Frequently Asked Questions About Financial Aid
1. Does your "Extensive financial aid" include a scholarship?.
The Argiro Student Center is the hub for campus dining, student activities, and campus events.
- International students: The financial aid package is very significant. While it does not include a scholarship, it does include a very reasonable, easy to repay loan (see 2., 3., and 4. below). The loan is taken from a bank here in Fairfield, Iowa only after you receive your practical training job. Because practical training salaries are typically US$60,000 - 70,000 per year, you should be able to comfortably repay your loan before graduation. See also international student program structure.
2. What are the total program costs?.
The combined fees including tuition and on-campus room and board for the Computer Professionals Program (MSCS degree) total $32,830 to $34,430 depending on the entry track.
3. How much money do I need in order to enroll in your program?.
You can enroll and pay no money to start if you qualify for an Alternative Loan, which requires a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. An Alternative Loan will cover all your expenses for the program, except travel. You will also get a $1,000 reduction in tuition with this option.
4. What if I do not have a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident?.
If you have no co-signer, you will be required to pay a modest amount upon enrollment. The amount required will depend on the level of financial aid for which you qualify. Many applicants accepted to the program qualify for Senior Level of financial aid, which requires an initial payment of $4,500 upon enrollment. The balance of your program expenses is then paid through the Computer Professionals Loan, which you take from a bank here in Fairfield, Iowa after you receive your practical training job.
5. How is my level of financial aid determined?.
The amount you will need to pay when you enter the program is based on the strength of your academic background including your GPA, the type and number of computer science courses you have taken, your GRE scores (if you have taken GRE), recommendations, and your work experience. We can make a final evaluation of your financial aid award only after you submit all your application materials.
6. Can I borrow the initial payment through the Alternative Loan, and pay the rest with a Computer Professionals Loan after I receive a practical training job?.
Yes. However, you will not receive the $1,000 tuition reduction unless you finance 100% of your program expenses with the Alternative Loan. More Alternative Loan details.
7. Am I required to take out the Computer Professionals Loan if I do not have a job?.
No. The Computer Professionals Loan is not taken until you secure a curricular practical training job that pays enough for you to live comfortably and make payments on your loan.
8. What kind of salaries are students earning on their practical training jobs?.
Currently the average starting salary for our students is $60,000 - $70,000 per year. Your earnings are yours to keep. You will be expected to repay your loan over the up to two years of your practical training. You must also pay your own living expenses while you work.
9. When do I need to begin payments on the Computer Professionals Loan?.
Loan payments begin the month after the loan is taken out. There are a maximum of 24 monthly payments expected. You may choose to repay the loan more quickly to save on interest. The loan must be paid in full before you graduate.
Your chances are excellent. We pre-select students for the program who we think will do well in the U.S. job market. If you have properly represented your background and skills, and if you have good communication abilities (written and spoken English), you will do well in today’s IT job market.
11. How easy is it to find a job?.
Each student brings a unique set of talents to the job market, so the ease of finding work varies from person to person. However, there are several factors working in your favor:
- Our students have earned recognition with employers for our program. Many hiring managers check with our Placement Office when new positions become available because of the excellent reports they receive about our students' performance at their companies.
- Students who are already working are given a financial incentive by the University to help get other students placed at their companies.
- You will be well-prepared for the job market because of the cutting-edge content and practical nature of our courses, taught by faculty with workplace experience.
- Our students are available for shorter projects and find it easier to relocate than other IT professionals in the US.
- The job search workshop helps you increase your self-confidence and thus your ability to get a job. It prepares you for job interviews and improves your understanding of U.S. employers. We also assist you in developing a compelling resume through the use of a professional resume preparation service.
- When you search for a practical training job, you will have career coaches who will monitor your progress and offer assistance and guidance.
12. What happens if a student does not find a practical training job?.
We expect all our students to find a practical training job with a U.S. employer. This is a necessary part of our degree program.
If a student returns home without completing practical training, the student may return to the program at a later time to complete the program requirements.