Office of Financial Aid
1220 1st Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply for a merit-based scholarships at Coe?
All students who apply for admission to Coe will be automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. Students must live on campus to receive the full scholarship amount. Commuter students should contact the Office of Admission with questions.
What scholarships may be available for me?
Are there Presbyterian scholarships available to attend Coe?
Yes! Coe is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and participates in the National Presbyterian College Scholarship.
Does Coe offer athletic scholarships?
No. The Kohawks participate in NCAA Division III athletics, therefore we cannot offer scholarships based on athletic ability. However, many of our student-athletes earn scholarships and grants through merit and need-based aid, which are not based on athletic ability.
What is the difference between need-based aid and merit-based scholarships?
Need-based aid is awarded to admitted students based purely on the family's financial strength. Merit-based scholarships are solely based on a student's specific talents or accomplishments.
If I receive outside scholarships, will that reduce the amount of aid I get from Coe?
No, outside scholarships can only help you pay for college at Coe. Our institutional policy is that we do not reduce our need-based gift aid when you receive an outside scholarship unless all self-help aid (work-study and loans) has already been removed from your financial aid award package, which rarely occurs.
Federal regulations do require that all schools consider outside scholarships when determining your eligibility for need-based work-study and loans. Consequently, we may need to reduce need-based student work-study or loans when you receive outside scholarships. However, if you do need more financial aid to pay for school, need-based loan may be replaced by a non-need-based loan.
Sometimes outside scholarships are simply added to your financial aid package and sometimes work-study and loans are reduced (ex. you have to work less or borrow less to pay for college). No matter what, you benefit from receiving outside scholarships that do not have to be repaid.
You should provide the Office of Financial Aid with information about outside scholarships you will be receiving as soon as possible. A convenient way to do this is by completing the Financial Aid Adjustment Form and returning it to our office.
Does Coe have sibling or legacy scholarships?
Yes. Coe's Sibling Scholarship is valued at $500 per year. Students whose parents or grandparents graduated from Coe will receive the Legacy Scholarship valued at $1,000 per year.
How do I apply for need-based financial aid at Coe?
To apply for need-based aid, incoming students should complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to Coe after January 1.
What is Coe's FAFSA code?
Coe's federal code number for the FAFSA application is 001854.
When should I apply for financial aid?
March 1 is Coe's Priority Deadline for filing the FAFSA. In order to receive a timely award with maximum financial aid eligibility you should file by this deadline. Students who wait until after the priority deadline may run the risk of not receiving the maximum award they otherwise may have been eligible to receive.
Do I have to wait to file my FAFSA until our federal tax returns are completed?
We strongly encourage you to file your FAFSA using completed tax returns. If you are not able to complete your tax returns in time to meet Coe's March 1 Priority Deadline you may provide estimated tax information. However, you must correct the estimated tax information as soon as your returns are completed. Significant changes can result in substantial revisions to your financial aid award.
Can I get a financial aid award before I apply?
Official financial aid awards are only prepared for students that have applied and been admitted to Coe.
Is there a way to get an idea of how much financial aid my family would qualify for before I apply?
Yes, you can use our Net Price Calculator at any time to get an estimate of your scholarship eligibility and net cost. This is an approximation, but it will provide insight as to what financial assistance your family might expect from Coe.
Are there jobs on campus for students who do not qualify for aid?
Yes. Work study is primarily a "need-based" financial aid program. Students who do not qualify for this program will not have the option to work on-campus. There are a limited number of jobs available that are not considered work-study positions, such as admission assistants, resident assistants, tutors and student callers.
How will I know if I am eligible for College Work Study?
Need-based work study is listed on your financial aid award letter. The Office of Financial Aid will help you find an appropriate on or off campus job.
What if my financial situation changes during the year?
If your family's financial circumstances have changed since you filed your FAFSA or you have a special circumstance that you were not able to report on your FAFSA, the Office of Financial Aid may be able to take the changes into consideration. Our Special Circumstance page offers a summary of situations that our office may be able to consider. If you think you qualify or are unsure, please contact the Office of Financial Aid to determine if these changes will result in an increase of your financial aid eligibility.
What happens to my financial aid award if I study overseas or off-campus?
If you study on a Coe Exchange Program, your financial aid remains the same. All other off-campus study programs are subject to a reduction of your Coe scholarships and grants. ACM and NTE recipients are eligible to use their awards for Coe Exchange Programs but not for off-campus study programs that are not administered by Coe. Federal and state financial aid will typically not be reduced for any off-campus study program.
If I don't qualify for any scholarships, are there other ways to help pay for school?
Coe strongly encourages students to apply for outside sources of aid, especially through your local community, high school, church and community organizations. Oftentimes, parents' employers offer scholarships for children of employees.
What if my parents are divorced?
As required by the FAFSA, Coe takes into consideration the income and assets of the "custodial" parent when creating an aid award. If your parents are divorced, answer all FAFSA questions for the parent you lived with most during the last 12 months. If your custodial parent is married, your step-parent's information must be provided on the FAFSA for all questions referring to "parents." The above definition of parent is defined in federal regulation. It is not appropriate to file a FAFSA with the parent simply because they claim you on their tax return or because they have a lower income if you did not primarily live with them during the last 12 months.
When will I receive my financial aid award?
If a student has been accepted to Coe and has listed Coe on their FAFSA by the March 1 Priority Deadline, a financial aid award will be sent to you by mid-March or within two weeks after Coe receives the results of your processed FAFSA. An award letter cannot be created until you are admitted to Coe and have listed Coe on your FAFSA.
Is it worth my time to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if I don't think I will qualify for need-based aid?
We strongly encourage all students to file the FAFSA. There is no automatic income level cutoff for financial aid eligibility. Many factors are taken into consideration when determining a student's need for financial assistance. Remember that Coe awards institutional grants to students. While you may not qualify for federal need-based aid, you may qualify for institutional grant funds. In addition, every student that files the FAFSA qualifies for a federal student loan.
Besides the Stafford Loan, are there other alternative loans that can be pursued?
Yes, Parent Plus loans are available for parents. Outside loans can be acquired under the student's name provided that you have a credit-worthy co-signer.
My parents cannot or do not support me financially. Does this mean I am an independent student?
Probably not. If your parents simply can't afford to help you, those circumstances will be taken into consideration. For the purpose of financial aid, however, Congress has defined an "independent student" as someone who:
- is or will be 24 years old by January 1 of the academic year.
- at any time since turning age 13, was an orphan, ward of the court or in foster care.
- is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces or serving on active duty at the time of application.
- is a graduate or professional student.
- is married.
- has legal dependents (not a spouse) for whom he or she provides more than 50% of the financial support.
- is, according to your state of legal residence, an emancipated minor.
- is, according to your state of legal residence, or were in legal guardianship.
- at any time on or after July 1, 2013 determined to be an unaccompanied minor who was homeless.
Congress believes that a parent's unwillingness to provide support does not, by itself, automatically make you "independent." Unless you meet one of these conditions, it is likely that your parent(s) will need to provide information on your FAFSA. For unusual circumstances, please contact our office.
What is verification?
Your FAFSA may be selected for "verification." Being selected for verification does not mean that you have done anything wrong. The federal FAFSA processor randomly selects a number of applications to be "verified" each year. It is the process by which our office confirms the accuracy of the data you reported on your FAFSA. If you are selected, our office will contact you regarding the specific documents you must provide and requirements you must meet in order to complete verification.
While we will offer you an estimated financial aid award before the verification process is completed, the aid we offered you is not considered final and will not be applied to your student account until we have confirmed the accuracy of your data. In the event that we are required to make corrections to your data that results in a revision of your financial aid, you will receive a revised financial aid award letter.
Will I be required to submit my tax returns?
You will most likely not be required to submit your tax returns. Please do not send your tax returns to the Coe Office of Financial Aid or the federal processor. If we are required to verify your income information we will ask you to log back into your FAFSA and retrieve the information directly from the IRS if possible. If for some reason you cannot retrieve your tax information online or prefer not to, you will be required to obtain a tax transcript from the Internal Revenue Service. If we need additional information from you we will send a written request to you at your permanent home address as provided on your application for admission.
Does Coe charge out-of-state tuition?
No, tuition is the same for in and out-of-state students.
How much are books on average per year?
On average, books cost $300-$500 per semester.
Will the college bill me for tuition and fees (and room and meals, if applicable)?
Yes. If you are enrolling in the fall you will receive your first billing statement during the summer. The billing statement is sent to the student at their permanent home address. The student can request a duplicate billing statement to be sent to an alternative address. An eBill is also always available to the student on their my.coe.edu account. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year Coe will be primarily migrating to eBills. Students will have the option to set-up an account for their parent(s) allowing them access to information (as specified by the student) including billing statements.
What types of payment plans does the college offer?
There are two plans available to help meet your needs. Payment can be made by semester (due in August and January) or over 10 months, beginning in August.
Can credit cards be used to pay tuition and fees due to Coe?
Yes. Coe accepts MasterCard and Discover credit cards. There is a 2.5% fee to use a credit card. You can also use ACH (automated clearing house) for a direct withdrawal from your checking or savings account. There is no fee for ACH transactions, cash or checks.
How much is the enrollment deposit and when is it due?
A non-refundable $250 deposit is due by May 1, the National Candidate Reply date. Preferential housing is based off of deposit date.