Coe college banner

Need-Based Financial Aid

Financial Aid Handbook

Need-based financial aid is available to students who are admitted to Coe College and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These assistance programs are based on the premise that students and parents should pay for college to the extent that they are able. Need- based financial aid is used to help make up the difference between the cost of college and what a family can afford.

When a FAFSA is filed, a standard formula is used to calculate the Student Aid Index(SAI).  The SAI is a number that will be used to determine a student's eligibility for certain types of federal aid.  The Office of Financial Aid compares the SAI to our costs. If the costs exceed the amount of the SAI, the student is eligible for need-based financial aid. A typical financial aid package will contain a combination of gift aid (scholarships and grants) and self-help aid (low-interest educational loans and employment). Information released to Coe College through the FAFSA application is kept confidential.

Application for all need-based financial aid programs must be made for each year the student is enrolled. The 2024-2025 FAFSA will be available in December and our priority deadline is March 1. The FAFSA is available online at

Need-Based Gift Aid

Gift aid does not have to be repaid by the student. Need-based gift aid is available through federal, state, institutional and outside sources.

Coe Grants

The value of a Coe Grant is influenced by a student’s financial need. The amount of the Coe Grant can vary from year to year, depending on changes in family income, housing and food charges, and the availability of funding.

Endowed Scholarships

Coe has many endowed scholarships that have been established by generous alumni and friends of the college. Income from these scholarships is used primarily to support Coe funded merit- and need-based aid. Students awarded Coe aid may be asked to complete an ‘Endowed Scholarship Application.’ The Office of Financial Aid will use information from this application to match students with endowed scholarships. Students designated to have their Coe aid funded by an endowed scholarship may be contacted by the Coe College Advancement Office with information about their donor. (Note: Endowed scholarships funds support Coe funded aid already granted to the student. Under no circumstances will the student receive additional funding beyond what has already been listed on the financial aid offer.)

Endowed scholarship funds are vital sources of assistance for many of our students. It may be requested that each student receiving funds from an endowed scholarship write a letter of thanks to the donor or the designated official. Donor information and letter suggestions will be provided by the Advancement Office.

Federal Grant Programs

Federal Pell Grants

The Federal Pell Grant program is designed to provide financial assistance to eligible undergraduates. Application is made by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These grants are generally available to families with modest incomes.

The Federal Pell Grant program provides grants to full- and part-time students and may be used at any eligible college or university that you attend as an undergraduate or until you receive your first baccalaureate degree. The award amount can change yearly and may vary according to the cost of the institution and the number of hours for which you are enrolled. A student may receive no more than the equivalent of 12 full-time term awards. You must be enrolled for three or more course credits per semester to receive the full award. Final Pell Grant amounts are subject to the federal budget process and could very well be reduced.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

The Federal SEOG program provides financial grant assistance to Pell Grant eligible undergraduates with exceptional financial need which, for the purposes of this program, is defined as those with the lowest SAI. Application is made by filing the FAFSA. The grants are made from funds the federal government provides to Coe College. We, in turn, select students of need who have applied for financial aid and meet awarding criteria established by the federal government. SEOG awards at Coe are based on funding availability, ranging from $100 to $1,500 per academic year. These funds are limited, and not all students who qualify can be assured that they will receive an SEOG grant.

State of Iowa Grant Programs

The following are grant programs administered by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC). Because each program is different, it is important to read and understand their specific eligibility requirements and application deadlines. Please be advised that if available state funds are insufficient to pay the full amount of a particular grant, the ICSAC has the authority to administratively reduce the award. Visit for more information about the programs listed below.

Iowa Tuition Grants (ITG)

This grant is available to qualified, undergraduate Iowa residents who are enrolled at least one-quarter time (one course credit) at a private college in Iowa. Application is made by filing the FAFSA by July 1 and listing Coe College.

A student may receive the ITG for no more than eight full-time terms. The ITG is based on financial need and a FAFSA filing deadline of July 1, for a student to be considered for this award. The amount of the 2023-24 grant is $7,500 for full-time study. Eligible students will have their scheduled amount of the grant, as authorized by the Commission, listed on their financial aid offer. Students must take at least three course credits per term to receive the full-time award. An ITG will not be finalized until it is confirmed that the State of Iowa residency requirements are met. This may require the completion of a residency form.

All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship

The All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship (AIOS) is a state-funded scholarship program for students who do well in high school and demonstrate financial need. First priority will be given to students whose applications are received on or before March 1, 2024. Applications received after the March 1 priority date will be considered for an award only if funding remains once all renewals and priority applicants have been awarded.

Generally, at Coe College, a student can receive the AIOS for eight terms. The maximum value is $5,198 for 2023-24. Priority for awards will be given to students who participated in certain federal TRIO programs and/or applicants who graduated from alternative high schools or alternative high school programs. The ICSAC will identify the student with the assistance of high school guidance counselors, TRIO Program administrators, the Iowa Department of Human Services, and the Iowa Department of Education.

All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant

The All Iowa Opportunity Foster Care Grant program provides grants to students who were previously adjudicated in the Iowa Foster Care System. This grant program, which can cover up to the full cost of attendance, may be used for a range of education or career training programs.

Education and Training Voucher Program

The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Grant is a federally-funded program to provide post-secondary education and training opportunities to students who are currently or who have been in foster care. Grant awards are sent directly to Coe College and can be used to pay for tuition/fees, housing/food, book/supplies, and personal/living expenses.

Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant

The Iowa National Guard Educational Assistance Grant (NGEAP) provides annual awards to Iowa National Guard members who attend eligible Iowa colleges and universities. Eligibility is determined by the Iowa Adjutant General. Applicants are required to complete both the Iowa Financial Aid Application and the FAFSA before July 1.  Spring-only applications should be submitted on or before December 1. 

Maximum individual awards cannot exceed the current average resident tuition rate at Iowa Regent Universities. The maximum award amount for the 23-24 academic year is $8,798.

GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship

The GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship provides awards of up to $2,800 per year to students who are part of the 2.0 GEAR UP Iowa state-wide cohort. The Scholarships are sent directly to the college and can be used to pay for tuition/fees, housing/food, books/supplies, and personal/living expenses while in college.

To receive Scholarship funds, each student must:

  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or home school diploma.
  • Be on the official Iowa College Aid 2.0 GEAR UP Iowa Cohort list
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen as defined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Be under the age of 22 upon first receipt of Scholarship funds.
  • Enroll in at least 3 semester hours (or trimester or quarter equivalent) in an eligible Title IV undergraduate program* of study at a Title IV** college/university in Iowa or out-of-state.
  • Complete a FAFSA each year.
  • Meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress policies of their college/university to receive the Scholarship in subsequent year.

State Grants

Many states have grant programs. While most are not portable (cannot be used outside of the state of residency) we strongly advise you to research any available grants from your State Higher Education Agency.

National Presbyterian Scholarships

National Presbyterian Scholarships are offered to members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who plan to attend one of the participating Presbyterian colleges including Coe. Students must file a separate application to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The student must complete the FAFSA to renew the scholarship.