Coe College to match average state university price for incoming students

Coe College is offering new students struggling with FAFSA delays and problems scholarships and grants to "price match" the average cost of attending a state university. (Photo by Richard Stephens via iStock / Getty Images Plus)

As issues with the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid continue to cause delays in getting financial aid to students, a Coe College program will allow certain Iowa students to attend the private college for the same price as a state university.

Coe College’s Iowa Ready Initiative offers a guaranteed price match to the average cost of attending one of Iowa’s state universities in the 2023-24 school year, or $21,060. Iowan students enrolling in college for the first time will receive Coe College scholarships and grants in order to reach this number, according to a news release, and other financial aid students receive through the FAFSA and other avenues could lower the price tag even more.

In addition to being a first-time college student from Iowa fully enrolled at the Cedar Rapids college for the 2024-25 school year, qualifying students for the initiative must have a 3.0 grade-point average, visit campus by June 1, and file the FAFSA.

“Like hard-working Iowans, we are dedicated to ensuring Kohawks have the best in education, resources and opportunities, regardless of FAFSA processing timelines. Those delays should not inhibit their ability to have options,” said President David Hayes in the release.

According to Coe College’s website, before any aid is applied, the college’s direct costs of education total more than $66,000 for the 2024-25 academic year.

The initiative, which will be available through June 1, was created as the new FAFSA form and processes leave students and their families unsure of the aid they will receive, if any. According to the news release, the rate of FAFSA filings is down 30% from this time last year, and in addition to the delays in financial aid information being released, other changes in what families need to put down as financial assets can negatively impact families with farms or small businesses.

Half of Coe College students are from Iowa, according to the release, and more than half of graduates stay in the state after earning their degrees. Vice President for Advancement Chantel Olufsen said in the release the problems with the FAFSA may cause fewer students to pursue higher education, which will eventually impact the workforce. Getting an education from Coe College will give students the opportunity to connect with local employers, she said.

“In my 30 years in higher education, this is one of the most significant barriers I’ve seen for Iowa families to make a college decision. All first-time college students need to understand the financial aid they will receive in order to make a decision, and I’m pleased Iowa Ready will accomplish that,” said Director of Financial Aid Barb Hoffman in the release. “Knowing your cost to attend Coe will be $21,060 or less is valuable information because now it’s clear you have college options.”

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