The Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act that was signed into law on October 7, 1998 allows for the inclusion of documented computer costs in the personal allowance for a student's cost of attendance. The following are examples of items that can be included in the cost of attendance increase:

  • computer and monitor
  • printer
  • surge protector
  • connecting cables
  • word processing software (Microsoft Office or equivalent)
  • antivirus software
  • PDA

The following are examples of items that cannot be included in the cost of attendance increase:

  • iPods
  • digital cameras
  • book bags and/or briefcases
  • connecting cables for non-covered hardware
  • spare batteries
  • fax machines
  • ink cartridges
  • camcorders
  • reams of paper

The student must initiate the process to include computer costs in the cost of attendance by completing the PDF iconCost Increase Due to Computer Purchase form. The inclusion of computer costs will be done on a case-by-case basis. In most cases, students will need to borrow an educational loan to pay for the computer. Costs will only be allowed if they are supported by either a purchase order or a purchase receipt (no estimates). The computer must have been already purchased and paid for. The maximum amount to be added to the cost of attendance is $1,500. The Office of Student Financial Aid allows a cost of attendance increase for one computer purchase as an undergraduate and/or one computer purchase as a graduate or professional student. For entering freshman, transfer, and first-year graduate students, the computer must be purchased after June 1 of the year the student begins enrollment at The University of Iowa. For students in their final semester at The University of Iowa, requests to include computer costs in the cost of attendance must be made before the Registrar's official last day to add/drop a class without a "W."