Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
One application is all it takes. Completing and submitting the FAFSA is free and quick, and it gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college. Eligibility for funds is based on a federal formula and each student’s financial situation, as well as DMACC’s cost of attendance. The following topics provide basic information concerning the financial aid awarding process at DMACC.
How to Apply for Financial Aid at DMACC
Students can apply for financial aid at DMACC by filing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed online at fafsa.gov.
When to Apply
A FAFSA will need to be completed for each academic year. Students can begin submitting the FAFSA for the 2022-2023 academic year as early as October 1, 2021. Students should complete the FAFSA as soon after October 1 as possible.
Getting started on the FAFSA:
- Create a FSA ID (fsaid.ed.gov)
- Gather needed information (Social Security number, driver’s license number, etc.)
- Visit fafsa.gov and start a new FAFSA for the school year you are attending.
- Most students and parents can use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool to import tax data directly into the FAFSA. Using the DRT is the best way of ensuring that your FAFSA has accurate tax information.
- Be sure to include DMACC’s school code (004589) on your FAFSA.
- Review all data before submitting the FAFSA. Check the student’s Social Security number and birth date.
Where to Get Help Completing the FAFSA
For assistance with completing the FAFSA, contact the DMACC Financial Aid Office at 515-964-6282 or 800-362-2127 (option 3).
You can also make an appointment with the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) to get one-on-one help completing the FAFSA. The ICAN office is located in building 5 at the Ankeny Campus. To set up an appointment, you can call 877-272-4692 or set it up online at www.icansucceed.org.
Checking your Financial Aid Status at DMACC
Financial Aid Step-by-Step
The Financial Aid Step-by-Step webpage is a tool to help guide you through the financial aid process at DMACC. These steps, checklists and explanations will assist you from starting the application with DMACC to receiving an award notification.
Web Info System
When the Financial Aid Office receives your FAFSA, you will be contacted via student e-mail and text to let you know the next step to completing your financial aid. The Financial Aid Office will primarily use your DMACC email address to contact you, so check it often. You will be directed to the Web Info System (accessible through myDMACC) to “View Financial Aid Requirements”. Students accessing the Web Info System on the DMACC mobile app may need their DMACC student PIN numbers.
If you are having trouble accessing the Student Web Info System or myDMACC, contact Tech Support at 1-800-362-2127, ext. 7300 or 515-965-7300. You can also email tech support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student Expense Budget
The Student Expense Budget is determined by the Financial Aid Office and is based on the estimated costs a student will incur during the academic year. This budget, or cost of attendance (COA), directly impacts a student’s eligibility for certain types of financial aid. Aid, including student loans, cannot go over cost of attendance. Again, this is just an estimate of typical expenses and does not reflect a student’s actual bill or costs.
Included in the budget are:
- books and supplies,
- room and board,
- transportation, and
- personal/miscellaneous expenses.
The budget the student will be placed in will vary depending on whether a student chooses to live at home with their parents or independently.
The estimated costs reflect typical expense patterns for DMACC students based on survey and/or government produced data. While actual expenses will depend on your lifestyle and level of enrollment, the estimated amounts listed with cost of attendance should assist you in planning your own personal student budget.
Detailed student budgets are available on the Student Expense Budget webpage.
Types of Grants
Federal Pell Grants
This grant is awarded if the student has filed a FAFSA, shows financial need and does not have a bachelor’s degree. Maximum award for 2022-2023 award year is $6,895. The grant is limited to twelve full-time semesters.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
SEOG is available to undergraduate students who have completed and filed a FAFSA, are enrolled at least half-time and show exceptional financial need. This grant has limited funding and is awarded until depleted.
Iowa Vocational-Technical Tuition Grants (IVT)
IVT Grants are available to Iowa residents that are enrolled in career or technical education programs. Eligible recipients can be either full-time or part-time.
The Kibbie Grant provides need-based financial assistance to Iowa residents enrolled in specific career or technical education programs of at least 15 weeks that show financial need. The award amounts are based on the number of credits a student is enrolled.
Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship Program
The Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship covers any tuition and fee gaps not covered by federal and state grants/scholarships for eligible Iowa residents enrolled in targeted, high-demand career and technical programs at DMACC and other Iowa institutions. The FAFSA deadline for the 2022-2023 academic year is July 1, 2022.
Student loans are available to assist students with educational expenses. Students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be enrolled at least half-time to receive a student loan. Repayment for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans begins six months after terminating enrollment or dropping to less than half-time. The maximum annual subsidized/unsubsidized Direct Loan amounts are $5,500 for freshmen and $6,500 for sophomores. Independent students may be eligible to receive additional unsubsidized loans.
Types of Federal Direct Loans that may be available to student are:
Federal Direct - Subsidized
Subsidized loans may be available to students with financial need. The government pays the interest on the subsidized loan during periods of enrollment of at least halftime and during the six-month grace period after a student is no longer attending college.
Federal Direct - Unsubsidized
Unsubsidized loans are not need based and may also be available to eligible students. The student is responsible for paying all interest on an unsubsidized loan from the time it is disbursed.
Repayment for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans begins six months after terminating enrollment or dropping to less than half-time. Detailed information on the student loans, including current interest rates, fees, and repayment options can be reviewed on the Federal Direct Loan Program website.
Federal Direct Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)
The Federal Direct PLUS Loan is for parents of dependent students and is subject to credit analysis. The maximum PLUS loan amount that can be borrowed is the cost of attendance (Student Expense Budget) minus any other financial assistance received. Parents can apply for a PLUS Loan at studentaid.gov.
Federal Direct Loan Requirements
Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note
All first-time borrowers at DMACC are required to complete Entrance Counseling. First-time borrowers will also need to complete a Master Promissory Note (MPN). The Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note (MPN) can be completed online at studentaid.gov. DMACC has also produced a step-by-step guide called ”Completing Entrance Counseling and Master Promissory Note” to help you through the requirements.
Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling
Once a student has either graduated or is no longer registered at least half-time, the student is required to complete Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling. Completing Exit Counseling will provide you with important information regarding rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Students will also receive information regarding repayment options, who their loan servicers are, and to whom they will make their loan payments. Federal Direct Loan Exit Counseling can be completed at studentaid.gov.
Federal College Work-Study Program (CWSP)
The Federal College Work-Study program provides eligible students an opportunity to work part-time on campus while attending DMACC. The Work-Study Program is for eligible students who are enrolled at least halftime and show financial need. Students can determine if they are eligible by reviewing the awards offered to them by the DMACC Financial Aid Office.
The Work-Study Program offers part-time, on campus jobs and limited off campus positions. The Career Center maintains constantly updated Work-Study job postings that can be viewed anytime.
Alternative (Private) loans may be available to students and families who would not otherwise receive adequate amounts of student aid. These loans are not affiliated with the federal student loan program. Alternative loan amounts are limited by the Cost of Attendance (i.e. student expense budget). Please review our webpage on alternative loans for more information on how these can be used to fund your educational costs.
Filing Request for Special Consideration
There are times, after receiving the award offer from the DMACC Student Financial Aid Office, that a student/family may find it difficult to finance their expected contributions due to changes in their financial circumstances. This may be due to a loss of a job, divorce, or death in the family. If this is the case, a student/family may file a Request for Special Consideration with new or additional information concerning their financial circumstances. Please review the DMACC Financial Aid webpage on Special Considerations, also called Family Contribution Appeals, for details and application instructions.
Applying for DMACC Foundation Scholarships and Outside Scholarships and Grants
DMACC Foundation Scholarships
Each year, the DMACC Foundation receives generous gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations. Fundraising efforts combined with earnings from Foundation investments provide scholarships to hundreds of students annually. These awards are granted through a competitive application process.
Most awards are based on financial need, academic achievement, or both.
DMACC Foundation’s Scholarship Application Process
Students can apply for a DMACC Foundation Scholarship during specific open application periods. For more information regarding the application and specific deadlines see the DMACC Foundation Scholarship webpage.
The DMACC Foundation maintains an online scholarship application process in partnership with Blackbaud Award Management. The DMACC Foundation Award Management System, allows a student to:
- Fill out one simple and secure general scholarship application.
- Be automatically matched to scholarship opportunities at the DMACC Foundation for which the student qualifies.
- Receive recommended additional scholarship opportunities to apply to by submitting additional information or answering a few additional questions.
Criteria and Conditions
An applicant must meet these minimum qualifications to be eligible for a DMACC Foundation scholarship:
- Earned a High School Diploma or High School Equivalency Diploma.
- Be a current DMACC student.
- Incoming students who do not have a DMACC User Name or Password must first complete an application for admission to DMACC and be admitted to the College.
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher.
- Enrolled at DMACC in a minimum of six credit hours.
How DMACC Scholarships Awards Are Paid
Unless otherwise stated, all awards will be applied directly to a student’s DMACC account and may be used for tuition and/or book charges at DMACC in the semester for which the award is given. Some awards are renewable for the following semesters. If a recipient fails to maintain his or her original enrollment criteria or drops out before the semester ends, he or she may be required to repay the DMACC Foundation.
Outside Scholarships and Grants Websites
For your convenience, DMACC has listed numerous outside scholarships opportunities through the Financial Aid webpage.
Veterans Educational Benefits
The DMACC Veterans Services Coordinator assists eligible students in receiving veterans’ education benefits, acts as a liaison between the students and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), coordinates with the State Approving Agency within the Iowa Department of Education and serves as a resource to other DMACC departments.
The Veterans Services Coordinator maintains a list of all programs approved by the VA for education benefits. Monthly benefit rates are set by Congress and vary according to Chapter of GI Bill used, eligibility criteria, and rate of pursuit.
- Types of veterans’ education benefits through the VA:
- Former Active Duty veterans - Ch. 30, Ch. 33-Post 9/11
- Current Iowa Army/Air National Guard members - Ch. 1606, Ch. 33-Post 9/11
- Current U. S. military Reservists - Ch. 1606, Ch. 33-Post 9/11
- Participants in the VA Vocational Rehabilitation program - Ch. 31
- Surviving dependents/spouses of service related disabled or deceased veterans - Ch. 35
Eligible students can receive veterans’ education benefits during Fall, Spring and Summer terms at DMACC and may receive benefits enrolled at Full Time, ¾ Time, ½ Time, or less than ½ Time.
Eligible students should complete the Veteran’s Online Application (VONAPP) at www.gibill.va.gov prior to the beginning of the term (Fall, Spring or Summer). This is a one-time application. It may take up to 90 days for the VA to process the application.
Students must notify the DMACC Veterans Services Coordinator that they are attending DMACC and that they wish to use their veterans’ education benefits. Failure to notify the Veterans Services Coordinator may delay payments from the VA. For more information please contact the Veterans Services Coordinator in Building 5 of the Ankeny campus by calling 515-964-6278 or visit www.dmacc.edu/veterans.
Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship (INGSS)
The Iowa National Guard Service Scholarship (INGSS) may pay up to 100% of tuition costs for eligible students during the fall and spring semesters. Eligible students must be actively drilling members of the Iowa Army or Air National Guard, in good standing with their unit, who have not met the requirements of a baccalaureate degree or have already received 120 credit hours of INGSS. Students must complete the online application each academic year by the established deadlines by visiting “I Have A Plan Iowa” or Iowa National Guard Education & Incentives Office online page.
Requirements for Continued Financial Aid Eligibility
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
Federal regulations require that students maintain satisfactory academic progress in the program of study they are pursuing in order to receive financial aid. At DMACC, students must earn and maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0. Students must also complete coursework at a minimum cumulative rate of 67%. Financial aid includes all federal and state grants, college work-study and loans, including the Federal Direct Student Loans.
DMACC has two standards for measuring academic progress:
- The U.S. Department of Education has defined the academic standard measurements the Financial Aid Office must use when determining eligibility for financial aid. The policy must measure both grade point average (GPA) and credit hours earned. Financial aid recipients’ academic progress details can be found in Educational Services Policy and Procedures “ES 4300.”
- DMACC’s standard academic policy for all students, “ES 4560” can be found in the Policies and Procedures Search section of the DMACC website.
The financial aid academic standards apply to undergraduate students who wish to establish or maintain financial aid eligibility. These standards apply to a student’s entire academic record at Des Moines Area Community College whether or not financial aid was received for prior terms of enrollment.
The College’s records are reviewed at the completion of every semester of enrollment to determine compliance with the SAP policy. There are three components to the SAP policy:
- Minimum GPA - Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of a 2.0 or higher to remain eligible for financial aid. Academic records are reviewed at the completion of every term of enrollment (Fall, Spring, Summer) to determine financial aid satisfactory academic progress.
- Minimum Pace of Completion - Students must complete course work at a minimum cumulative rate of 67%. Completed course work is defined as any course for which the student receives a passing grade. Academic records are reviewed at the completion of every term of enrollment (Fall, Spring, Summer) to determine financial aid satisfactory academic progress.
- Maximum Time Frame (Duration of Eligibility) - Federal regulations limit financial aid eligibility to 150% ( ex. 96 credits for a two-year program) of the published length of the education program, as measured in attempted credit hours. Transfer credit hours (if available) are counted in the calculation of duration of eligibility.
For more information, please visit the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy webpage, or contact the Financial Aid Office.
Treatment of Repeat and Incomplete Classes
Students may use financial aid to repeat courses that were not successfully completed. The credit hours from a repeated course are counted as attempted hours every time the course is repeated. Once the course is passed, the credit hours are counted as both attempted and completed credit hours.
Incomplete classes are counted as non-passing grades (attempted) until the instructor submits a grade.
Appealing Financial Aid Suspensions
Students who have extenuating circumstances may appeal their financial aid suspension. There are specific limitations regarding a student’s ability to appeal academic progress for financial aid purposes. For details on how to appeal, see the DMACC Satisfactory Academic Policy.
Prior to the 10th day of class, instructors can view their class lists online and must identify students who have never attended their class. Students will receive an email indicating the classes that they were reported as having never attended. If they have been reported as never-attending, the student is dropped from enrollment, and the student’s financial aid is adjusted accordingly. If a balance is due, a letter is sent to the student, indicating the amount and a due date. If an instructor error was made, instructions will be included within the notice how to re-establish enrollment within the dropped course.
Quit Attending Process
Instructors are asked to report students who have quit attending. An email is sent to the student showing in which classes they have been reported as having quit attending. If all of a student’s instructors report a student as QA, a Return of Title IV calculation (see below) is completed. The student is dropped from his or her classes and will receive a letter informing the student of any amount that may owed to the College or the Department of Education and the methods of repayment. Those students who are reported in some, but not all of their classes as QA should consider officially withdrawing from the remaining courses in order to avoid receiving a failing grade.
Return of Financial Aid
Title IV Funds
A student’s financial aid is based on the number of classes the student is enrolled in and the number of days the student is enrolled and attending classes. A student earns aid based solely on the length of time he/she attends. When a student initiates a withdrawal (whether officially or unofficially) from one or more classes, the amount of financial aid the student is eligible to receive is affected.
The Return of Title IV (federal financial aid) funds to the federal government is based on a calculation that determines how much aid the student is eligible to receive and how much the student is no longer eligible for because he or she is no longer enrolled and attending the college. This calculation is applicable until the student has completed more than 60 percent of the semester. Once the student has completed more than 60 percent of the semester, all financial aid is considered earned.
The DMACC Financial Aid Office is required to return any unearned Title IV funds that were applied towards institutional charges within 45 days in the following order:
- Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct Subsidized Stafford Loan
- Federal Direct PLUS Loan (for parents of undergraduate students)
- Pell Grant
- Iraq Afghanistan Service Grant
If a student fails to earn all of their financial aid, the student will be informed by the Financial Aid Office of the type and amount of financial aid program funds that are being returned on his/her behalf by the institution. If the institution was required to return unearned financial aid funds that have previously been disbursed to the student, the student will be billed for the amount of the return. The student may be required to return an “overpayment” of federal grant funds that were unearned. Unearned federal loan funds that the student was responsible to return must be repaid by the student under the terms and conditions of the promissory note.
A student must make arrangements to return any “overpayment” grant funds within 45 days of receiving notice from the Financial Aid Office. Failure to make payment arrangements or to satisfactorily repay an overpayment of grant funds will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility.
Additional details are on the Return of Title IV Funds webpage.