Preparing for college is no easy task and can begin as early as freshman year.

This section will help you explore college resources including financial aid, loans, scholarships, work-study, and grants.  

Additional information about college can be found on Naviance. Naviance is a college and career readiness solution that helps districts and schools align student strengths and interests to postsecondary goals, improving student outcomes and connecting learning to life.  

For more college resources and information, please contact the counseling department at your school.  

Federal Student Aid Information (FASFA)

Before each year of college, students must apply for federal grants, work-study, and loans with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Colleges use the FAFSA data to determine federal aid eligibility. Many states and colleges use FAFSA data to award their own aid. After submission, students will receive a Student Aid Report.  

For more information about the FASFA and college financial aid, view this comprehensive guide.

Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUS) 

This web resource lists the four-year institutions specifically founded to educate African American students. The institutions are grouped by state. Links to each institution’s website and links to historical entries of each college or university appear below the institutions’ names. 

Iowa Accredited Online Colleges

For students looking for distance learning options, there are many online universities in Iowa, as well as brick-and-mortar schools offering online programs to earn degrees from accredited institutions. Iowa has more than 88 post-secondary institutions, 37 of which offer online programs.  

Iowa College Access Network (ICAN)

ICAN assists all Iowa students, including low-income and first-generation college-bound students whose statistics show are most at risk of not attending college.  

ICAN provides Iowans with:  

Iowa College Student Aid

Iowa College Student Aid makes college possible for all Iowans by working to remove barriers so that any Iowan can achieve an education. Iowa College Student Aid also provides Iowans with tools and information to plan, prepare, and complete education after high school. 

Iowa College Student Aid provides programs and resources to help Iowans succeed by: 

  • Making more than 25,000 financial aid awards each year to students from all 99 Iowa counties. 

  • Engaging schools and communities to increase college access. 

  • Building statewide support of initiatives that help Iowans stay in the education pipeline through degree or credential completion, preparing them for tomorrow’s careers. 

  • Serving as a trusted resource of postsecondary education data for state policymakers. 

Strategies for Student Loan Borrowers Without a Cosigner 

When looking for student loans without a cosigner, you should first consider federal student loans by completing the FASFA. These do not require a cosigner and there is no credit check during the application process with most. 

While federal student loans should be your starting point for all student loan needs, there are limits on the amount you can borrow. Because of these limits, many students turn to private student loans to help fill the gap. 

If you don’t have someone to cosign a student loan for you, compare the private companies that offer student loans without a cosigner by visiting this online resource. 

Technology Resources for College 

Colleges have different strategies for ensuring students have access to notebooks and tablets. Some schools may require students to purchase personal devices before beginning classes. Understanding each school’s technology policies can add to the stress of enrolling. Visit this resource for an overview of the most common technology practices at colleges and a full list of online courses that offer free laptops for students.