Coe College announces Iowa Ready initiative

Regent-Price-Match-Guarantee-21,060-or-below.jpgAmid a battery of starts and stops by the U.S. Department of Education’s rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Coe College officials are announcing the Iowa Ready initiative to provide immediate help to Iowa students entering college for the first time in the fall of 2024. 

The Iowa Ready initiative is driven by additional scholarships and grants for first-time college students from Iowa to ensure a direct cost equal to or less than the 2023-24 average direct cost of Iowa’s three regent institutions — $21,060 — which includes tuition, fees, housing and meal plan. Many students will see an out-of-pocket cost less than the regent average of $21,060 as additional scholarships, grants, work-study and loans are applied.

With FAFSA filing rates down more than 30% in the state compared to last year at this time, it’s clear Iowa families are unable to pursue their college choice due to the lack of information associated with the delayed FAFSA rollout and the subsequent setbacks caused by the implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act. In addition, changes in FAFSA calculations have had a challenging impact on aid eligibility for farmers and small business owners.

“In my 30 years in higher education, this is one of the most significant barriers I’ve seen for Iowa families to make a college decision. All first-time college students need to understand the financial aid they will receive in order to make a decision, and I’m pleased Iowa Ready will accomplish that,” said Director of Financial Aid Barb Hoffman. “Knowing your cost to attend Coe will be $21,060 or less is valuable information because now it’s clear you have college options.”

Half of Coe's student body hails from Iowa, and in recent years, an even higher percentage have stayed in Iowa post-graduation. The college has continually enrolled historically large incoming classes for the last decade, and Coe sees its role in workforce development as vital to the state’s economy.

“The delays in the FAFSA pipeline may produce fewer college-going students and, in turn, a smaller college-educated workforce four years from now,” said Vice President for Advancement Chantel Olufsen, who oversees Coe’s C3: Creativity, Careers, Community center. Coe is ranked #12 in the nation by The Princeton Review private college rankings for providing meaningful internships to its students before graduation. “This connects students early on to our local businesses. We want to ensure our local industry will be making those quality connections to their future employees.”

Coe is the only college or university in Iowa to earn national ranks for accessible professors, career services and internships. The ties Coe creates for students in and around the Cedar Rapids area increases their likelihood of remaining in Iowa following graduation to live and work. The Iowa Ready scholarships and grants will not only ensure eligible students’ direct costs will be equal to or less than the regents’ direct costs, but also enable access to these robust professional advantages.

This announcement comes during National FAFSA Week of Action (April 15-19). The weeklong campaign aims to increase FAFSA submissions nationally. “As a parent, an Iowan and a higher education professional, I feel deeply the frustration and uneasiness surrounding this situation. It is exceptionally stressful and challenging for students who have never gone through the college search and financial aid process. Everyone should still file the FAFSA, but Iowa Ready jumpstarts the decision-making process,” said Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & Institutional Effectiveness Julie Staker ’93. 

In order to be eligible for the Iowa Ready initiative, one must be a current Iowa resident attending college for the first time in the fall of 2024. Students should apply for admission to be considered. Full eligibility criteria can be found at and includes being admitted unconditionally, enrolling full-time, visiting campus and living on campus for the 2024-2025 academic year. Based on FAFSA results, students may be eligible for scholarships, grants, work-study or loans, in addition to the financial support provided by the Iowa Ready initiative.

"Iowa is our home, and we are proud to serve the students and families of our state. Like hard-working Iowans, we are dedicated to ensuring Kohawks have the best in education, resources and opportunities, regardless of FAFSA processing timelines. Those delays should not inhibit their ability to have options,” said President David Hayes ’93. “The values farmers and small business owners possess – like hard work and ingenuity – are the same values we instill at Coe. It’s an honor to recognize them with meaningful assistance and contribute to building a strong Iowa workforce.”

The Iowa Ready initiative will be available to eligible incoming students through June 1, 2024. The maximum cost eligible new students will pay to attend Coe is $21,060. Many students will see an out-of-pocket cost less than the regent 2023-24 average of $21,060 as additional scholarships, grants, work-study and loans are applied.

Visit for full details. Prospective students may also contact the Office of Admission at 319-399-8500 or

Loading Conversation