Office of Financial Aid
1220 1st Avenue NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
Financial Aid Frequently Asked Questions
General Financial questions
Does out-of-state tuition apply?
No, because we are a private institution. Therefore, tuition is the same for out-of-state students as in-state.
How much are books on average per year?
On average, books cost $600-1,000 per year.
Will the college bill me for tuition and fees and when are fees due?
Yes. Depending on your payment plan, a bill will be sent to your residence. Payment plans consist of monthly over 10 months, semesters, or a one-time payment in the fall.
What types of payment plans does the college offer?
There are three plans available to help meet family's needs. Payment can be received monthly over 10 months, by semester, or in a one-time payment in the Fall.
Will the college take a credit card?
Yes. The College is prepared to accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit cards.
How much is the deposit and when is it due?
A $250 deposit is due by May 1. Preferential housing is based off of deposit date.
When should I apply for financial aid?
In general, the sooner the better. Coe has a priority deadline of March 1. If you file your free application for federal student aid (FAFSA) by March 1, our office will have plenty of time to prepare an award for you with enough time for you to make an educated college decision. If you do not file your FAFSA by March 1, you will still be fully considered for all forms of need-based financial aid. However, students who wait until after the priority deadline may run the risk of not receiving the maximum award they may otherwise be eligible for.
Do I have to wait to file my FAFSA until our federal tax returns are completed?
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 the returns are completed.
What is the difference between need-based aid and merit scholarships?
Need-based aid is awarded to admitted students based purely on the family's financial status without acknowledgement of the student's ability. Merit scholarships are solely based on a student's specific talents or accomplishments (i.e. academic, departmental, or community involvement). These scholarships are awarded at time of admittance and have no basis on the family's ability to fund the college experience.
How do I apply for a merit-based Coe Scholarship?
Merit-based scholarships are awarded at time of acceptance to eligible students.
What scholarship may be available for my situation?
Merit-based scholarships are awarded to eligible students at the time of admission. Scholars Weekend gives all students awarded a Dean's, Presidential or Trustee Scholarship the opportunity to come to campus to compete for an Academic Distinction Scholarship. Students awarded the Daniel Coe Scholarship are invited to campus for Scholars Weekend to interview for the Crimson and Gold Legacy Scholarship. All admitted students are eligible to audition for theatre and music scholarships. Filing the FAFSA will make any federal need-based grants, work study or loans also available to students who qualify.
Are there any Presbyterian scholarships available to attend Coe?
Coe will honor Presbyterian scholarships.
Does Coe offer any athletic scholarships?
No. The Kohawks play in the NCAA Division III, which prevents us from offering any scholarships based on athletic ability. However, most of our athletes earn scholarships and grants through merit-based aid and need-based aid which are not based on athletic ability.
If I receive outside scholarships, won't that just reduce the amount of aid I get from Coe?
No! Outside scholarships can only help your situation, not hurt it. Coe's institutional policy is that we do not reduce our need-based gift aid when you receive an outside scholarship unless all self-help (work and loan) has already been removed from your package, which rarely occurs. Your merit scholarship will never be reduced due to outside scholarships.
Federal regulations do require that we consider outside scholarships when we determine your eligibility for need-based work and loans. Consequently, we may need to reduce need-based student work or loans when you receive outside scholarships. However, if you do need more money to pay for school, the need based loan may be replaced by a non-need-based loan. The bottom line is sometimes outside scholarships are just "added to the package" and sometimes work and loans are reduced (i.e. you have to work or borrow less to pay for college). No matter what, you are still better off receiving outside scholarships.
Does Coe have sibling or legacy scholarships?
Yes. Coe has sibling scholarship in the amount of $500. Students whose parents or grandparents graduated from Coe will receive a $1,000 legacy scholarship.
Federal Aid Questions
How do I apply for need-based aid at Coe?
To apply for need-based aid, incoming students need to complete and submit a FAFSA to Coe after January 1.
What is Coe's FAFSA code numbers?
Coe's federal code number for the FAFSA application is 001854.
Can I get an aid award before I apply?
No. Aid awards are only prepared for students that have already applied and been accepted to Coe. However, you can begin the aid award process before you are officially accepted. Thus, we will already have all of your information once a decision is reached.
Is there a way to get an idea of how much aid my family would qualify for before I apply?
Yes, your family can submit an EZ Estimator form. This is just an approximation, but it will give an insight on what your family could expect from Coe.
Is there student work for students who do not qualify for aid?
Work Study is a financial aid program. Students who receive aid in the form of work are guaranteed a job on-campus. 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 to students that are not considered work study positions, such as tour guides, RAs, and telecounseling….
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 special circumstance that you were not able to report on your FAFSA, you or your parent should contact the financial aid office 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?
If you study on a Coe Exchange Program, your financial aid will go along with you. All other off-campus study programs, such as ACM, are subject to a reduction of your Coe scholarships and grants. Federal and state financial aid will typically not be reduced for any study abroad 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. View our financial aid site for resources.
Can transfer students receive financial aid?
Yes. Transfer students must complete a FAFSA to be eligible for financial aid.
What if my parents are divorced?
Coe only looks at the custodial parent when creating an aid award. If your parents are divorced, answer all FAFSA questions pertaining to your parent for the parent you lived with most during the last 12 months. This person is referred to as the custodial parent. If your custodial parent has married or remarried, your step-parent's information must be provided on the FAFSA for all questions referring to “parents”.
When will I receive my financial aid award?
If a student has been accepted to Coe and has listed Coe on their FAFSA, a financial aid award will arrive within two weeks after Coe receive the results of the processed FAFSA. If either criterion is not met, an award letter will not be created until both are complete.
When will I receive a bill for tuition and fees?
You will receive your first bill in the middle of July. If you pay by semester, you will have to submit payment, or let us know that you applied for a loan to cover the balance, by August 5th. Your first bill will include a payment plan option and, if you choose to enroll in the payment plan, you will be expected to make 10 monthly payments at the 5th of each month from August through May.
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?
Short answer is yes. We strongly encourage all students to file a 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 does award institutional grants to students and, 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 and outside loans can be acquired under the student's name.
My parents can't (or don't) support me. Does this mean I am an independent student?
Not necessarily. If your parents simply can't afford to help you, then you may be eligible for substantial financial aid. 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
- is or was an orphan or ward of the court until reaching the age of 18
- is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces
- is a graduate or professional student
- is married
- has legal dependents (not a spouse) for whom s/he provides more than 50% of the financial support
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 applications. For extreme circumstances, please contact our office.
Will I need to submit my tax forms?
You are only required to submit your tax returns if the federal processor or Coe selects your FAFSA for verification.
What is verification?
Verification is the process by which our office confirms the accuracy of the data you reported on your FAFSA. The FAFSA processor selects the applicants for which data submitted must be verified. If you are selected, you will be required to submit a verification worksheet and your federal tax returns to our office. You will send you an information request letter along with the verification worksheet.
While we will offer you an estimated financial aid award before the verification process is completed, the aid we offered you will not be applied to your 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 aid, you will receive a revised financial aid award letter.