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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a deadline for applying for financial aid?

There is no deadline to apply for financial aid. To receive priority consideration for aid, you should file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by April 15. 

What if my tax return will not be ready when we need to file the FAFSA?

It is best to use your final tax return to complete the FAFSA. This assures that the information is accurate. However, if this is not possible, the FAFSA does allow you to estimate your tax information. If, later, you are selected for verification, you will be required to complete the IRS data retrieval or submit your IRS tax return transcripts in order for you to receive financial aid.

When can I expect to receive my aid award letter?

We begin sending out new-student award letters mid-March to the student’s home address. Current students will be notified via email when their award letters are available to view on their MyInfo (FAFSA must be filed in order to receive award letter.)

I was selected for verification. What does this mean? 

The federal processor selects students for verification randomly. You simply need to make sure you have used the IRS Data retrieval system available on the FAFSA or submit IRS tax return transcript(s). We also require the Verification Worksheet. The Financial Aid Office will compare these documents with the FAFSA you completed. You will be notified if changes in verification affect your financial aid award.

What should I do if I filed a tax extension?

For students who have been granted a tax extension, please provide the following:

  • A copy of your IRS Form 4868
  • A copy of all W2 forms
  • If self-employed please provide a signed statement with the amount of your Adjusted Gross Income and U.S. income taxes paid.
  • Once your tax returns are complete, please utilize the IRS Data Retrieval Tool or submit a copy of your federal tax transcript to the Office of Financial Aid.

What should I do if I amended my tax return?

Students who file an amended return cannot use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool. Instead, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • A signed copy of the IRS Form 1040X that was filed.
  • A signed copy of the original tax return that was filed.

What should I do if I have special circumstances that were not indicated on the FAFSA?

The Financial Aid Director at Clarke is always willing to meet with students to discuss unusual circumstances. Please call our office to discuss your situation and/or set up an appointment.

If I am not eligible for need-based aid, are there other types of aid available?

Clarke offers academic scholarships and talent/merit awards. In addition, there are non-need based federal loan programs available.

Can I expect my award to change after the freshman year?

A FAFSA is filed each year to determine eligibility for federal and state need-based aid. Scholarships, most often, are renewed subject to renewal criteria. Click here for information on award conditions.

Is there a payment plan available?

Yes, Student Accounts at Clarke administers several payment plans. There are also Federal Parent Loans available to assist you with financing your education.

Where can I find more information about outside scholarships?

Outside scholarships are excellent resources for students and can be found in a variety of places. We've done our best to compile and simplify the information on our outside scholarship page.

Do out-of-state residents pay higher tuition than Iowa residents?

Tuition is the same for in-state and out-of-state residents. To view current tuition and fees cost, click here.

What is a Federal Subsidized Direct Loan?

The Subsidized Direct Loan is a need-based loan awarded to eligible undergraduate students. The federal government pays the interest on Subsidized Stafford Loans while the student is enrolled at least half time (six credits). Interest accrual and repayment begin when the student graduates, withdraws or drops below half-time status.

What is a Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan?

The Unsubsidized Direct Loan is a non-need-based loan that begins accruing interest at the time of disbursement. The borrower may make interest payments or allow interest to accrue during the in-school period. Repayment begins when the student graduates, withdraws or drops below half-time status (six credits).

Do I need to complete the Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling?

First-time borrowers of Federal Direct Loans are required to complete these steps online at www.studentloans.gov in order for these loans to be applied to the student bill.

What is a Private Loan?

A private loan is an option available to students who wish to secure additional funding. Eligibility for a private loan is based on credit-worthiness of the student and/or co-signer and ability to repay. Visit www.clarke.edu/privateloans for more information.

Where can I keep track of the federal loans I have borrowed?

You can access your federal student loan borrowing information on the National Student Loan Data System (www.nslds.ed.gov). This information will not include private loans you may have borrowed. To obtain those balances you will log on to the individual lender site.

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