Iowa Families Eligible for Money for Educational Expenses

Iowa Nonprofit's Tool to Project Total College Cost Encourages Family Financial Preparation for College

March 17, 2020

Iowa high school seniors, or their parents or guardians, can enter a drawing for ten $1,000 awards by completing a free online tool that helps them estimate the total cost of a four-year undergraduate degree.

Eligible participants may enter their information for the drawing after completing the College Funding Forecaster now through April 30. The free online tool provided by Iowa Student LoanĀ® uses information from students' freshman year financial aid award packets, as well outside scholarships and grants and family savings and earnings, to project estimated costs, funding gaps and potential student loan debt over four years.

The tool is designed to help families understand total college costs before they commit to a particular path, said Steve McCullough, president and CEO of Iowa Student Loan. "We find that actual college costs compared to available financial aid surprise families every year. Even many of those who have planned funding for the first year are not always prepared for increases in costs or reductions in scholarship or other aid to have a complete picture of four-year costs."

The College Funding Forecaster helps by demonstrating estimated cost increases, changes in financial aid and scholarships, and student and family earnings and savings, McCullough said. The tool allows families to customize both expenses and available funding to adjust results for changes in students' situations over the four years. The results show yearly and total estimated costs of attendance, available funding and projected funding gaps. The tool also provides informational tips on how to reduce costs and potential debt.

"We offer the College Funding Forecaster, as well as other tools to help families planning for education and training after high school, free on our website as part of our overall nonprofit mission," said Christine Hensley, chair of Iowa Student Loan's board. "While our main focus is providing low-cost supplemental private loans to students and families, these tools also help reduce overall borrowing and avoid a personal student loan crisis."

After viewing their results in the College Funding Forecaster, users have the opportunity to enter the drawing. Student names will be drawn in May to win one of ten $1,000 awards for 2020–2021 college expenses. The awards will be paid directly to the students' colleges this fall.

For details and complete rules for the giveaway, visit

To begin the College Funding Forecaster and enter the giveaway, go to Questions should be emailed to

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