first 2 weeks of the semester, your grant will be adjusted. After the second week of classes grants do NOT adjust. If you have any questions about how your grant may be affected by adding or dropping a class, please contact the Financial Aid Office.
Correspondence (specified as Guided Independent Study at UNI), Camp Adventure, Audited Courses. Financial aid is not available for correspondence (specified as Guided Independent Study at UNI), Camp Adventure, or audited courses. If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the Financial Aid Office at 319-273-2700.
Student Loans. Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and complete a Master Promissory Note to be eligible for federal loans. You will complete only one promissory note that will be used for all of your loans at UNI. Direct Loan promissory notes can be completed online at www.studentloans.gov. By using the Master Promissory Note (MPN), you may not need to sign and submit a separate promissory note for each new loan. A student who borrows under the Direct Loan Program at UNI will be able to borrow under this one MPN up to ten years. If you borrowed a Direct Loan at UNI in the prior academic year, you do not need to complete another promissory note. Students must also be degree-seeking and enrolled at least half-time (6 hours for undergraduate, 5 hours for graduate) before loan funds can be released. All loan proceeds are credited directly to your university bill.
How Dropping Credit Hours or Withdrawing from UNI Affects Financial Aid. If you drop credit hours or withdraw from UNI, your cost of attendance and financial aid may be revised to reflect any tuition adjustment. You may have to repay a portion or all of your financial aid as required by law or by applicable fund donor. The exact amount of repayment will vary depending on when the credits are dropped or when the withdrawal occurs. In addition, you may become ineligible for future financial aid due to failure to meet the Financial Aid Academic Progress Requirements.
Federal regulations require students who withdraw before over 60% of the semester has passed to return unearned federal aid in a proportion equal to the time not in attendance. For example, if a student completes 30% of the semester, then 30% of the federal aid received may be retained and the other 70% of the federal aid received must be returned. If a student withdraws after the 60% point in time of the semester, then all aid received may be retained. Loans must be paid back according to the loan agreement. Institutional and state aid are returned in percentages equal to the institution=s tuition and fees refund policy (see page xxx). For example, if a student receives 25% tuition refund, then an equal percentage of 25% will be returned to all state and institutional aid programs. Contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for more information.
Funds will be returned to the financial aid programs in the following order: federal loan programs, federal grant programs, state programs, UNI programs, outside agencies, student. You will be notified of adjustments to your financial aid award via your university bill.
Grant Adjustment. Grants are need-based aid. The Pell Grant Program is for students working on their first B.A. degree. Due to federal regulation and university policy, the actual amount of grant that you receive is based on the number of credit/hours for which you are enrolled.
This means that if a grant has already been disbursed to you and you add or drop classes during the first 2 weeks of the semester, your grant will be adjusted. After the second week of classes grants do NOT adjust. If you have any questions about how your grant may be affected by adding or dropping a class, please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid.
Summer Aid Financial Aid
For financial aid purposes, the summer session is considered the final term of the award year. Federal aid programs have an academic year maximum amount of aid that can be received. For example, if you are a dependent freshman with 0-29 semester hours you may borrow only $5,500 in Direct Loans for the entire academic year (12 months - fall, spring and summer). Therefore, summer aid is limited.
To be eligible for financial aid for the summer you must:
- Have a current year FAFSA submitted by June 1.
- Be enrolled at least half-time during the summer - five credits for undergraduate students and four credits for graduate students. Audited courses, correspondence (specified as Guided Independent Study at UNI) courses, and Camp Adventure do not count toward enrollment.
- Submit a Summer Financial Aid Request form to the Office of Student Financial Aid (available online in March).
- Be admitted to a program leading to a degree. Non-degree students are ineligible for financial aid.
- Not be on Financial Aid Academic Progress Suspension or Registrar Academic Suspension.
- Not be in default on any educational loan, and not owe any refund on a grant or loan at any institution.
Grants and Scholarships
Federal Grants. Federal grants are intended to assist students whose FAFSA results indicate a high level of financial need. The amount ranges from $400 to $5,500. The federal government has the Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) and TEACH Grant available for undergraduate students who complete the FAFSA and demonstrate high financial need.
State Grants. State grants are available for Iowa students who are enrolled at least half-time who complete a FAFSA and demonstrate financial need. The grants are awarded based upon an Iowa undergraduate student's expected family contribution. Iowa grant awards range up to full tuition and fees for those who qualify. The IMAGES grant is also available for Iowa minority students enrolled at least half-time. Awards range from $200 to $2,000.
Tuition Assistance Grants. These institutional grants are need-based, non-repayable gifts, for up to $1,000. Awarding of this grant depends upon the student's financial need as indicated by the results of their FAFSA.
For a complete listing of grants and eligibility criteria visit www.uni.edu/finaid.
Scholarships. The University of Northern Iowa offers scholarships each year to deserving students, on the basis of merit and/or achievement. Scholarships generally require full-time enrollment and maintaining specific grade point requirements. Visit the scholarship directory www.uni.edu/finaid for a complete listing of all scholarships available at UNI.
Several scholarships are awarded based on admission to UNI, however both new and returning students must also complete the University Scholarship Application online at www.uni.edu/finaid for full scholarship consideration. Scholarship selection is competitive, thus not all applicants will receive a scholarship.
Graduate Scholarships and Assistantships. Several scholarships and awards, including tuition scholarships, are available for graduate students at Northern Iowa. Students should contact the department or academic college in charge of their program for information on eligibility and application procedures. Students may locate the scholarship directory at www.uni.edu/finaid, which gives a complete listing of all scholarships available for graduate students and currently enrolled UNI students. For further details on requirements related to graduate scholarships and assistantships, see pages xxx-xxx.
Army Montgomery G.I. Bill. Undergraduates serving in the Iowa National Guard or the U.S. Army Reserves can qualify for the Montgomery G.I. Bill. The Montgomery G.I. Bill Educational Assistance Benefits provide up to $2,000 per year in direct payments and a $200 kicker (if qualified), plus the student continues to earn monthly training assembly pay. Many students who qualify for the Montgomery G.I. Bill also qualify for the Student Loan Repayment Program. For additional information about the Montgomery G.I. Bill write or contact the Office of the Registrar at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0006, 319-273-6801.
Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarships. Several scholarships are available for students interested in ROTC.
- Four-Year Army ROTC Scholarships. High school seniors can apply for a four-year Army ROTC scholarship (before November 15th) of their senior year.
A four-year scholarship will pay full tuition and required educational fees; provide $600 per semester for textbooks, supplies, and equipment; and provide a subsistence allowance of up to $4,000 per year for each of the four years the scholarship is in effect. Winning and accepting a four-year ROTC scholarship does not preclude accepting other scholarships.
- Three-Year Army ROTC Scholarships. College freshmen apply on campus for all three-year Army ROTC scholarships during January. Winners are announced the following May.
A three-year scholarship will pay up to $20,000 per year toward tuition and required educational fees; provide $600 per semester for textbooks, supplies, and equipment; and provide a subsistence allowance of up to $4,000 per year for each of the three years the scholarship is in effect. Winning and accepting a three-year ROTC scholarship does not preclude accepting other scholarships.
- Two-Year Army ROTC Scholarships. College sophomores, juniors, and seniors can attend the Army ROTC Leaders Training Course (LTC) at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
A two-year LTC scholarship will pay up to $20,000 per year toward tuition and required educational fees; provide $600 per semester for textbooks, supplies, and equipment; and provide a subsistence allowance of up to $4,000 per year for each of the two years the scholarship is in effect. Winning and accepting a two-year ROTC scholarship does not preclude accepting other scholarships.
- Two-Year Reserve Forces Duty Scholarships. Prior service applicants may apply on campus; military reservists may apply on campus or through their Army National Guard or Army Reserve unit. If selected, you will be required to enlist in the Army National Guard or Army Reserves. You will fulfill your obligation in the Army National Guard or Reserves only. If already in the Guard or Reserve, you incur a six-year commitment of military service.
A Reserve Forces Duty Scholarship will pay up to $20,000 per year toward tuition and required educational fees; provide $600 per semester for textbooks, supplies, and equipment; and provide a subsistence allowance of up to $4,000 per year for each of the two years the scholarship is in effect. Winning and accepting a two-year Reserve Forces Duty Scholarship does not preclude accepting other scholarships.
Additional Information. For more information about Army ROTC scholarships, write to the Department of Military Science, ATTN: Scholarship Officer, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0142; come in person to West Gym (Room 203), UNI campus; or call the Scholarship Advisor at 319-273-6178 or 319-273-6337. For further information see www.uni.edu/rotc.
Athletic Scholarships are available for incoming student-athletes as well as returning student-athletes. Athletic scholarships are awarded in amounts up to and including the full cost of tuition and fees, room and board, and course-required books. Athletics scholarships are generally awarded for a period of one academic year; and are renewable each subsequent year in accordance with NCAA and Conference rules. Athletic scholarship recipients are subject to institutional admission requirements as well as NCAA, Conference, and Institutional eligibility requirements. Recommendations for athletic scholarships are made by the head coach of each individual sport program, with approval by the Director of Athletics (or her/his designee). Athletic scholarships are provided in part by the Panther Scholarship Club (contributions), gate receipts, friends of the university, and other special accounts.
Department of Art Scholarships. Each year the UNI Department of Art awards scholarships to high school seniors interested in majoring in art. The Annual High School Art Competition occurs each fall. After passing a portfolio review, top applicants are invited to visit the UNI campus for a day of activities and interviews. Scholarships are also available to qualified undergraduate Art students already enrolled at UNI. More information is available online at www.uni.edu/finaid/scholarship.shtml and www.uni.edu/artdept.
College of Business Administration (CBA). Thanks to the generosity of many donors, CBA majors have the opportunity to apply for approximately seventy-five merit-based scholarships in two types of scholarship programs.
The CBA Freshman Scholarship Day program targets current high school seniors interested in majoring in a CBA discipline at UNI. This program's online application can be found at www.uni.edu/finaid. Students selected to compete for these scholarships are invited to UNI for a day of activities designed to enhance their knowledge of UNI and the CBA. This program is a fall initiative. Interested high school seniors should inquire at their school=s guidance office early in the fall semester. The application deadline usually is during the last week of October.
An additional CBA scholarship program is intended for current UNI students majoring in a CBA discpline. The common scholarship application for this program also can be found online at www.uni.edu/finaid. This program is a spring initiative and is publicized throughout the CBA via posters in the Curris Business Building and by e-mails sent to all CBA majors. The deadline for this program usually is mid-February.
Additional information regarding these CBA scholarship programs is available at http://www.cba.uni.edu/dbweb/pages/programs/special-intl-financial-aid.cfm or by contacting the CBA Dean's Office located in Curris Business Building 325 or by calling 319-273-6240.
Various CBA departments administer other scholarships. These scholarships are publicized by the respective departments where applications are available.
Industrial Technology Department Scholarships are awarded as funding is available to high school seniors who are planning to major in one of the undergraduate programs offered in the Industrial Technology Department. These scholarships are awarded on the following criteria: ACT scores, grade point average, rank in class, and the competitive interviews that are held on campus. Check www.uni.edu/finaid for scholarship deadline.
These scholarships provide $1,000-$5,000 for up to eight semesters for students maintaining a major in the Department of Industrial Technology and a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00. Interested students should follow instructions posted on the university's financial aid scholarship directory (www.uni.edu/finaid), or the Department of Industrial Technology Web site (www.uni.edu/indtech). Additional questions should be directed to the Department of Industrial Technology at 319‑273‑2561.
CNS Scholarships are awarded to high school seniors in the areas of biology, chemistry and biochemistry, computer science, earth science, industrial technology, mathematics, and physics. Each department in the College of Natural Sciences has its own criteria for the scholarships it awards, although, in general the scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic ability. The amount of the scholarships varies. Additional questions should be directed to the College of Natural Sciences, Office of the Dean.
UNI Parents Association (UNIPA) Scholarship Program
Five scholarships in the form of tuition grants applied directly to the student's account are awarded annually. One $1,000 scholarship is awarded to a student from each of the five undergraduate colleges. Selection is completed in spring and the award realized the following fall semester. Presidential and other full tuition-and-board scholarship winners are not eligible.
To be eligible for consideration a student must a) be a full-time student, b) possess a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or better, c) have completed at least one semester of course work at the University of Northern Iowa, d) be a sophomore, junior, or senior at the time the award is realized, and e) complete the Common Scholarship Application.
For further information, contact the UNI Office of Student Financial Aid at 319-273-2700.
UNI Presidential Scholarships
Presidential Scholarships are awarded by the University Honors Program to high school seniors with a history of outstanding academic performance. Recipients will be those whose strong academic credentials are matched by personal involvement in leadership and service activities.
Presidential Scholarships are substantial awards that carry recognition for academic excellence as well as financial support.
For complete information, visit http://www.uni.edu/honors/presidential.shtml or contact the University Honors Program, 2401 College Street, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0355, 319-273-3175.
University of Northern Iowa Foundation
The UNI Foundation is the official channel through which gifts, both large and small, are given for the benefit of the university. The generosity of alumni and friends of the University of Northern Iowa provides scholarships for eligible students. Students should contact the dean of their college or the Office of Student Financial Aid for specific information on scholarships and selection criteria.