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Financial Aid & Scholarships FAQ

Find answers to the most frequently asked financial aid questions.
We’re sure you have a lot of questions about financial assistance, scholarships and loans. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we get at Iona.
  • How do I apply for Financial Aid?

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the financial aid form required to apply for need-based institutional aid, federal and state grants, work-study, and student and parent loans.  You must complete your FAFSA online after obtaining a Federal Student Aid Identification code (FSAID) for the student and parent (if applicable) using Iona’s School Code of 002737.
    Undergraduate student FAFSA forms are completed with the parent (in the case of dependent undergraduate students) and the student federal tax information returns from the previous year. Unless the student is 24 years old he is considered dependent for the purposes of the FAFSA, in which case the student and spouse (if applicable) data is used. Graduate students are considered independent of their parents and should complete the FAFSA using student and spouse (if applicable) income and asset information from the prior tax year.

  • I am an entering student. Is there a checklist I can follow to ensure that I am considered for all types of available aid?


    Getting Started

    • Obtain Federal Student Aid Identification credentials (FSA ID) from the U.S. Department of Education at If you are a dependent student, one parent will also need an FSA ID.
    • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at as soon as possible on or after October 1, 2018. When completing the 2019‐2020 FAFSA you will be using income data from calendar year 2017; you should use the FAFSA IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to populate the income data from the IRS. The priority filing deadline for freshmen students entering in Fall 2019 is April 15, 2019. The priority filing deadline for new freshmen entering in Spring 2020 is November 1, 2019. Iona’s FAFSA school code is 002737.
    • New York State residents should complete the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application at Our TAP school code is 0325.
    • Promptly complete and submit all requested additional information and documentation.

    Understanding Your Financial Assistance Plan

    After you have been admitted and have submitted your FAFSA and required documents, you will receive a Financial Aid Award letter and your log in credentials to Iona’s student information system, Peoplesoft. Review the financial aid award letter and follow all next steps as outlined on the award letter.

    The award details your eligibility for the different types of financial aid: scholarships and grants (gift awards), student loans (which must be repaid) and work study, if applicable. The following types of financial aid require the completion of additional documents:

    • Federal Direct Student Loan borrowers must complete entrance counseling and a master promissory note (MPN) at These forms should be completed after May 1, 2019.
    • Review your TAP award at to make sure it has our TAP school code: 0325.
    • Explore the various payment options that are available, such as payment plans and loans.

    After You Register

    Iona College Student Financial Services does not mail paper bills. All tuition bills are generated electronically (eBill).

    • To access your eBill and to make a payment online, please log into your account. For assistance with logging onto your account, please contact the Help Desk at (914) 633-2635. Once logged on select PeopleSoft and follow this path: Self Service > Campus Finances > Bill+Payment
    • Payment, or satisfactory payment arrangement, for the fall semester must be in place by August 1. Timely payment is important to avoid late fees to your student account. Your balance due must be satisfied on or before the due date to ensure your fall semester begins smoothly, and, if you are a resident student, your housing is not impacted.
    • If there is an outstanding balance, explore your options such as Iona payment plans, Parent PLUS loans and/or alternative loans.

    Questions? Please browse for more information or contact us at 914.633.2497, or

  • What types of aid are available and which applications are necessary?

    Please use the chart below to determine available aid sources and application requirements.
    Program Undergraduate
    U.S. Citizens/
    Eligible Noncitizens
    Undergraduate International
    U.S. Citizens/ Eligible
    Need-based institutional scholarships FAFSA,
    Transfer students are not eligible
    Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible
    Merit-based institutional scholarships No application necessary No application necessary No application necessary No application necessary
    Federal grants (Pell, SEOG) FAFSA Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible
    Federal student loans FAFSA Not eligible FAFSA Not eligible
    Federal Parent PLUS Loans (for parents of dependent undergraduates) FAFSA Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible
    Federal Graduate PLUS Loans Not eligible Not eligible FAFSA Not eligible
    New York State Tuition Assistance Program FAFSA and TAP application Not eligible Not eligible Not eligible
    External educational loans and scholarships Varies by program Varies by program Varies by program Varies by program

  • How is my eligibility for financial assistance determined?

    All admitted students are automatically considered for merit awards during the admissions process. When we receive your FAFSA information, the information is reviewed and a determination of your eligibility for federal, state and institutional assistance is made. To determine your financial eligibility, your total expected family contribution (EFC) as computed using the formula established by the Department of Education (DOE), is deducted from your educational expense budget. The difference is your “calculated need” for financial assistance. A portion of “calculated need” is covered by financial assistance (scholarships, grants, loans, work-study). You should consider other options, such as our interest-free Monthly Payment Plan and private educational loans, to meet any remaining need.
  • What is the family contribution?

    Based on the information you provided on the FAFSA, and calculated in accordance with federal guidelines, the “Expected Family Contribution” (EFC) is the minimum amount that parents and students are expected to contribute toward the cost of education. Should you have any questions regarding this complex calculation, please contact a Student Financial Services counselor or use the online Expected Family Contribution (EFC) Calculator.
  • What is the income threshold for a family before financial aid is not offered?

    There is no income threshold for student aid eligibility. All of the questions on the FAFSA are used to determine the Expected Family Contribution which results in the financial aid award developed by the school. A family may have too much income to be awarded a Pell Grant, but this does not mean that they will not be eligible for other types of financial aid. At a minimum, application for Federal Student Aid, via the FAFSA, will result in eligibility in the Federal Direct Student Loan Program.
  • How do I make changes or corrections to my Student Aid Report (SAR)?

    View your SAR record and make changes on the FAFSA website.
  • My parents don't support me and won't contribute to my education, so why am I still considered a "dependent" student?

    It's a federal definition.
    There are basic requirements a student must meet to be considered an independent student (see The Guide to Federal Student Aid for criteria).  If you do not meet these requirements but you still believe you are truly independent of your parents, you may appeal for a "dependency override" with our office.  The example below describes the conditions of an acceptable override, but if your situation is different please bring it to our attention for review.
    To demonstrate the "involuntary dissolution" of your family you must present:
    • A letter written by you which states that you do not and cannot have contact with your parents and also explains what precipitated the dissolution of the family.
    • A letter from a third party (someone not related to you) stating that you do not and cannot have contact with your parents. The letter must be written by someone:
    • who is professional (preferably your social worker or case worker, a member of the clergy, or a lawyer who has been represented you in legal proceedings), and;
    • who has personal, first-hand knowledge of your familial situation.
    • A copy of your completed FAFSA, which must be submitted as if you were an independent student.
    If you can provide the appropriate documentation, a dependency override will be considered for you and your financial aid award may be changed based upon an independent status.  (Note that just because a student is considered "independent" does not necessarily mean a student's aid will increase.) 
  • What financing options are available to my family to meet our family responsibility?

    In addition to family savings that you have earmarked for this educational investment, students and parents may apply for various loans or financing options such as our interest-free Monthly Payment Plan, PLUS and private educational loans. Home equity loans or lines of credit may also provide an advantageous source of funding. Parents need to consult with their employers, unions, fraternal lodges and religious organizations to inquire if their sons or daughters are eligible for a private scholarship. Use our links to other useful sites for access to additional, reputable, free private scholarship search engines.
  • I used the Net Price Calculator (NPC) and received an estimated financial aid package. Am I guaranteed to receive the awards listed on the NPC estimate?

    The Net Price Calculator gives estimates of your cost of attendance and net price. These estimates do not represent a final determination or actual award of financial assistance or the final net price. Any estimates calculated will not be guaranteed by the Secretary of Education, the state or Iona College. Iona College has the final authority on determining the financial aid award. While all care has been taken to produce estimates that are accurate based on the information provided to us by the student or user, cost of attendance and financial aid availability is subject to change without notice. Any future changes made by the federal government, state agencies or institution could result in a different award. Also, any outside/private scholarship or financial assistance may reduce your aid award. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to determine their eligibility for, and receive an actual financial aid award that includes Iona-funded scholarships and grants, federal grant, loan, and work-study assistance. For information on applying for federal student aid, go to
  • What are my Rights and Responsibilities with regard to Student Financial Services matters? What are the terms and conditions of my financial aid awards?

  • How am I notified of my eligibility for financial assistance?

    Beginning in mid-December, upon your acceptance to Iona and receipt of the processed FAFSA information, the College will determine your eligibility under the various financial assistance programs. A financial aid award letter will be mailed to you approximately two weeks after you receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). Initial awards for those with complete applications will be mailed beginning in mid-December.
    Further instructions and requests for additional documentation (such as tax return transcripts) will be included in the award letter or through additional letters and emails. Your financial aid award is also available online through our student information system, Peoplesoft.  Peoplesoft login credentials and instructions are included with your award letter. Instructions on how to view and accept your awards can be found here.
    Continuing students will receive an email notification to their Iona-provided email address advising that their awards are ready to be viewed in PeopleSoft.
  • Do I have to apply for financial assistance every year?

    Yes. To be eligible for federal, state, and College need-based awards, you must reapply every year. Recipients of academic scholarships are also encouraged to file every year to maximize your eligibility for all sources of financial aid.
  • Should I wait until our tax returns are completed before I fill out my FAFSA?

    No. Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, the start date will move from January 1 to October 1 of the previous year. This means that students who complete the 2019–20 FAFSA will be able to submit the form anytime between October 1, 2018 and June 30, 2020.
    Beginning with the 2017–18 FAFSA, students will report income information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2019–20 FAFSA, students (and parents, as appropriate) will report their 2017 income information, rather than their 2018 income information. Follow these simple steps to transfer your income tax data into your FAFSA.
  • What if my financial assistance package does not cover all of my need?

    You and your parents may wish to consider the various loan and/or other financing options outlined in this section.
  • Will my financial aid also cover all of my living expenses while I am enrolled?

    The total amount of tuition-related aid a student receives cannot exceed the total cost of tuition. This tuition-related aid includes, but is not limited to, alumni grants, sibling awards, athletic scholarships, New York State Tuition Assistance Program awards, and external scholarships. The Cost of Attendance budget includes an allowance for living expenses and other sources of aid, such as PLUS Loans can be used to meet these expenses.
  • What do I do if my family's financial circumstances change after I receive my financial aid award?

    We understand the needs of families when a parent’s employment status has changed or when a family may not be receiving the same benefits as they did in the prior year. You should contact our office to determine if you qualify for an adjustment to your original application for financial aid. This process requires families to submit in writing a specific explanation of their situation and provide documentation of the reduction to their income.
  • Will my financial aid be renewed after freshman year?

    Yes. All need-based financial aid and some scholarships are renewable; however, you must reapply for financial aid each year! Renewal information and instructions are emailed to all currently enrolled students in January for aid for the following year.
    The composition of your aid "package" may vary depending on the funds available in individual aid programs. However, you are likely to receive similar financial aid awards throughout your undergraduate education IF the following remain true:

    • Your family's financial situation remains similar. (Dramatic changes in income and marital status and changes in the number of family members in college will affect your Expected Family Contribution and, therefore, your eligibility for financial aid eligibility.) Increases in EFC could result in changes to federal, state, and Iona College grants and need based awards.
    • The federal and state funding of financial aid programs remains similar.
    • You submit the appropriate application materials by the required deadlines.
    • You continue to meet the enrollment level and Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The Office of Student Financial Services monitors enrollment levels (the number of credit hours you take) during each term. If you drop courses and fall below the minimum credit hour requirements, you may be required to repay all or part of the aid you received.
    • You report accurate information (income, assets, etc.) on your financial aid application(s).
  • Will I get the same financial aid award in future years?

    If your family circumstances remain relatively constant while at Iona and as long as you file your FAFSA by our preferred filing deadline (April 15), you can expect that your financial aid should be approximately the same amount. However, undergraduate Federal Direct loan limits will change depending on your grade level and your dependency status. Graduate loan limits are constant throughout your program of study.
    You continue to meet the enrollment level and Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements. The Office of Student Financial Services monitors enrollment levels (the number of credit hours you take) during each term. If you drop courses and fall below the minimum credit hour requirements, you may be required to repay all or part of the aid you received.
    You report accurate information (income, assets, etc.) on your financial aid application(s).
  • What are the academic requirements to receive federal and state financial aid?

    Federal regulations require that students meet specific standards of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to be eligible to receive federal financial assistance. The assessment of satisfactory academic progress is made once a year for federal aid eligibility.
    » View information detailing minimum expected standards for SAP
  • What is the federal verification process?

    The federal verification process is a system used by the federal government to support and document the information provided on the FAFSA. If you are selected for verification, you will be asked to complete and submit a Verification Worksheet and all W-2 forms received for the tax year. In addition, you may be asked to submit a copy of your and/or your parents’ federal tax return transcript if you/your parents have not used the IRS Data Retrieval tool. You may be asked to supply further information to substantiate the information you entered on your FAFSA. Your financial assistance plan may be subject to adjustment at the conclusion of the verification process.
    » View verification worksheets.
  • How do I request an IRS Tax Return Transcript?

    You may obtain a Tax Transcript from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • Whose income do I use if my parents are divorced or separated?

    You are required to report the income of the parent you lived with for the majority of the time over the last 12 months (custodial parent). Child support from the other parent, together with the income and assets of the parent with whom you live, will be used in the financial need determination. If your custodial parent is remarried, your step-parents’ income and assets must also be reported. Graduate students are not required to provide parent data.
  • I have been awarded work-study as part of my financial aid package. How do I obtain a job?

    Students who are eligible for Federal Work-Study will be able to apply for a job in early September. Read More »
  • Do I have to work if I am awarded work-study as part of my financial aid package?

    No. Federal Work-Study is an opportunity for you to earn money to pay for ongoing expenses throughout the year and also to gain work experience. You may choose not to accept the Federal Work-Study offer, especially if you already have a part-time job.
  • What do I need to do to receive a Federal Direct Student Loan?

    All applicants must first file a FAFSA, and must submit all requested documentation before financial aid and student loan eligibility can be determined. Every student will need to complete an electronic Federal Direct Loan Master Promissory Note (MPN), which is available at

    All first time Federal Loan borrowers will also need to complete entrance counseling at

  • How does a graduate student apply for a Federal Direct PLUS loan?

    Graduate PLUS applications are scheduled to be available in June at Please check back on our website for any updates.

    All applicants must complete a Direct Graduate PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). In addition all new borrowers must complete a graduate PLUS Entrance Counseling. You will need your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to complete both at

  • How does a parent apply for a Federal Direct parent PLUS loan?

    Parent PLUS loan applications are scheduled to be available in June at Please check back on our website for any updates.

    All applicants must complete a Direct PLUS Master Promissory Note (MPN). The parent will need their FSA ID to complete the MPN at

  • Where can I go to understand all the terms of my loans and my repayment responsibilities before and after I borrow?

    Visit to get information about your loan repayment.
  • What is the educational expense budget?

    Every year the College compiles an educational expense budget for students based on the student’s housing status and level of enrollment. The following chart outlines the components of the various full-time budgets for the 2017-2018 academic year. Students enrolled for fewer than 12 credits per semester will have budgets based on lower tuition costs.
    2017-2018 Estimated Undergraduate Student Budget
    Direct Costs Resident Commuter
    (live with parent)
    (not with parent)
    Tuition and Fees (12-18 credits) $37,684 $37,684  $37,684
    Room and Board $14,832 - $14,832
    Sub Total Direct Costs $52,516 $37,684 $52,516
    Indirect Costs Resident Commuter Off-Campus
    Books and Supplies $1,500 $1,500 $1,500
    Transportation (Estimated) $600 $1,100 $600
    Personal (Estimated) $1,250 $1,250 $1,250
    Sub Total Indirect Costs $3,350 $3,850 $3,350
    Total Cost of Attendance* $55,866 $41,534 $55,866

    *Total includes direct educational costs and indirect costs based on full-time attendance. These costs are subject to change.
  • What may cause revisions to my aid offer?

    Educational budgets are developed based on several factors, such as level of enrollment (full-time, half-time, etc.) and type of housing (such as on-campus or with parents). Changes in these factors may require a change in financial aid awards. In addition, the receipt of additional sources of aid, such as outside scholarships or employer tuition benefits, may also require a change in your financial aid package. Awards may also change as a result of the Verification process for selected applicants. All changes in packaging will result in the receipt of a revised financial aid award.
  • How does my course selection affect my financial aid?

    In general, financial aid can only be used to help pay for coursework that is used to meet degree requirements (this includes major, electives and general education requirements). Students should always consult with the Office of Student Financial Services about possible financial ramifications due to academic actions such as add/drops, withdrawals and other enrollment status considerations. 
    For example, students take classes that are not applicable to their degree in order to maintain a full-time enrollment status.  A financial aid counselor can advise whether in certain cases it may actually cost less to enroll for fewer than 12 credits.
    Since financial aid rules can be complex and can vary by the particular type(s) of financial aid it is the student’s responsibility to be aware of this information.
  • What should I do if I expect to enroll for fewer credits than what my award letter indicates?

    You should contact the Office of Student Financial Services to be repackaged. Discrepancies in enrollment may delay loan proceeds from being applied to your account and due to strict federal regulations, may necessitate the return of funds to the lender.
  • Will I be sent a loan application if my financial plan summary includes a Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan?

    Eligibility for the PLUS loan is determined by completing the Direct Loan Parent PLUS application, which is available at
  • What should I do if my parent(s) apply and are denied the Federal Parent (PLUS) Loan?

    If we receive notification from the federal government that your application for a parent PLUS has been denied, you will be awarded the maximum unsubsidized eligibility for which you are eligible.
  • What will happen to my awards if I am selected for the federal verification process?

    If you are selected for verification, you will receive a letter detailing the documentation required to complete the process. If you have made a reporting error in income and assets, your awards may either increase or decrease when verification is completed. Continuing students who have been previous financial aid filers will be sent requests for verification documents prior to the packaging process. Until verification is completed, federal awards will not be credited to the student’s account.
  • Could I lose my scholarship? How do I get it back?

    To receive and retain any College funded financial aid, recipients must be matriculated, full-time day students, must maintain satisfactory academic progress and complete the FAFSA by the required deadline. Learn about those requirements, probation and the scholarship appeal process here.  Your merit scholarship and financial aid award letters provide specific renewal criteria for your scholarship(s) and grants. 
  • What should I do if I advance a class status in the spring semester?

    If your loan eligibility increases mid-year due to a change in class status (i.e., Freshman to Sophomore, Sophomore to Junior, etc.) you must contact us if you wish to be repackaged for additional loan funds. You will receive a letter indicating the amount posted to your account and your option to cancel the loan.
  • Are study-abroad distance learning programs eligible for financial aid?

    No. Iona students who remain in the U.S. and take a portion of their program via online courses offered by a foreign institution would not be eligible for financial aid for those online courses without a fully executed consortium agreement.
  • What is the impact of a Drug Violation / Conviction?

    A federal or state drug conviction can disqualify a student for federal student aid funds. The student self-certifies in applying for aid that he is eligible; you’re not required to confirm this unless you have conflicting information.
    Convictions only count if they were for an offense that occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving Title IV aid. Also, a conviction that was reversed, set aside or removed from the student’s record does not count, nor does one received when he/she was a juvenile, unless he/she was tried as an adult.
    The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)
    Period of Ineligibility for FSA funds
    Number of Offenses Possession of Illegal Drugs Sale of Illegal Drugs
    1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
    2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
    3+ offenses Indefinite period Indefinite period

    If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.
  • How does a student regain eligibility for federal student aid funds following a drug violation?

    A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when he successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. Further drug convictions will make him ineligible again.
    Students denied eligibility for an indefinite period can regain it only after successfully completing a rehabilitation program as described below or if a conviction is reversed, set aside or removed from the student’s record so that fewer than two convictions for sale or three convictions for possession remain on the record. In such cases, the nature and dates of the remaining convictions will determine when the student regains eligibility. It is the student’s responsibility to certify to you that she has successfully completed the rehabilitation program; as with the conviction question on the FAFSA, you are not required to confirm the reported information unless you have conflicting information.
    When a student regains eligibility during the award year, schools may award Pell, and Campus-based aid for the current payment period and Federal Direct Student Loans for the period of enrollment.
    Standards for a qualified drug rehabilitation program
    A qualified drug rehabilitation program must include at least two unannounced drug tests and must satisfy at least one of the following requirements:
    • Be qualified to receive funds directly or indirectly from a federal, state or local government program.
    • Be qualified to receive payment directly or indirectly from a federally or state-licensed insurance company.
    • Be administered or recognized by a federal, state or local government agency or court.
    • Be administered or recognized by a federally or state-licensed hospital, health clinic or medical doctor.
  • Does Iona College require the College Scholarship Services (CSS) Profile?

    No. Iona College only requires the FAFSA for financial aid consideration.
  • Where can I find Financial Aid Forms?

    Forms are listed on our website.
  • How do I obtain my IRS Tuition Statement form 1098-T?

    See details at our 1098-T info page.
  • When is my tuition payment due?

    The standard Payment Due Dates are as follows:
    Undergraduate Students Graduate Students
    Term Payment Due Date For graduate students, payment is due on the first day of the session or term of enrollment.
    Fall Semester 1st week in August 
    Spring Semester 1st week in January
    Summer Sessions At Time of Registration
    Winter Intersession At Time of Registration

    For additional financing options, consider our interest-free Monthly Payment Plan and private educational loans.
  • Important Phone Numbers

    Tuition payment plan 914.633.2497
    Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) 800.4.FED.AID
    New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) 888.NYS.HESC
    TAP inquiries 888.NYS.HESC

  • Important School Codes

    Title IV (FAFSA code) 002737
    New York State TAP code (undergraduate) 0325