To apply for financial aid, students must follow the application procedures provided in our Step-By-Step Process web page. A student must be admitted to a University of Iowa (UI) degree program and enrolled at least half-time at the UI in order to be eligible for federal financial aid. Half-time status for the fall or spring semester is six hours for an undergraduate student and five hours for a graduate student. For the winter or summer session, half-time status is three hours for both undergraduate and graduate students.

When verifying the number of hours for which a student is registered to determine financial aid eligibility, Guided Independent Study (GIS) courses are treated the same as on-campus courses.

Students enrolled in GIS courses must complete the Attendance Quiz by the tenth day of each semester in order to establish aid eligibility through academic activityIf the Attendance Quiz is not completed for each GIS course, financial aid may be reduced or cancelled.

Although GIS students may be allowed two semesters to complete GIS courses, those students receiving financial aid for GIS courses are expected to complete their GIS courses in one semester.

Students unable to complete their GIS courses in one semester may be granted an Incomplete during the semester for which they paid tuition. An Incomplete will count as attempted hours, but will not count as completed hours until a grade, passing or failing, is assigned. An Incomplete may negatively affect a student's pace and aid eligibility.  Please review the University of Iowa Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for details.

At the end of each semester, all federal financial aid recipients who receive no passing grades (any combination of F, I, U, N, or W) will be reviewed to determine if the non-passing grade was earned while attending class or was due to no longer attending class. Incompletes for GIS courses are reviewed in the same way even if the student plans to complete the work in two semesters. Therefore, participation in the GIS course through the end of the semester is critical to verify academic activity.  If academic activity through the 60% point of the semester cannot be verified in any courses, financial aid will be adjusted. Review the University of Iowa unofficial withdrawal policy for details.