State-Administered Financial Aid
State-Administered Financial Aid
The State of Iowa appropriated over $70 million in scholarships, grants and loan forgiveness opportunities in 2015.6 This figure does not include financial aid awarded to students from institutional sources or appropriations to the state’s public colleges and universities.
Private, Not-for-Profit Colleges and Universities
During the 2014–15 academic year, Iowa awarded 81 percent of its need-based scholarship and grant funding to students attending private, not-for-profit colleges and universities.* This percentage was substantially higher in Iowa than anywhere else in the nation. The next closest state awarded less than 50 percent of need-based aid to students attending private, not-for-profit institutions; Iowa exceeded all other states by at least 30 percent.7
Iowa’s largest grant program, the Iowa Tuition Grant (ITG), awards aid to students attending private, not-for-profit colleges and universities. ITG is Iowa’s largest grant program and had approximately 10 times more funds in 2015 than the second largest program, the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program. In 1969, ITG was created to alleviate enrollment demands on Iowa’s Regent Universities by equalizing the net cost of public and private institutions. While ITG no longer equalizes net costs due to the rising price of private colleges and universities, it alleviates some of the expense, providing students with an option to choose between public and private institutions.
Scholarships and Grants Available by Sector
The Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grant and the Iowa Skilled Workforce Shortage Tuition Grant (Kibbie Grant) target students who are enrolled in career or technical education programs in areas with high workforce demand at Iowa community colleges. Community college students received 15 percent of the state financial aid in the 2014–15 school year.8
While there are no scholarships and grants designated solely for students attending Regent Universities, Regent University students can apply for state aid through programs available to all sectors, including the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship, the All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant, the Iowa Grant (eliminated after 2014–15) and the Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Program. In 2014–15, 6 percent of state aid was awarded to students attending Regent Universities.8
Iowa College Aid was awarded a GEAR UP grant in 2008 to assist a cohort of Iowa students starting in 7th grade. Students who were part of this program were automatically awarded scholarships upon enrollment at a college or university in any sector. In 2015, over $6 million was awarded to GEAR UP Iowa participants, 28 percent attending Regent Universities; 11 percent attending private, not-for-profit colleges and universities; 50 percent attending community colleges; less than 1 percent attending private, for-profit institutions; 1 percent attending Iowa barber and cosmetology schools; and 10 percent attending an out-of-state institution.8
6) Iowa College Student Aid Commission. Historical Appropriations Report.
7) National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP). 46th Annual Survey Report of State-Sponsored Student Financial Aid, 2014-2015 Academic Year, preliminary results.
8) Iowa College Student Aid Commission. (2015). State of Iowa Scholarship and Grant Programs End-of-Year Reports.