Paying for College

Hawkeye strives to provide the highest quality education at the lowest cost possible.

2023–2024 Cost per Credit Hour

Resident Non-Resident
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Tuition $211 $221
Student Activity Fee $6.50 $6.50
Total Tuition and Fees per Credit Hour $217.50 $227.50

Planning College Costs

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Estimated Cost of Attending

The cost of attending is the estimated cost of educational expenses for an average Hawkeye student. This is often referred to as the student budget on financial aid offer letters.

The estimated costs listed on this page should assist you in planning your own personal budget while attending Hawkeye, but does not necessarily reflect your actual expenses. Actual expenses will depend on your lifestyle, number of credits enrolled, program of study, and housing arrangements.

2023 – 2024 Estimated Expenses

Estimated Direct Expenses: $7,444

Tuition and Student Activity Fee: $6,308

Books, course materials, supplies, and equipment: $1,136

Estimated Indirect Expenses: $12,512

Off-Campus Housing and Food: $8,942

Personal and Transportation: $3,502

Loan fees, if you borrow Federal loans: $68

Total Estimated Cost of Attendance: $19,956

Estimated Direct Expenses: $7,444 + Estimated Indirect Expenses: $12,512 = 2023 – 2024 Total Estimated Cost of Attendance: $19,956

Direct Expenses vs. Indirect Expenses

Your cost of attending is made up of two different types of costs: direct and indirect.

Direct expenses are items that will appear on your Hawkeye bill such as tuition and fees and possibly books purchased or rented through the Hawkeye Bookstore.

Indirect expenses are expenses that are incurred as a result of attending school, are not billable through Hawkeye, and are often paid to a third party outside the College. For Hawkeye, this would include transportation, books, other supplies, food, and housing.

In general, when a student is receiving financial aid, this aid is applied to the direct costs first for the semester. Once the student's direct costs are paid in full, any remaining financial aid they were offered would be sent to the student (or parent in the case of a parent PLUS loan) to pay for indirect costs.

Cost Components and How Estimates are Determined

Hawkeye is required to use the Estimated Cost of Attendance when determining a student’s financial need. The Estimated Cost of Attendance also sets the limit on the total financial aid a student may receive. The cost components that can be included are prescribed by law.

Cost Components Included in the Estimated Cost of Attendance

  • Tuition and fees:

  • Books, course materials, supplies, and equipment:

  • Transportation:

    • Estimates are based on state averages and economic factors.
    • Initial estimates are calculated with 16 weeks of enrollment each fall and spring semester and 8 weeks in the summer.
    • This component is adjusted to the actual number of weeks a student is enrolled for the semester on the Financial Aid Lock Date.
  • Personal expenses:

    • Estimates are based on state averages.
    • Initial estimates are calculated with 16 weeks of enrollment each fall and spring semester and 8 weeks in the summer.
    • This component is adjusted based on the actual number of weeks a student is enrolled for the semester on the Financial Aid Lock Date.
    • Personal expenses cannot be included in the cost of attending if the student is enrolled in five or fewer credits.
  • Housing and food (formerly Room and Board) — Living Expenses:

    • Estimates are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
    • Initial estimates are calculated with 16 weeks of enrollment each fall and spring semester and 8 weeks in the summer.
    • Students would have greater living expenses if they were living off-campus vs. with parent. The student indicates living arrangements on the FAFSA.
    • Hawkeye does not have college owned housing.
    • This component is adjusted based on the actual number of weeks a student is enrolled for the semester on the Financial Aid Lock Date.
    • Housing and food expenses cannot be included in the cost of attending if the student is enrolled in five or fewer credits.
  • Loan fees:

    • Based on the average cost of borrowing student loans or parent PLUS loans. The average is calculated using Hawkeye student borrowing data from two years prior.

Factoring in Program Supplies and Fees

Some programs, especially career and technical programs, may have additional costs such as course fees, uniforms, tools, supplies, or equipment expenses. Contact your faculty advisor for estimated additional program costs.

If you have costs that exceed what is already included in the average cost of attending and feel that your cost of attending (student budget) should be adjusted for financial aid purposes because you are enrolled in a program that requires tools or equipment, please see Special and Unusual Circumstance Appeals > Cost of Attendance Appeal.

The purchase or rental of a personal computer can be included in a student's budget when documentation is provided to the Financial Aid Office. However, it does not guarantee additional financial assistance.

Dental Hygiene students have higher than the average costs for course fees. These costs will automatically be added to their student budget to more accurately estimate the program costs.

Financing Your Education

When planning how you will pay for your college education,
consider the following options:

Option 1:

Free Money!

Grants and Scholarships

Unlike student loans, grants and scholarships do not need to be repaid! Complete a FAFSA form each academic year to apply for federal and state grants, as well as state scholarships.

Take a couple of minutes to fill out the Hawkeye Scholarship Application. By completing one application, you will apply for dozens of scholarships!

Also check out ScholarshipUniverse for even more scholarship opportunities and to get matched to scholarships for which you qualify!

Employee Tuition Assistance Programs

Does your employer offer a tuition assistance program? Ask your boss or Human Resources office to see if this is one of your employee benefits. Find out what they will pay for, the requirements and expectations, and how payment is made. If available, this is a benefit you won't want to miss out on!

Military Education Benefits

If you, your spouse, or a parent has served in the military, you may be eligible for military education benefits. Contact the veterans services coordinator for more information.

Option 2:

Pay As You Go


Do you have family members who will help you pay for college? If so, have a conversation with them to discuss how much they are planning to pay. What are their expectations if you accept their gift?


Have you saved any money to help pay for your education? Just paying accruing interest on loans and/or using your savings to buy books will make a significant impact on how much you will have to borrow and in turn pay back.


Working throughout the semester or picking up extra hours during breaks will not only help you pay the bills, but if you budget wisely, can help you finish school with less debt. Work Study positions and RedTails LEAD AmeriCorps Positions are available on campus, or check out the Hawkeye Job Board for more employment opportunities.

Option 3:

Borrow Money

Federal Direct Student Loans

Federal Direct Loans offer students a low interest, fixed-rate option to pay for college. You must submit a FAFSA each academic year to apply for Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct student loans.

Federal Direct Parent PLUS Loans

Parents may qualify for Parent PLUS Loans to help pay for their student's college education. Parents must complete a separate application to apply for the Parent PLUS loan.

Private Student Loans

Private Student Loans are also an option, but should only be used as a last resort. These loans are taken out through banks or other lenders and often have higher interest rates and lending fees. Private student loans can only be used when all other financial aid options have been exhausted.

Paying Your Bill

Viewing Your Bill

Your bill for tuition, fees, and books may be viewed in My Hawkeye > Self-Service Menu > Students > Self Service > Student Finance > Make a Payment.

Your bill will not show any awarded financial aid. See Applying for Financial Aid and Your Award, Step 5: Review your Financial Aid Award.

Making Payment Arrangements

If you plan to pay for your education on your own or if your financial aid will not cover the full balance of your student account, you need to make payment arrangements with the Business Office by the first day of the term.

Payment Options

There are several ways you can pay your bill at Hawkeye:

  • Online by credit card, debit card, or ACH electronic bank transfer at My Hawkeye > Self-Service Menu > Students > Self Service > Student Finance > Make a Payment.

  • Over the phone by credit card or debit card. Hawkeye accepts Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.

  • Mail a check to the Business Office at P.O. Box 8015, Waterloo, IA 50704-8015.

  • In person at the Business Office, Hawkeye Center 122. A drop box is available for after hours payments.

  • Automatic Monthly Payment Plan: Payment plans let you spread tuition out throughout the school year, so you won’t have to worry about a big lump-sum due date at the beginning of each semester. Learn more about setting up an automatic monthly payment plan.

You are responsible for the tuition and fees for classes for which you have registered. You will not be withdrawn from school for nonpayment of tuition and/or non-attendance; you are still responsible to pay your tuition and fees charges..

Drop/Withdraw From a Course Tuition Refund Policy

Outstanding Balances

If you have an outstanding balance of any amount on your student account, such as:

  • Tuition, computer fees, and student activities fees
  • Program supplies and fees
  • Library fines
  • Parking fines
  • Photo cage fines
  • Athletic fee

Hawkeye reserves the right to withhold:

  • Registration for future credit and non-credit classes
  • Transcripts
  • Diplomas and certificates

Contact the Business Office to discuss your outstanding balance.

Once a year, Hawkeye submits outstanding balances of $50 or more to the State of Iowa Setoff Program. This program may garnish your state tax refund to pay your outstanding balance. The State of Iowa Setoff Program is operated by the Iowa Department of Revenue.

Hawkeye Community College also contracts with 3rd party collection agencies for collection of debts.

Financial Aid

Hawkeye Center 118
800-670-4769 ext.4020
319-209-9239 (text only)
319-296-4495 (fax)
Email Financial Aid

Business Office


Regular Hours — Spring 2024

January 3 – May 10, 2024

Monday – Friday 8:00am – 4:30pm

If campus is closed, the Financial Aid Office and the Business Office are also closed. This includes weather-related closings. See the Academic Calendar for scheduled college closings.

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