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The Financial Aid Process

College is an investment in the rest of your life. 

At Drake, we not only provide the exceptional learning and rich experiences that will maximize the value of that investment, but we also work hard to make a Drake education affordable for your family.

Apply For Admission

Official offers of financial aid are available only to students who have been admitted to an aid-eligible program at Drake University.

To apply, visit

Review Available Scholarships

Many of Drake’s scholarships are awarded automatically at the time of admission. However, some require an application, audition, or other action from you. For maximum consideration for available scholarships, it is important to be admitted and complete all requirements by the deadlines given.

Information about available scholarship opportunities is available on the Drake Scholarships webpage.

Complete the FAFSA

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) becomes available each year on October 1st. Eligible students must complete the FAFSA to be considered for need-based assistance or federal loans. Drake’s priority deadline for completing the FAFSA is March 1 (preceding the upcoming year of enrollment). The FAFSA must be completed for each year the student wishes to apply for need-based aid or federal loans.

A student’s FAFSA may be selected for a review process called “verification”, during which Drake is required to collect documentation to verify the accuracy of submitted FAFSA information. It is important to respond promptly to all verification requests from the Office of Student Financial Planning. Failure to complete verification will result in delays in the awarding and/or processing of a student’s financial aid, and could ultimately result in the cancellation of a student’s financial aid eligibility. Incomplete financial aid requirements can be viewed in the student's Financial Aid Portal

If you or your family has special circumstances that are impacting your ability to pay for college, you can report them on Drake's Special Circumstances Form, available here. This form should be completed when the FAFSA is submitted, or whenever the situation becomes known. Be sure to include all supporting documentation when submitting this form.

Financial Aid Award Notifications and Tuition Deposit

After need-based awarding begins, students will receive their financial aid awards notification. Offers of financial aid to prospective students will be honored until May 1st (The National Candidates Reply Date) or three weeks from the date of the award notice—whichever is later. Students must submit a Tuition Deposit to indicate their intention to enroll at Drake and to secure their offer of financial aid.

Please note: The tuition deposit does not guarantee a financial aid offer—it is subject to change if a student’s eligibility changes (usually as a result of updates to the FAFSA, or the receipt of additional awards). Even students that receive awards that fully cover tuition (i.e. Tuition Exchange) are expected to submit a tuition deposit.

Develop Your Plan to Pay

Drake students fund their education in a variety of ways. The first step in developing your plan for payment is to account for all of your costs. Your costs will include billable costs like tuition, fees, room and meal plans, as well as indirect costs like books & supplies, transportation, and personal hygiene. The Office of Student Financial Planning has developed Financial Planning Worksheets (available here) to help you develop your plan for payment. If you need help estimating your costs, contact the Office of Student Financial Planning.

Your financial aid notification will summarize the amount of gift aid (scholarships and grants) for which you are eligible. Gift aid does not need to be repaid. Gift aid is applied as a payment on your account, and the amount of your costs not covered by gift aid is called your net cost.

Your net cost may be covered by any combination of the following sources: college savings, contributions from income (see information for Drake’s Payment Options), outside scholarships/ support, Federal Direct Student Loans, Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans, or private student loans. Loans must be repaid, usually soon after a student ceases to be enrolled on a half-time basis.

Student Loan Requirements

If your plan to pay includes the use of loans, there are some steps you must complete to receive those loans. There are different requirements for each of the loan programs available at Drake. Loans cannot be processed until all loan requirements have been met.

Detailed instructions to apply for each type of loan program can be found here.


  • Complete the FAFSA by Drake’s priority deadline (March 1st)
  • Respond to all requests for information from the Office of Student Financial Planning. A list of incomplete requirements can be viewed in your Financial Aid Portal.
  • Submit your Tuition Deposit (due May 1st) here.
  • Send your final high school or college transcript to Office of Admission
  • Email about any non-Drake scholarships you are receiving (Name and amount)
  • Develop your plan to pay your bill. Financial planning worksheets are available here.
  • If utilizing a payment plan, enroll through the Student Accounts section of myDrake after you receive your first bill
  • If utilizing loans, complete all required steps (instructions available here).
  • If you are interested in student employment, review information here


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