Types of Financial Aid - Office of Financial Aid | Briar Cliff University

Types of Financial Aid

Affordable value

The true value of a personalized educational opportunity cannot be overstated. A Briar Cliff education is an investment with high return. Employers from across the region, country and globe seek out our graduates, and BCU students moving forward to graduate school are often better prepared than others.

Making BCU an affordable opportunity is our objective! 

Financial Aid for Undergraduates

To be eligible for  undergraduate financial aid you must be a full-time, on-campus undergraduate student (12 credit hours per semester) and you must apply for financial aid at Briar Cliff.

To apply for a scholarship or grant, complete the Briar Cliff University scholarship application form.

Scholarships & Grants

Presidential Scholarship

The Presidential scholarship is available to full-time undergraduate students. The scholarship requires a minimum 26 ACT or 1240 SAT, a cumulative GPA of 3.75 (on a 4.0 scale) and demonstrated leadership. 

Affiliation Incentive Grant

The Affiliation Incentive grant requires that one parent is a graduate of Briar Cliff University or a sibling is a current BCU student. The applying student must currently be in attendance at the Catholic high school.

Multicultural Scholarship

The Multicultural Scholarship can award up to $2,000. It requires a minimum 20 ACT or 1020 SAT and cumulative high school GPA of 2.75.

Athletic Scholarships

Athletic Scholarships are based on athletic performance and the needs of the team. Visit BCU ATHLETICS to learn more about our Athletic programs.

Art and Music Scholarships

Art and Music Scholarship awards are based on auditions or portfolio presentations.

BCU Scholarship and Grant Program

The BCU Scholarship and Grant Program is available to full-time undergraduate students, and based on academic performance in high school and ACT/SAT test scores. Award amounts may differ for residential and commuter students.


State & Federal Aid

Iowa Tuition Grant

The Iowa Tuition Grant is available to qualified Iowa residents who are enrolled in at least three credit hours at a private institution in Iowa. The ITG is based on need, and students must have filed a FAFSA at the federal processors by July 1 to be considered.
Maximum amount for 2019-20 school year: $6,000

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant provides grants to full-time and part-time undergraduate students at any eligible college or university, and the money does not have to be repaid. Apply by completing a FAFSA. The award may vary according to the number of credit hours you are enrolled. You must be enrolled for at least 12 hours per semester to receive a full award.
Maximum amount for 2019-20 school year: $6,195

Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant

The Federal SEOG program is for students who show exceptional financial need. Students must be Pell Grant eligible.

Federal TEACH Grant

The Federal TEACH Grant is for education majors that will be teaching in a low-income school and in a high need field of study. It is open to undergraduate and graduate students alike. Apply online by completing the "TEACH Grant Counseling" and "Agreement to Serve," which will be sent to Briar Cliff University for review.  If the student has a 3.25 GPA at the college level or scored in the 75th percentile in one or more categories on the ACT at the high school level, the student qualifies under the current federal guidelines. This is a non-need based grant program, meaning all students who meet the above criteria qualify, regardless of financial situation.

Maximum amount for 2017-18 school year: $4,000

Federal Direct Loans

A Federal Direct Loan is a long-term, fixed rate loan made to students by the U.S. Department of Education. They come in two categories: subsidized and unsubsidized. Typically, every student who files a FAFSA is eligible to borrow a Federal Direct Loan. A student must be enrolled at least half-time (six credits) to be eligible to receive one. The student has the option to make interest payments during the in-school period, or to allow the accrued interest to be capitalized (added on) to the principal balance. Interest rate is currently 3.76% for both subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
Maximum amount for 2019-20 school year: $5,500 (freshmen), $6,500 (sophomores), $7,500 (juniors and seniors)

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan

A Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan is an excellent option for families who need to borrow beyond the Federal Direct Loan limits. This low-interest loan can be used by parents to borrow on behalf of dependent undergraduates. A credit check is required and performed by the U.S. Department of Education. The interest rate is fixed at 6.31%. Eligibility is limited to the cost of attendance (as determined by Briar Cliff) minus any other financial aid the student is receiving. To apply for a Federal Direct PLUS Loan, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Other Types of Aid

Work Study

Eligible students can earn extra financial aid with a part-time job on campus, usually earning anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per year. Awards are based on financial need, as determined by information provided on the FAFSA.

Military Benefits

Briar Cliff offers a 100-percent matching Yellow Ribbon program for eligible military service members, veterans and dependents. We also accept all chapters of military benefits and all state programs such as National Guard Education Assistance and Army/Air Force Tuition Assistance.


Private Loans

Private loans should never be your primary funding source unless you have exhausted all of your other options.



We’re here to help. Call us at (712) 279-5200, or contact the Office of Financial Aid online.