Future First-Year Students

Your college journey awaits!

Expand your world, and take your college journey with us!

Make connections – intellectual and personal. Explore your potential and seek answers to the unknown. Become inspired by the inclusive and generous community you'll join at St. Ambrose University.

We believe in your potential and the promising future you want for yourself. Start your application today!

Scroll down and learn about the value of a St. Ambrose degree; explore academic majors and programs; and learn how we work individually with each family to find a financial aid package that works for YOU.

And remember, we're always here to help.

Apply to SAU Complete the FAFSA

we hit the playbooks harder

fighting bee

Our St. Ambrose Fighting Bees lead the nation with 25 scholar-teams! To earn this award, the team must have a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale). Go Brainy Bees!

See All Sports

Visit SAU

exterior ambrose hall

Discover St. Ambrose University through a visit day made just for you. Explore campus, talk to professors, learn about majors, and more. We'll plan the type of visit that works best for you!

See Visit Options

Students in Bechtel Hall

Best University Housing in the Midwest

Come see for yourself!

Enjoy being part of SAU's safe, supportive, and empowered campus community! Apply early; hall capacities are limited.

Residence Life

Sample Packages of Your Financial Aid

The financial aid scenario below is just one example of how your counselor will work with you and the Financial Aid Office to get the very best package St. Ambrose can provide!

Scroll down to "More Sample Packages" to see other types of financial aid packages.

girls walking together

Busy Bee

Creative, Successful, and Motivated

All your hard work in high school – excellent grades, clubs, volunteering, and anything else you could fit in – is paying off!

The Ambrose Advantage Scholarship is nearly a full ride and goes to students just like you.

Figures below are per academic year and based on estimated cost of attendance*, living on campus, dependent filing status and Iowa residency.

Ambrose Advantage Scholarship: $24,095
Pell Grant: $2,995
Iowa Tuition Grant: $6,200
Outside Scholarships: $5,000

Total Aid = $38,290
Remaining = $8,238 each year of undergraduate studies

*Est. cost per academic year ($46,528) includes avg. tuition/fees, room/board, and personal expenses.

Take a Video Tour
See our residence halls for first-year students

Featuring Bechtel, Cosgrove, Davis, North, Rohlman, and North halls. Single and suite-style living is available, plus housekeeping and great campus views.

Want to see them in-person? Schedule a visit to SAU

Application Information

Requirements for Admission

The following is required to apply for admission to St. Ambrose University:

  • Cumulative, unweighted grade point average of 2.5 or above (on a 4.0 unweighted scale) from an accredited high school
  • Ask your high school to send your academic transcripts to St. Ambrose University
  • (Optional) Send your test scores. St. Ambrose University has a test-optional* admissions process, but if you would like to submit scores, please make sure they are submitted either on high school transcript(s) or from the appropriate testing service. Send your test score(s) to St. Ambrose by using these codes, ACT: 1352, SAT: 6617

If you have questions or concerns, our admissions counselors are always willing to talk with you one-on-one. Contact us at 563-333-6300 or admit@sau.edu.

*Test scores are required for admission to specific programs and eligibility for top academic scholarships. Please contact your Admissions Counselor for details.

Deadline to Apply

Applications to St. Ambrose University are accepted throughout the year. Begin your application.

Certain programs have limited enrollment and as such have different deadlines:

  • Nursing
  • Social Work
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
High School Diploma Equivalents

General Education Development (GED) Test -OR- High School Equivalency Test (HiSET)
If you passed either the GED or HiSET and have an ACT composite score of 18 or an SAT score of 860, you meet our academic requirements.

If you've been out of high school (or the equivalent) for at least five years, you don't need SAT or ACT scores.

2021-22 Costs

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

2021-22 Tuition

Full-time (12-18 credits): $33,290/year; $16,645/semester

Part-time (1-11 credits): $970/credit hour (16-week courses); $486/credit hour (accelerated and online courses)


At least 12 credit hours –  $280/yr. ($140/semester)
11 or fewer credit hours – $140/yr. ($70/semester)
Matriculation – $75

2021-22 Housing and Meal Plan Costs

Prices below are per semester.


  • Traditional Hall, double (Davis double, Davis single): $2,660
  • Traditional Hall, double (Cosgrove): $3,160
  • Traditional Hall, double (Bechtel, Franklin, North, Rohlman): $3,630
  • Preferred Housing, double or single (Houses): $4,050
  • Preferred Housing, double (Tiedemann, Townhouse, McCarthy): $4,160
  • Preferred Housing, single (North): $4,305
  • Preferred Housing, single (Hagen): $4,510

Super Single (one person in a double occupancy room)

  • Davis: $3,490
  • Cosgrove: $4,005
  • Bechtel, Franklin, North Trad, Rohlman: $4,470
  • Tiedemann/Townhouse/McCarthy/House: $5,195

Housing Deposit: $100 due with deposit; $150 applied to first bill

Meal Plans

  • 7 Meals + $225 spending/per semester: $1,790
  • 12 Meals + $275 spending/per semester: $2,270
  • 19 Meals + $200 spending/per semester: $2,515
  • Flex 160 + $100 spending/per semester: $2,355

Students who live on campus are required to choose a meal plan.

Meal Plan Changes and Appeals

Meal plan change and appeal processes are available on the Housing Options and Meal Plans portal page.


If you would like to receive a copy of your signed housing contract, please email reslife@sau.edu.

Summer 2021 Rates

For all summer residents

All summer residents will be expected to abide by university policies as well as Covid guidelines, including a daily symptom check. We will maintain isolation housing units in the event resident(s) test positive.

SAU Students


  • Any SAU student is eligible to contract to live on campus in the summer.
  • Students working on campus are eligible for free housing depending on the number of hours worked.
  • Students working at internships approved through the SAU Career Center qualify for a 50% reduction in housing costs.

Visiting Interns

This rate is for non-SAU college students who are working in the Quad Cities.

Hagen or North (Single): $26/day

Read the Terms and Conditions and submit your $250 housing deposit

Tuition Refund Insurance

St. Ambrose has partnered with Sallie Mae to offer an opt-in tuition insurance plan. Participation in the tuition insurance plan is optional and St. Ambrose University does not administer the program. The University's withdrawal and refund policies are applicable whether or not you enroll in the tuition insurance plan.

Each year thousands of college students are unable to complete classes for the semester due to unforeseen medical issues such as illness, accidents, concussions, or issues related to mental health.

Unfortunately, in many cases these families are unable to recoup all of their tuition dollars. At St. Ambrose, depending on the timing of the withdrawal, there may be circumstances where you may not be eligible to receive a full refund of your tuition and fees. We understand these types of situations can be a financial hardship for many families. Therefore, we are pleased to make available the Tuition Refund Insurance plan.

Tuition Refund Insurance can help refund your tuition, fees, and room/board charges - up to the policy limits - if you are unable to complete the semester due to a covered medical reason such as an illness, accident, or mental health issue (two-day hospital stay required for mental health-related issues). This insurance program complements and enhances our school's refund policy, and we believe families will benefit from this added protection.

Visit GradGuard for more information.

Scholarships and Grants

First-Year Scholarships

For academic/merit-based awards, we match eligible students to a qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

You may also qualify for scholarships or grants due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Contact the Admissions Office so we can be sure you're getting what you need.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The SAU school code is 001889.

And finally, look below under Outside Scholarships to see examples of non-SAU financial aid, and be sure to get an early start on your applications!

First-Year Scholarships

Amounts are for first-year students entering St. Ambrose in the 2021-22 academic year.

There is no need to apply for the scholarships or grants below; students automatically are eligible if they meet specific criteria. The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using unweighted high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores*.

Your scholarship will automatically renew each year of your undergraduate studies – up to four years – as long as you maintain satisfactory progress toward an undergraduate degree, achieve certain GPA requirements (see below), and remain a full-time student. 

2021-22 Scholarships


On-Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Ambrose Advantage
Criteria: Iowa resident, Federal Pell Grant eligible, 2021 high school graduate, min. unweighted GPA 2.8, admitted to SAU, and FAFSA filed by Mar. 15. To remain eligible in subsequent years, students must maintain 2.8 GPA and qualify for the Federal Pell Grant.
Award: Full tuition

Criteria: unweighted 3.9 GPA and minimum 29 ACT or 1340 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $25,000/year and invited to compete for a full-tuition scholarship

Criteria: minimum unweighted 3.8 GPA and 28 ACT or 1310 SAT score. Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA in successive years.
Award: $23,000/year

Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $15,000-$21,000/year

University Grant
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)

On-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $1,000/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required. Additional aid available.
Award: $500-$1,000/year


Off-Campus (Merit-Based Scholarships)

Academic Scholarships
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score (optional)
Award: $13,000-$16,000/year (Iowa resident) or $14,000-17,000/year (non-Iowa resident)

University Grants
Criteria: based on unweighted GPA and ACT/SAT score
Award: $11,000/year

Off-Campus (Additional Institutional Scholarships)

Fr. Welch Alumni Scholarships
Criteria: parent is a St. Ambrose graduate
Award: $500/year

Freeman Pollard Diversity Awards
Criteria: ethnically diverse student; FAFSA required.
Award: $500/year

*While St. Ambrose University has a Test-Optional admissions policy, standardized test scores are required for both admission to specific programs and/or eligibility for top academic scholarships.

Athletic Scholarships

As a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), St. Ambrose can award athletic scholarships to student-athletes.

These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

With more than 31 varsity athletic teams and state-of-the-art facilities in which to play them, the Fighting Bees of SAU are bold contenders on any field. Watch this video

Fine Arts Scholarships

How do I qualify for a fine arts scholarship? 
Scholarships are awarded based on performance and ability in art, music and theatre. Review the various requirements below:

Outside Scholarships

There are many opportunities to receive scholarships from outside sources, here are a few websites to begin researching your options:

Another tip: Next time you're on campus, check out the bulletin board outside Bee Central where we post more flyers and applications for outside scholarships.


Grants are money that you don't repay, and they can come from government or private sources.

Many grants rely on your completed FAFSA to determine your eligibility and/or the grant amount; the FAFSA acts as your application. Many grants are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, so file your FAFSA as early as possible (beginning Oct. 1 every year). The SAU school code is 001889.

SAU receives all financial aid funds directly – including loans and grants – then applies them to your account: once in the fall term and once in the spring term.

General Grant Information

  • Grants can be used to cover your tuition, books, and housing costs.
  • You must apply for grants each academic year.
  • If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement.
Federal Grants

The Federal Pell Grant is awarded to students of the highest need based on how much your family can contribute to your education. The U.S. Department of Education sets a Expected Family Contribution (EFC) threshold. Then, when you file your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), it computes where you land within that threshold and determines if you qualify for the grant and for how much.

The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) has very little funding available to SAU students. To qualify, you must file a FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 15 and you must qualify for a Pell Grant. This grant is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to students who have submitted all required documents for review and in time for the review to be complete. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant or SEOG, the awards will appear on your financial aid award letter.

The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides up to $4,000 to students intending to teach in a high-need field at a school that serves low-income families (as determined by the U.S. Department of Education or a state education agency).

To receive this grant, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Enroll in coursework necessary to begin a teaching career
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25/4.00 or score above the 75th percentile on a college admission test such as the ACT or SAT
  • Agree to teach in a high-need field including Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Reading Specialist, Science, or Special Education
  • Agree to teach in other state-identified shortage areas
  • Agree to teach in a school that serves low-income students
  • Meet with a member of the Financial Aid Office staff to discuss your eligibility
  • Complete TEACH Grant Counseling and the Agreement to Serve

You must teach in a shortage field and within a low-income school within four of the first eight years after graduation or the grants funds you received will be converted to Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans. You will be charged accrued interest back to the original disbursement dates of each TEACH Grant.

TEACH Grants are serviced by FedLoan Servicing.

Iowa Tuition Grant

iowa college aidTo be eligible for the Iowa Tuition Grant, you must be a resident of Iowa as defined by the State Board of Regents and currently enrolled or planning to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at an eligible Iowa college or university (SAU is eligible). Iowa College Aid administers need-based college financial aid for Iowans, such as the Iowa Tuition Grant.

The maximum award is $6,800 and the amount you receive is dependent on funding and the number of recipients.

To apply for the grant, complete the federal FAFSA form by July 1 of the award year. SAU's federal school code is 001889.


Financing Your Education

Loans are one way to pay for your degree.

Financial institutions lend money to a person over a set period of time with the legal expectation that the recipient will repay the amount.

As part of learning about loans, read SAU's Financial Aid Policies and use the Net Price Calculator to see how loans affect your budget.

Loan Best Practices and Tips

Here are some important tips to follow when borrowing student loans:

  • As a student loan borrower, be aware of your rights and responsibilities.
  • Be a responsible borrower and only borrow what you need to cover your educational expenses. If you have borrowed more money than you need for the semester, you can always return it. There are no penalties for early repayment.
  • Know your allotted grace period for each loan. If you go below half-time status or withdraw from school, you will enter your grace period. If your grace period elapses and you are not enrolled, you will begin your repayment period.
  • Pay off accruing interest to avoid interest capitalization when entering repayment.
  • Avoid defaulting on your student loan. If you have trouble making monthly payments, contact your student loan provider or school for help and information.
  • If you have any loan funds in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement.
Federal Loans – For Students and Parents

Federal Student Loans

All students filing a FAFSA are eligible for federal loans.

The SAU Financial Aid Office determines which types of federal loans you are eligible for, and the loans will be listed on your official award letter.

Federal Direct Loans

This is a federally guaranteed loan. There are two types of Direct Loans: subsidized and unsubsidized.

  • A subsidized loan is a loan in which the government waives the interest accrual while the student is enrolled at least half-time.
  • An unsubsidized loan is a loan in which the government does not waive the interest and it does accrue while the student is in school.

You will have the option to pay this interest or to have it capitalized. The Subsidized portion of the loan will depend on the need that is determined from your FAFSA information. If you have no need or low need, you will receive the Unsubsidized portion instead.

For both loan types, the principle loan payments are deferred while a student is enrolled at least half-time and repayment on the loans does not start until 6 months after the student drops below half-time enrollment, graduates or withdraws.

Loan TypeBorrowerStarting July 1, 2018
Subsidized Undergraduate fixed 5.05%
Unsubsidized Undergraduate fixed 5.05%
Unsubsidized Graduate fixed 6.6% 

*See the graduate student loan accordion for more information regarding federal loans available to graduate level students.

There is a 1.066% origination fee on all unsubsidized and subsidized loans if the loan is disbursed on or after December 1, 2017, and a 1.062% origination fee if the loan is disbursed on or after October 1, 2018. For more information visit the Federal Direct Loan website.

Federal Parent Loans

Parents can borrow a loan to help pay for the cost of their child's education. The loan will be in the parent's name and will be based on credit history.

Loan Terms

  • 7.6% fixed interest rate
  • 4.264% origination fee deducted from the principal loan amount at the time of disbursement if the loan is disbursed prior to Oct. 1, 2017
  • 4.248%.origination fee deducted from the principal loan amount at the time of disbursement if the loan is disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2018
  • Repayment begins within 30 days of final disbursement.
  • In-school deferment is available.
  • To apply for a Federal Direct Parent Plus Loan, a parent will need to sign in with their FSA User ID and password complete the PLUS Request Process at www.studentloans.gov.
  • The Financial Aid Office will be notified when it is complete.
Private Loans

Private alternative loans are designed to assist students who need additional funding to meet the gap between the cost of attendance and any financial aid they have already received for that year/term.

Private loans are not part of the federal education loan program. Any student considering a private loan to help cover costs should speak with their admissions counselor first to ensure that the best aid package has been awarded.

If you are considering a private educational loan, be aware of the following:

  • As a private loan borrower, it is your responsibility to research which loan will be best for you. You should pay close attention to interest rates, fees, and repayment terms.
  • If a lender approves the amount of money you requested, that same amount may not be approved by the University. The amount of money you may borrow (your loan) will be determined by both the University and other aid you receive. The loan also must fit within your Cost of Attendance budget set by the University according to Department of Education guidelines.
  • Private alternative loans are credit-based loans. This means that the company will run your credit history. If your credit does not pass, you may be required to have a co-signer in order to receive that loan. The majority of private educational loans also have variable interest rates. This means that the rates will vary with fluctuations in the market over the life of the loan.
  • Many private educational loans also have associated fees. These are processing or origination fees that are charged to you and taken off the top of your loan. For example: if you needed to borrow $1,000 and the loan you chose had a 5 percent origination fee, you would only receive $950 because $50 of that would have gone to pay the fee.
  • Once you apply, our office will be notified and we will certify your loan. In most cases, this is all done electronically, but you can expect that these types of loans will take several weeks to complete because of the credit underwriting that the lenders perform.

Preferred Lenders

Preferred Lender Disclosures

The link to FastChoice at the bottom of this page will direct you to our preferred lenders. This list has been established by the St. Ambrose University Financial Aid Office.

As required by state and federal law, the preferred lender list has the following disclosures:

  • In conjunction with lenders reviewed and used by our students, the SAU Financial Aid staff generated a list of lenders and compared those lenders' loan product details such as: fees, interest rates, rebates, etc. After evaluating those loan products, the staff generated a list of preferred lenders.
  • Evaluation and Selection Criteria: After compiling a comprehensive list, lenders were evaluated and selected based on interest rates, origination fees, cosigner options, out-of-state borrower options, efficiency of loans processing, customer service, loan limit criteria, non-degree seeking loans options, past due balance options, and repayment options/incentives.
  • Each lender on this preferred lender list is unaffiliated with the other.
  • A student is not required to borrow from a lender on this list and may apply for a private student loan with any lender. 


By clicking FastChoice you will be directed away from the St. Ambrose University Financial Aid website and begin viewing private loan products that are part of our preferred lending arrangement.

FastChoice is a loan comparison tool offered by Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation and allows students to compare up to three different loans side-by-side. It's important to remember that some lenders offer more than one loan product, so give careful consideration to the lenders and various loan products.

Loan Forgiveness

You may be eligible for a portion or all of your student loan to be forgiven (not repaid) depending on your area of study, how your loan is financed, or where you work.

Information on this page is not exhaustive, so inquire with your loan provider or servicer.

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

If you plan to teach - and the world needs more teachers - you may qualify for a portion of your loan to be forgiven or completely paid (canceled). You may also qualify for cancellation of a Federal Perkins Loan if you meet certain conditions.

Loan type: Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Subsidized Federal Stafford Loans, Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Working in certain public service jobs and making continuous payments on your Direct Loan may qualify the balance of your loan to be forgiven. Examples of public service include government jobs at any level, attorneys in certain fields, non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations, and other non-profit groups. AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and VISTA also count.

Health Care Professionals Loan Repayment

Several programs offer loan repayment or forgiveness to those working in medical professions, usually in low-income or health professional shortage areas (HPSA).

Federal Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge

If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, there are several types of occupations that may qualify you for loan forgiveness or cancellation. Some of those jobs include, but are not limited to: firefighter, speech pathologist, nurse, librarian, and others.
View the circumstances and conditions

Summer Loans

Summer financial aid is not automatically awarded to students. You must request summer financial aid by completing a Summer Loan Request Form (pdf). There is no institutional aid/scholarships for summer sessions. 

However, if you are enrolled during the summer for at least half-time (6 hours for undergraduate or 3 hours for graduate), you may be eligible for Federal Direct Loans.

  • Make sure you have filed your FAFSA for the current academic year. We will need this information to process your loan.
  • The amount of loan you request may not be the amount you are eligible for. Eligibility for an undergraduate student will be determined by the amount of loans borrowed previously in the academic year. Eligibility for the year may have been exhausted.

If you aren't enrolled at least half-time, you may consider taking a Private Alternative Loan to pay for your class. Visit the Private Alternative Loan section above for more information.

More Financial Aid Packages

Student Athlete

We value the dedication you have for your sport. With dozens of varsity teams from which to choose, we'd be glad to welcome you as a Fighting Bee!

Figures below are per academic year* and based on living on campus and dependent filing status.

Academic Scholarship: $13,000
Athletic Scholarship: $7,900
Work Study: $1,850
Pell Grant: $5,000
Federal Direct Loan: $5,500

Total Aid = $33,250
Remaining = $13,278 each year of undergraduate studies

*Est. cost per academic year ($46,528) includes avg. tuition/fees, room/board, and personal expenses.

Academic All-Star

Discover your potential at SAU! You have high personal expectations for yourself, so why stop now?

Our Honors Program, undergraduate research opportunities, and well-connected internships pave the way for your success at, and after, St. Ambrose.

Figures below are per academic year* and based on living on campus and dependent filing status.

Academic Scholarship: $25,000
Minority Scholarship: $500
Federal Direct Loan: $3,000
Endowed Scholarship (amounts vary): $3,500

Total Aid = $32,000
Remaining = $14,528 each year of undergraduate studies

*Est. cost per academic year ($46,528) includes avg. tuition/fees, room/board, and personal expenses.

Star Performer

Find your creative outlet at St. Ambrose, and you'll find supportive faculty who – just like you – value self-expression, dedication to their craft, and holding themselves to a higher performance standard.

Figures below are per academic year* and based on living off campus, dependent filing status, and Iowa residency.

Academic Scholarship - $14,000
Music Scholarship - $2,000
Federal Direct Loan - $7,000
Outside Scholarships - $5,000

Total Aid = $28,000
Remaining = $6,890 each year of undergraduate studies

*Est. cost per academic year ($34,890) includes avg. tuition/fees and personal expenses.


Admissions Office
Admissions and Welcome Center
310 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803

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