Iowa College Aid
Overview and Background
The Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) is a state agency with a Governor-appointed Board of Commissioners, and is the only agency in Iowa that works with all sectors of higher education. Our mission is to advocate for and support Iowa students as they explore, finance and complete educational opportunities beyond high school to increase family and community success. We view increasing college attainment as among the most effective and sustainable strategies for the State of Iowa in encouraging economic growth and fighting poverty.
The Iowa College Aid Community Engagement Division administers the Local College Access Network (LCAN) Grant Series. Years ago, while implementing Iowa’s statewide career and college information system, Iowa College Aid identified the need to build the capacity of college attainment partnerships at the local level. Iowa College Aid responded to this need by creating the LCAN Grant Series, which offers not only funding, but also consultation, training and technical assistance at each phase of LCAN development.
Through the LCAN Grant Series, Iowa College Aid supports cross-sector, CEO – level leadership teams and networks dedicated to increasing college attainment in communities across Iowa. LCAN grant funding supports staff, training and other expenses associated with creating an LCAN. Leadership Teams focus on identifying and removing college attainment barriers that exist specific to their community. Removing these barriers will result in increased college attainment rates at the local level and across Iowa.
Iowa College Aid is a partner in the Governor’s Future Ready Iowa (FRI) initiative. LCANs directly contribute to the FRI goal that 70% of Iowa’s workforce has education beyond high school by the year 2025. Additionally, in 2019, Iowa College Aid began administering the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship Program and the Future Ready Iowa Grant Program. In 2020, Iowa College Aid launched the Future Ready Iowa texting initiative, which is available to all students and targets Future Ready Iowa scholarship and grant recipients and candidates.
Iowa College Aid believes:
● Everyone needs education beyond high school to compete in the current job market and attain economic security.
● “College” is a broad term that includes credentialing and certification programs; two-year programs, four-year programs, and beyond.
● Iowa cannot meet its skilled workforce demands without increasing college attainment for populations including adults, low-income Iowans, and marginalized students.
● Increased college attainment levels are good for the community. Increases in college attainment are highly correlated with increased positive community indicators such as:
‐ Increased income
‐ Home ownership
‐ Reading levels for children