Students must apply for financial aid each year by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The purpose of filing a FAFSA is to determine students’ eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.
The 2020-2021 FAFSA should be completed as soon as possible after October 1, 2019 using 2018 tax information. The UNI priority FAFSA date is January 15, 2020 and awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Although students can apply for financial aid throughout the year, funding for some programs may be depleted before a student is awarded. The student may meet the qualifications for certain types of aid, but not be awarded that aid because the funding has run out.
To file you will need:
- Student FSAID
- Parent FSAID
- Social Security Number
- Driver’s license
- Current bank statements
- Investment records, etc.
- Your 2018 Federal tax return
- Parents’ 2018 Federal tax return (or spouse, if married)
- W-2 forms and other records of money earned in 2018
You will need to use your FSA ID (a user name and password) when completing the FAFSA on the web. The parent and student will each need their own FSA ID. The FSA ID serves as an identifier to let you access your personal information in various U.S. Department of Education systems. You can create an FSA ID online at fsaid.ed.gov.
Once you have submitted your FAFSA, the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships will receive the results from your FAFSA within 5 to 7 business days.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) has composed a list of Tips & Common Mistakes to Avoid when filing the FAFSA. A Student Aid Tips website has also been developed to help federal student aid applicants in unique situations [e.g. single parents, Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) recipients, wards of the court, foster youth, etc.] answer specific questions on the FAFSA. If you've encountered unusual changes since the tax year required for the FAFSA, we encourage you to review our information on Special Circumstances.
If you have questions when completing the FAFSA, contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships via phone or email to set up an appointment. You may also contact the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) to set up an appointment for one-on-one assistance in completing your FAFSA.