Financial Aid

Graceland University is committed to managing our costs while maintaining a quality education to each and every student. Over 98% of residential Graceland students receive financial aid. There are several forms of Financial Aid available to students, which include Federal, State and Institutional. Graceland offers academic merit and need based aid to students who qualify. Other institutional aid includes scholarships, grants, loans and work study. Financial aid is supplementary to the effort of the family with whom rests the primary responsibility for financing a college education.

Student Financial Services is the only office at Graceland University authorized to offer financial aid to students. Only awards originating from this office will constitute a commitment on behalf of Graceland University. Recommendations for awards can be made by faculty or staff on campus, and these are taken into consideration before the award letter is sent.

In order to receive federal or state financial aid, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year and be making satisfactory academic progress as defined in this Catalog. (A FAFSA is required for each applicant. When more than one student from the same family plans to attend college, a FAFSA must be filed yearly for each student. To file the FAFSA, go online at Financial assistance is awarded without regard to race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or politics.

NOTE: Information about the various types of financial aid is subject to change when federal regulations change. Please see the explanation of Graceland's Refund Policy for charges and for return of federal, state and institutional aid.

Evaluating Financial Need

Students applying for federal and state financial aid must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine financial need. Indicate on the FAFSA that you want the results of this analysis sent to Graceland University, code #001866.

When documents are received, all related factors in combination with this analysis are considered in granting aid and an award letter is sent to the student.


Procedure in Applying for Financial Aid

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1. Awards will be made beginning approximately March 1.

Renewal of Financial Assistance

All forms of financial assistance are granted for a period of one academic year providing the student is making satisfactory academic progress at the beginning of each term. Students who wish to receive assistance in subsequent years must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year so that their eligibility may be reviewed annually.

Returning students may file a renewal FAFSA online at Renewal of most types of financial aid is based upon continuing financial need and academic achievement.

Graceland University institutional aid may be awarded to eligible students for up to but not to exceed ten full-time semesters.

Institutional Scholarships and Grants

Graceland University administers a program of academic scholarships and grants. Grants are awarded to full-time students on the Lamoni Campus and to students in the residential nursing program on the Independence Campus in the areas of athletics, performing arts, Community of Christ Leadership, and faith based scholarships and matches. Academic scholarships, when applicable, are awarded for an academic year and renewed annually in combination with other institutional aid.

Study Abroad

Students who are approved to participate in a study abroad program may, if eligible, receive Federal Financial Aid. Students must (1) file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), (2) submit estimated costs to Student Financial Services for the study abroad program in which he/she wishes to participate; and (3) secure a statement from the Registrar indicating that all credits earned will be accepted at full value at Graceland University.

Types of Financial Aid

Student Employment: Part-time employment of five but no more than ten hours per week on the university campus is available for many students. Priority is given to those who have financial need. Employment opportunities in university departments include office assistants, library assistants, catering assistants, custodians, receptionists, music accompanists, photographers, audio-visual equipment operators, and other similar positions. Earnings are paid the first and third Friday of each month. Graceland participates in the Federal Work-Study Program authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended.

Students wishing to work who do not have financial need may apply for employment. These students will be approved for employment according to the needs of the institution.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG): The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant provides grants to low-income undergraduates with the greatest demonstrated financial need. Graceland University defines low-income as a 0 EFC for SEOG awarding. Priority is given to students who receive Federal Pell Grants. Recipients must maintain satisfactory academic progress and be enrolled at least half-time. This grant does not have to be repaid. Students may receive SEOG until they earn a bachelor’s degree if they continue to meet the eligibility requirements and funds are available. However, the amount of the grant may change each year according to the family financial situation, availability of funds and changes in awarding guidelines.

Federal Pell Grant: This Federally funded grant program provides grants to low-income undergraduates with the greatest demonstrated financial need. Application is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submitting it to the Department of Education. The federal government determines the student’s eligibility for this award. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress. This grant does not have to be repaid.

TEACH Grant: The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach a high need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.  As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant. IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of TEACH Grants that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) was disbursed. Note: TEACH Grant recipients will be given a 6-month grace period prior to entering repayment if a TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. Application is made by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and signing the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and completing the counseling.  The student must meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25). The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress.

William D. Ford Direct (Subsidized and Unsubsidized) Student Loan Program: Provides low-interest loans to financially needy undergraduate students. Interest on the loans is paid by the government while borrowers are in school. Borrowing is subject to annual and aggregate loan limits. Borrowers begin repaying loans six months after ceasing at least half-time enrollment in postsecondary education, unless borrower qualifies for deferment. Cancellation of loans is available for employment in certain designated fields, under certain conditions. This is a loan from the federal government. While eligibility for the subsidized Direct Loan requires proof of financial need, financial need is not a consideration for the unsubsidized Direct Loan. The student must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) annually to determine eligibility for participation in this program, and be enrolled at least half-time. The interest rate is determined on July 1st for the succeeding academic year. Borrowers of a Direct Loan are charged a loan origination fee, which charges annually and will be subtracted from the loan proceeds at disbursement. If you are a first-time brrower on or after July 1, 2013, there is a limit on the maximum period of time (measured in academic years) that you can receive Direct Subsidized Loans.  This time limit does not apply to Direct Unsubsidized Loans or Direct PLUS Loans.  If this limit applies to you, you may not receive Direct Subsidized Loans for more thant 150 percent of the published length of your program.  This is called your "maximum eligibility period."  Your maximum eligibility period is generally based on the published length of your current program. 

Dependent undergraduate students may be eligible to borrow up to:

$3,500 as a first-year student    
$4,500 as a second-year student    
$5,500 as a third through fifth year student    
For Unsubsidized Loans only - Independent undergraduate students may be eligible to borrow up to $4,000 more during the first and second years and $5,000 more during the third through fifth years. Graduate and professional students may borrow up to $20,500 per year, if the student’s cost of attendance allows

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan only: No payments are due from the student and the government pays all interest while the student is in school.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan only: Repayment on the principal amount of the loan does not begin until six months after the student leaves school or drops below half-time status, BUT the student is responsible for the interest from the date of the last disbursement of the loan. The student may pay the interest monthly or quarterly, or may defer interest payments during school or the six-month grace period. Arrangements for payment are made by the student with the Department of Education. For independent students and dependent students whose parents cannot obtain a Federal Direct Plus Loan or for whom Financial Aid Services has made a professional judgment decision, the student may have additional unsubsidized loan eligibility up to:

  Dependent Student Independent Student
Year 1-2 $2,000 $6,000
Year 3-5 $2,000 $7,000
For maximum undergraduate degree amounts available, see your Financial Advisor.

William D. Ford Federal Direct Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS): The Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is available to parents of dependent undergraduate students. The student must file a FAFSA. Approval of a PLUS Loan is contingent upon credit approval by the U.S. Department of Education. The parent may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus other financial aid received. The interest rate is determined annually at the time of disbursement.  The rate is fixed for the life of the loan. Repayment of principal and interest begins within 60 days of full disbursement, or a deferment may be available to postpone repayment until 6 months after the student graduates or drops below part-time enrollment. The U.S. Department of Education charges a loan origination fee which will be subtracted from the loan proceeds at disbursement.

For more information, please visit

Iowa Tuition Grant: Iowa Tuition Grants (ITG) are funded by the State and are awarded to Iowa residents that demonstrate need and attend an independent (private) college in Iowa. Application for the Iowa Tuition Grant is accomplished by completing a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA must be received at the processing center by the July 1 deadline. The student must maintain satisfactory academic progress and ITG is only available for eight full-time semesters or the equivalent.

Academic Scholarship (Merit Award) Program

High School and Transfer Students

Scholarships for incoming freshmen are based on high school GPA and composite ACT or combined SAT scores. For transfer students who have attempted 12 or more semester hours, scholarships are based on cumulative college GPA.

Financial Aid - Undergraduate Distance and Online Programs

Graceland offers undergraduate degree programs through a variety of delivery methods including off-campus classroom, on-line and correspondence, and sometimes a blended model of two or more methods. All of these degree programs are eligible for financial aid, either Title IV federal student aid or private loans. Graceland University has chosen to establish a reasonable tuition rate rather than offer institutional aid for these degree programs.

To apply for Title IV federal student aid, students must file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as described in the Financial Aid section of this catalog.

To establish eligibility for private loans, students apply directly to the lender of choice. Graceland's Financial Advisors can assist with this process.