Costs & Financial Aid

Our Financial Aid team works hard to pair you with great scholarships, grants, and other opportunities (even to earn money while you attend!). And, in some cases, it allows students not to borrow at all.

The costs of each Briar Cliff University program will vary depending on several factors. Are you considering strictly tuition and fees, or tuition, fees, room, board, and books? Are you seeking an undergraduate or graduate degree? Are you planning to go in-person or online? Living on or off campus? All these things can impact your investment total. Use our calculator tool to receive a tailored estimate.

Calculate Your Investment

Explore this year's cost breakdown for the type of degree that you are seeking. 

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Types of Aid 

Grants

Federal and State Grants are money to help pay for college. This money is awarded annually based on need and, generally, the amounts awarded will vary based on your individual financial situation. This money does not have to be repaid. 

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant provides grants to full-time and part-time undergraduate students at any eligible college or university. This grant is awarded based on need, so the amounts awarded will vary based on your individual financial situation and the number of credit hours you are enrolled in for the coming semester. This money does not have to be repaid. The largest amount available for the 2021-22 school year is $6,495. You must be enrolled for at least 12 hours per semester to receive a full award. Your individual financial situation will be assessed by the information supplied in your yearly FAFSA application.

Be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by the annual deadline to be considered. 

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

The Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program is for students who show exceptional financial need. Students must be Pell Grant eligible. This grant is awarded based on need, so the amounts awarded will vary based on your individual financial situation. This money does not have to be repaid. 

Be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by the annual deadline to be considered. 

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. This grant is awarded based on need, so the amounts awarded will vary based on your individual financial situation. This money does not have to be repaid. It can be awarded up to a maximum of $6,800 in the 2021-22 school year. Your individual financial situation will be assessed by the information supplied in your yearly FAFSA application.

Be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by the annual deadline to be considered. 

Work-Study

Federal work-study jobs help students earn money to pay for college. Undergraduate and graduate students with work-study jobs will work part-time on- or off-campus while enrolled. At Briar Cliff, eligible students can earn extra financial aid with a part-time federal work-study position on campus, usually earning anywhere from $500 to $3,000 per year. Awards are based on financial need, so be sure to file your FAFSA on October 1 each year

Scholarships

Choosing to invest your time today has the potential to save your future self thousands. While the qualifications and the amounts awarded vary based on each individual scholarship opportunity, we recommend every traditional and transfer undergraduate student apply to improve your financial aid award package through scholarships.

More About Scholarships

Loans

Student loans is money you can borrow to afford Briar Cliff University. After graduation, you must repay your loans, as well as interest that accrues. Before borrowing, it is important to understand the type of loan you are selecting, the amount you are agreeing to borrow, and your repayment options. Understanding all of this before borrowing is critical to setting you up for successful repayment after college. 

Federal Student Loans

Direct Subsidized Loans

A Direct subsidized loan is awarded on the basis of financial need. The federal government pays interest on the loan ("subsidizes" the loan) until the student begins repayment and during authorized periods of deferment.

Be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by the annual deadline to be considered. 

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

An unsubsidized Direct loan is not awarded on the basis of need. Students are charged interest from the time the loan is disbursed until it is paid in full. If you allow the interest to accumulate, it will be capitalized. The interest will be added to the principal amount of your loan and will increase the amount you have to repay. If you choose to pay the interest as it accumulates, you'll repay less overall. This loan is available to undergraduate and graduate students.

Be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by the annual deadline to be considered. 

Direct Grad PLUS Loans and Parent Loans for Undergraduate Students (PLUS)

These loans are available for graduate or professional students and parents of dependent undergraduate students to help pay for education expenses not covered by other financial aid. Eligibility is not based on financial need, but a credit check is required. Borrowers who have an adverse credit history must meet additional requirements to qualify.

Be sure to file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) by the annual deadline to be considered. 

Private Student Loans

These loans are non-federal loans, made by a lender such as a bank, credit union, or state agency. There are a number of private loan options to help you afford your education. However, private loans should never be your primary funding source unless you have exhausted all of your other options. Parents, we encourage you to consider the Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loan prior to borrowing or co-signing a private loan.

Code of Conduct for Educational Loans

Iowa Code Section 261F.2 and Title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 601.21, require the development, administration and enforcement of a code of conduct governing educational loan activities. Our officers, employees, trustees and agents, including the alumni association, booster club, and other organizations associated with Briar Cliff University agree to the provisions of this Code of Conduct and will refrain from:

  • Refusing to certify or delaying the certification of an education loan based on a borrower’s choice of lender.
  • Accepting impermissible gifts, goods or services from a lender, lender servicer or guarantor. The institution may accept default prevention, financial literacy or student aid-related educational services or materials, or other items of a nominal value.
  • Accepting philanthropic contributions from a lender, lender servicer or guarantor that are related to the educational loans provided by the entity that is making the contribution.
  • Serving on or otherwise participating as a member of an advisory council for a lender, lender affiliate or lender servicer.
  • Accepting from a lender or its affiliate any fee, payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide education loan-related services to or on behalf of the lender.
  • Accepting fees or other benefits in exchange for endorsing a lender or the lender’s loan products.
  • Requesting or accepting an offer of funds for private education loans from a lender, in exchange for our promise to provide the lender with placement on a preferred lender list or a certain number or volume of private education loans.

Briar Cliff University is committed to providing the information and resources necessary to help every student achieve educational success. To accomplish this goal, the financial aid staff will consider each student’s individual needs.

Explore the difference between Federal and Private Loans and make the decision that is right for you, your family, and your future. 

Preferred Lenders for Briar Cliff University

Briar Cliff University and all other schools are required to process loan applications for any eligible private lender the student or parent selects. Students must utilize all federal student aid options prior to utilizing a private student loan. Briar Cliff's preferred lenders were chosen after a careful and unbiased selection process, which included criteria such as:

  • Previous lender service to borrowers
  • Previous lender service to Briar Cliff University
  • Ease of loan processing
  • Borrower benefits
  • Loan terms and conditions

All students requesting a private loan are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to ensure they receive notice of all Title IV loans and grant assistance before making the decision to apply for a private loan. 

After you have exhausted all other assistance available, explore financing information for several private loan lenders.

Explore Lenders


Your financial aid award letter will include loan options available to show you an example of how you could plan to cover your tuition payment each year. However, you can borrow less than BCU offers and can request more loan funds later if you need to. We strongly recommend that you only borrow what you need.

Other Unique Opportunities

Federal TEACH Grant

The Federal TEACH Grant is for education majors who will be teaching in a low-income school and in a high-need field of study. It is open to both undergraduate and graduate students alike. 

Complete the "TEACH Grant Counseling" and "Agreement to Serve" section, which will be sent to Briar Cliff University for review.  If a 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 2021-22 school year: $4,000

Military Benefits

At Briar Cliff, we are a proud partner of the Yellow Ribbon program for eligible military 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, and we participate in the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Program. Interested military students must reach out to their base and contact their ESO to verify their qualifications for these programs.

How does the Yellow Ribbon program work?

Our Yellow Ribbon Agreement with the Veterans Association (VA) means we agree that 100 percent of your tuition and fees will be paid for between your Post-9/11 GI Bill and Briar Cliff University’s Yellow Ribbon matching program.

Who is eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program? You may be eligible if: 

  • You served at least 36 months of active duty after September 10, 2001.
  • You were honorably discharged from active duty for a service-connected disability, and served at least 30 continuous days after Sept. 10, 2001.
  • You are a dependent eligible for "Transfer Entitlement" under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill, based on a veteran’s service under the eligibility criteria listed above.

Only veterans entitled to the maximum benefit rate (based on service requirements) or their designated transferees may receive Yellow Ribbon funding. Active duty service members and their spouses are not eligible for this program (child transferees of active duty service members may be eligible if the service member is qualified at the 100-percent rate). 

Other Military Aid Benefit Options

If you served on Active Duty: You might be eligible for education benefits offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. For example, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for educational and housing expenses to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service after Sept. 10, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. You must have received an honorable discharge to be eligible for the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

If you are currently serving in the military: You may be eligible for funding offered through the Department of Defense Tuition Assistance program. See the education officer in your unit for your eligibility status and the amount for which you qualify with your service prior to enrolling. Degree completion students who are active duty military will receive reduced tuition rates at Briar Cliff University. 

If you are the spouse or child of a service member who is serving on active duty: If having Title 10 orders in the paygrades of E1-E5, O1-O2, or W1-W2, you may be eligible for financial assistance form the Department of Defense for education, training and/or the occupational license and credentials necessary for a portable career.

If you are the spouse or child of a service member: You may be eligible for transfer of the service member’s Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to you.

Briar Cliff also offers State and Federal Student Aid programs such as Iowa Tuition Grant, Pell Grant, Stafford Loans and Work Study that you or your dependent can layer on top of your military tuition benefits. Contact us to learn more about eligibility and how these programs will work for you or your qualifying dependent.

Senior Citizen Discounts

When we say that we are the lifelong learning place, we mean it. In our classrooms you can find students of every gender, race, ethnicity, - and age. Today's senior citizens are living longer than ever before, and doing so in better health. It is never too late to learn something new and, at Briar Cliff, we want to encourage every person 50+ to take advantage of the many interesting courses shown in our academic catalogue at senior discount rate.

Learn more

 

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