Incoming Freshmen

Attending college is one of the biggest investments you will make during your lifetime. UNI is committed to providing the finest education attainable at the lowest cost possible. The Office of Student Financial aid prides itself on assisting families in understanding the financial aid process. View a breakdown of tuition and fees as well as other costs associated with attending UNI.

Unsure of where or when to start? The checklist provided should get you started on the path to financial aid.

Applying for Financial Aid

To ensure you receive financial aid to help with the cost of tuition, you will need to complete the FAFSA each year that you will be attending college. Be sure to list the UNI School Code 001890.

Award notifications for new freshmen and transfers will begin going out mid-March if you have submitted your FAFSA and provided any necessary documentation. Students also must be admitted to the university prior to the creation of an award letter. Awards will consist of all types of aid that you are eligible for based on the results of your FAFSA.

All students will be able to access their award notification via MyUNIverse within the Student Center tab. The award notification will outline the various sources of aid used to create your award package such as grants and scholarships, loans, or work-study.

Types of Financial Aid

More than 80% of UNI students receive some form of financial aid. Students can receive aid in the form of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. To learn more about applying for aid process visit Applying for Aid.

Some scholarships are awarded at the time of admissions. You will be notified of your selection for these awards by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. All other scholarships at UNI require the completion of the UNI Scholarship Application.  The application is available leading into the students senior year of high school. Incoming students must apply to UNI before they are eligible to apply for scholarships. 

Incoming Freshmen Scholarships Awarded at the Time of Admission

New for Iowa Residents for Fall 2016!

The UNI Residents of Iowa Scholars of Excellence (UNI RISE) Award

  • Be an Iowa resident entering UNI directly from high school
  • Have an ethnic or racial status of African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan Native or American Indian, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • Have an ACT composite score of 23 or higher, or SAT combined CR+M of 1070 or higher
    • Students who do not meet the ACT or SAT score may be considered if they have a Regents Admissions Index (RAI) score of 290 or higher
  • Demonstrated involvement in activities outside of the classroom, which could include community service, and display leadership or potential for future leadership
  • Apply for admission and submit the UNI Scholarship Application by January 15.

Note: Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA, and/or first-generation students.

NOTE: Each of the scholarships awarded at the time of admission have GPA requirements that must be met each year to renew the scholarship.  All criteria will be outlined within the offer letter.  

You may also be eligible for need-based and non-need-based scholarships from other sources. Begin your search while in high school and apply for any scholarship which you are eligible for. Ask your counselor about any hometown scholarships. Also, ask any organizations you belong to if they offer scholarships.

Grants are considered “gift aid” and do not have to be repaid. Eligibility for grants is determined by the Expected Family Contribution, as calculated on the FAFSA. Learn more about the different grants available to UNI students here.

The federal government has a variety of federal loan options available for students and parents. We encourage you to review the information about the loans carefully before making any decisions about your loans. Learn more about the different loan options available here. Please remember that these are loans and they must be repaid, so only borrow what you need.

Student Employment/Work-study
Many students finance their education though part-time jobs. The University of Northern Iowa offers a variety of employment options. Over 2,500 students work on-campus throughout the year. On campus employment allows students to quickly become integrated within the UNI community, in addition to networking with faculty and staff. Hours of employment are extremely flexible, with students typically working 10 – 15 hours per week on campus.

Students do not have to be work-study eligible to work on campus. Students can start searching for jobs by viewing the Online Job Board. Learn more about the different types of employment opportunities here.