Iowa Student Loans

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With a population of just over 3 million, Iowa is only the 30th largest state in the country in terms of population. Yet the Hawkeye State, once known primarily for its agricultural production, is home to some of the finest public, private, and religious educational institutions in the U.S. The state boasts three renowned public universities — the University of Iowa, Iowa State, and the University of Northern Iowa — as well as numerous baccalaureate colleges, master’s colleges, and specialized career institutes. Iowa also offers two law schools and two medical schools.

Iowa’s culture still reflects the state’s midwestern heritage, with its emphasis on hard work, family life, and stability. With its low crime rate and relatively small population, Iowa is known as one of the safest states in the nation. Yet communities like the capital city of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Ames make the state a competitor in the fields of technology, scientific research, and the arts. If you’re considering a place to advance your education, Iowa combines the security of America’s Heartland with the excitement and diversity of some of the country’s top educational institutions.

Federal Student Aid

As you develop a plan for financing your education, remember that federal student loans are often the most affordable way to borrow money. The U.S. Department of Education issues loans at low fixed interest rates, with manageable repayment plans to help you repay your loans on time. Federal loans can often be consolidated, or combined into a single sum, to streamline the process of paying them off.

There are two major types of federal student loans: Direct Loans and Perkins Loans. You can apply for both types of loans by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Perkins Loans, which are issued through post-secondary institutions using federal funds, are based on strong financial need and highly competitive.

Direct Loans, the most common type of federal loan, fall into four different categories:

In addition to student loans, the U.S. Department of Education issues grants and scholarships to qualifying students. Unlike loans, these awards do not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants, Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are the most popular forms of “free” federal aid.

Work-study jobs give you the opportunity to learn more about your chosen field while you earn money for academic costs or living expenses. Many public and private post-secondary schools offer work-study programs, which allow students to earn money for employment at a job related to their field of study. Like grants and scholarships, work-study funds do not have to be repaid.

Iowa Grants and Scholarships

cu student loansWhether you dream of attending a private college, a state university, a vocational school, or a professional program in Iowa, there are numerous grants and scholarships to help you reach your goals. Many of these programs are open to state residents only, so it’s important to review the eligibility requirements before you apply. Here are a few of the most popular programs:

There are many other scholarship and grant programs available to students in the Hawkeye State. The more “free” financial aid you can put together to cover your expenses, the less debt you’ll have when you graduate from college and start your career.

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