Financing Your Education

A Step by Step Guide

  1. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The University of Iowa's Federal School Code is 001892. Apply ASAP after January 1. The Office of Student Financial Aid will send you a postcard directing you to complete The University of Iowa Verification Form (IVF). Submit the completed IVF to the UI Office of Student Financial Aid with a photocopy of your federal income tax return and schedules A and B, if filed. Sign and date the photocopy.
    Aid through the Office of Student Financial Aid includes:
    Awards are not automatically renewed. Reapply every year.
  2. Submit the Application for Graduate Awards (PDF) to your academic department or program by February 1 to be considered for the following fall. These non-need-based awards are made on the basis of academic merit, and include teaching/research assistantships and departmental fellowships. This application is also the first step in your being considered for much of the funding available from the Graduate College itself.
  3. Proactively discover the opportunities available through your department.
    • Grants for research undertaken by UI faculty are often funding opportunities for students. Find faculty whose research interests you and see if that can lead to an RA appointment.
    • Students must be nominated by their department for many of the awards made available by the Graduate College. Do not be afraid to promote yourself within your department. Carefully read through the descriptions of the aid for which you can be nominated to determine your eligibility, and ask that your name be put forward for the specific fellowships or awards for which you are eligible.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the aid you can apply for through the Graduate College.
  5. If a TA/GA appointment is not available through your department, it may still be possible to attain a GA elsewhere in the university. Look for openings on the Graduate Assistantship Bulletin Board regularly. All RA/TA/GA with quarter-time or greater appointments receive a tuition scholarship from the Graduate College.
  6. Seek external support. There are literally billions of dollars in external funding available from government agencies and private foundations. The following links are great places to start:
  1. The process of search and applying for external funding can be overwhelming. Start early and identify opportunities that match your needs and eligibility.
  2. Create a calendar of deadlines. Applying for a grant can be a long process which needs to be initiated well in advance of the deadline. For reference, here is a summary of the deadlines for Graduate College nominations and applications.
  3. Consult with advisors and professors. These academic professionals are unique resources whose experience obtaining grants and other forms of support could prove invaluable in your own search.
  4. Graduate Student Stipends and Benefits
  5. COGS contract

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