Filing the FAFSA

Your first step to applying for financial aid each year is filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form, administered by the U.S. Department of Education, determines your eligibility for federal, state and institutional financial aid, including grants, educational loans and work-study programs. You can complete the FAFSA on the Federal Student Aid website

Complete the FAFSA

Completing Your FAFSA

FAFSA Timeline and Assistance

The FAFSA opens in December for the 2024-25 academic year. Exact date will be determined by the U.S. Department of Education – Federal Student Aid Office. The UNI priority FAFSA date is February 1. Financial aid offers are made on a first-come, first-served basis, so complete your FAFSA as soon as possible! You can apply for financial aid throughout the year, but funding for some programs may be depleted before you receive your award. 

The Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships receives the results from your FAFSA within 5 to 7 business days after you submit your FAFSA.

If you have questions when completing the FAFSA, contact our office via phone (319-273-2700) or email (fin-aid@uni.edu) or schedule a FAFSA appointment.

You may also contact the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) to set up an appointment for one-on-one assistance in completing your FAFSA.

To file, you will need:

  • Student and parent FSA ID. You and your parent each need your own FSA ID: Create FSA ID.
  • Social Security Number
  • The student's Federal Tax Return
  • Parents’ Federal Tax Return
  • W-2 forms and other records of money earned
  • Current bank statements
  • Investment records, etc.

The 2022-2023 FAFSA uses tax and income information from 2020.

The 2023-2024 FAFSA uses tax and income information from 2021.


Gilchrist Hall
Gilchrist Hall

Special Circumstances

If you’re experiencing hardship or changes that are not reflected within the FAFSA and are impacting your or your family’s ability to contribute to educational expenses, a special circumstances appeal can help you receive adequate aid for your situation. To inquire about a special circumstances appeal, a FAFSA must already be on file. You must complete verification before an appeal is processed, and documentation is required to support your appeal. To ensure accuracy and compliance with federal financial aid regulations, all circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 


Verification is a process used to confirm that the information you provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is accurate. Students are selected at random by system edits at the U.S. Department of Education or the university. If you were selected for verification, you will need to provide documentation to confirm your FAFSA is accurate. This documentation must be submitted and processed before your financial aid can be disbursed.