Financial Aid FAQ

Financial aid can be confusing! Take a look at these answers to common questions about financial aid and how to apply for FAFSA.

FAFSA School Code: 004076

If you still have questions, reach out to the Financial Aid Office at 319-398-7600

General Financial Aid Questions

While there is not a set amount, you may want to consider the cost of direct school expenses, tuition, books and related supplies, everyday living expenses, housing, food, clothing, and entertainment.

Will you work while going to college? Most students work at least part-time. As you look at your class schedule, calculate the amount of time you can work and estimate how much you will be able to earn while attending college.

For specific eligibility requirements, take a look at the Federal Student Guide or obtain a copy from the Financial Aid Office. In general, to be eligible for financial aid, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Have a high school diploma, GED, or its recognized equivalent.
  • Be enrolled in a diploma or degree program.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress.
  • Not be in default of a federal or state student loan, nor owe a repayment on any federal grant.
  • Meet requirements specific to the financial aid program for which the student is applying.
  • Register for the Selective Service, if required.

Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This considers you for federal- and state-funded aid. Scholarships require student initiative.

You can apply for Kirkwood scholarships by filling out just one application.

Additionally, there are many other sources of external scholarships that you may qualify for, so we encourage all students to investigate scholarship opportunities independently as well. 

You do not have to reapply, but dollar amounts do not transfer from school to school due to varying tuition cost. Check with the school you are transferring to about having your current year FAFSA information sent to them.

No. You may only receive financial aid from one school at a time. If you are enrolled at two schools, the school from which you are receiving your degree will process your financial aid.

The formula for determining the maximum dollar amount is the cost of the attendance minus the financial aid received. Check with the Financial Aid Office and they will do the calculation for you.

Students who have a degree are not able to receive federal grant dollars. However, this does not apply to other types of federal financial aid, which means you may be considered for federal work-study and student loans.

Eligibility Questions

I just want a loan. Do I have to fill out the FAFSA?

Yes. The application is for both grant or loan eligibility.

I am separated/divorced. Should I include my ex-spouse's information on the FAFSA?

No. Use your income only. We may request documents when finalizing your file.

My ex-spouse has custody of the children, but I pay child support. Can I include my children on the FAFSA?

You may include them if you provide more than 50 percent of the child/children's support. In some cases, you may be required to provide supporting documentation.

My spouse/parent passed away during the tax year. Do I include that income on the FAFSA?

No. If the person has passed away, you do not provide that income information on the application.

I am getting married in two months. Can I say I'm married on the FAFSA?

No. Report your status as of the time you fill out the application.

I can't find my tax returns. What can I do?

You can call the I.R.S. and request a copy of your tax account information. Call 800-829-1040.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every semester?

No, just once per academic year.


These are some of the most common reasons why you may not have received your offer of financial aid:

  • You did not list Kirkwood's school code (004076) when you completed your FAFSA. You can return to FAFSA, log in using your FSA ID, and add Kirkwood. Or you can call 1-800-4-FED AID to request that Kirkwood receive your FAFSA results.
  • You may have forgotten to sign your FAFSA form (paper or web-based). You can sign electronically with your FSA ID at Can't remember your FSA ID? Go to and click Manage My FSA ID. From this page, you can receive a text code to your mobile phone, receive a code in your email, or answer your challenge questions. If none of these work, call 1-800-4-FED AID to recover FSA ID.
  • We require additional documentation that has not been provided yet.
  • You have not activated your student loans.
  • The Financial Aid Office has not had enough time to determine your eligibility. This may take four to six weeks during peak processing times (March – Oct. for the fall and spring semesters and April – June for summer terms).
  • You may have a HOLD on your account. Students must resolve any holds before receiving an offer of financial aid.

You can enroll without an award if you are able to make full payment on your own. If you pay in full and receive an award later, a check will be mailed to you. If you are unable to pay on your own, you should continue to check MyHub daily for updates to your award status.

There is not a set dollar amount that determines whether a student receives financial aid. Most of the data requested on the FAFSA is used in a formula created by the federal government to calculate eligibility. Some of the major factors are household size, federal poverty guidelines, the age of your parents, and income and assets information.

When you fill out the FAFSA, there is an estimate of aid. Please note that this is only an estimate. Kirkwood will determine your award once your file is complete.

Kirkwood participates in the industry-sponsored consortium, the National Student Loan Clearinghouse. Kirkwood reports student status to the Clearinghouse and it is responsible for providing status and deferment information to guaranty agencies, lenders, servicers, and the Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System.

Therefore, after your enrollment is reported to the Clearinghouse, your loans should be automatically deferred if you are enrolled at least half-time. It is important to continue to make payments on your loan until that time. If you have further questions about deferment, please contact your loan servicer. To find out who your loan servicer is, log on to the NSLDS website.

With the Subsidized Federal Stafford Loan, no interest accumulates while the student is enrolled in school because the government is subsidizing it during the deferment period. Interest begins to accumulate after the six month grace period that begins once the student graduates or drops below half-time enrollment.

With the Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, interest accumulates immediately after the loan is disbursed. The student will be billed quarterly while attending school. If the student does not pay the interest, it will be deferred. However, we recommend student pay the interest on unsubsidized loans because if they do not, they will owe more than they received as the interest is capitalized (added to the principal).

FAQs about the Financial Aid Process

If you file electronically, you will receive a response in 3 – 5 business days. If you mail your application, it can take up three to four weeks to receive a response. Please note that if you do not provide a signature on your FAFSA, your processing will be delayed two weeks.

Pell grant money and student loans will be available. State-funded grants have a filing deadline and campus-based funds are limited. The sooner you apply, the greater your chances for receiving all sources of aid, if you are eligible.

After the U.S. Department of Education processes your application, you will be sent a FAFSA Submission Summary (FSS). The FSS outlines the information you provided on the FAFSA and reports your Student Aid Index (SAI). The SAI is then used to determine your eligibility for federal student aid. The results are sent to you and the schools you listed on your application.

If it's been more than six weeks since you submitted your application and you haven't received anything, you can check on the status of your application at FAFSA on the Web or by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

Once you receive your FSS, if there are no corrections needed (make sure Kirkwood is listed as your college) keep the paper for future reference. If you need to make corrections, sign the signature block before you send in the corrections. You can send your corrections to Kirkwood and we will make the corrections for you.

Log in to MyHub. Once you have logged in, click 'Check status' on the Financial Aid tile on the right side of the webpage. You may view your award by the year or view your award by the term.

If no award appears, it is likely additional information is required. You may check to see what is still needed by clicking on the 'Complete required documents' link in the checklist section of the webpage.

Typically the best option is to sign up for the Kirkwood Payment Plan, an interest-free monthly installment plan, a great option for those who applied late or whose financial aid is delayed.

Reach out to the Financial Aid Office to learn more about payment plans

Kirkwood Student Celia Daniels

“I really didn’t like the idea of going into debt and owing somebody a huge amount of money to be able to go to college. I just didn’t buy into that as a good idea for my future, so I’m paying for college out of my own pocket. Kirkwood was the only option I looked at that gave me that freedom to explore what I really wanted to do without going into miles of debt.”

Celia Daniels,
North Liberty, Iowa

More Questions?

If you have any questions, contact the Financial Aid Office:

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Regular hours)

Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Summer hours [May 20 - Aug 2])

Phone: 319-398-7600 or 1-877-386-9101
Fax: 319-398-4928
Email: Financial Aid -

FAFSA School Code: 004076

Location: 3rd Floor Iowa Hall

Mailing Address:

Kirkwood Community College
Financial Aid Office
6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404