Iowa College Aid Insider: Iowa College Aid Programs (Dec. 2017)

Iowa College Aid releases annual report

Iowa College Aid has released its 2017 annual report, outlining the financial aid and community engagement programs that helped more Iowans get to and succeed in college. You can read or download the report here. Among the highlights of fiscal year 2017:

  • Iowa College Aid awarded $66,596,710 in scholarships, grants and loan repayment.
  • 25,311 individual awards went to Iowa students and graduates.
  • The largest financial aid program (almost three-quarters of the allocations) was the Iowa Tuition Grant for students at not-for-profit institutions.
  • GEAR UP Iowa grew to serve 8,388 ninth-graders in 12 Iowa school districts.
  • Local College Access Networks have reached 11 Iowa communities.
  • 125 schools participated in at least one Course to College program. 
  • The Course to College Corps selected six communities to host national service members. 
  • Go Alliance Academy trained 123 education professionals from 82 schools.

The report also includes eight spotlights, focusing on individuals and communities who have benefited from Iowa College Aid programs.

More GEAR UP students go to college, study says

GEAR UP Iowa students are more likely than their peers to go to college and just as likely to stay, according to a study released last month. The study looked at more than 17,000 students, both GEAR UP and non-GEAR UP, in six eastern Iowa counties from 2008 to 2014. It found:

  • College enrollment rates for GEAR UP Iowa students were 3 to 4 percentage points higher.
  • The college enrollment gap between lower- and higher-income students decreased by half.
  • College persistence rates were consistent among GEAR UP Iowa and non-GEAR UP Iowa students.
  • The persistence rate indicates that GEAR UP Iowa students were prepared for college.

The study was written by staff from Iowa College Aid, the University of Iowa and the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency, funded by a grant from the Roy. J. Carver Charitable Trust.

Commissioner honored for volunteer work

Iowa College Aid Commissioner Janet Adams was recently honored for her volunteer work with the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation. The foundation cited Janet’s philanthropic spirit and passion for her community, particularly her work on the fledgling nonprofit Financial Literacy Council of Greater Hamilton County.

“It’s a family financial literacy program,” Adams explains. “We’re using the data that says if children have some money set aside, they’re more likely to go on to higher education. It’s the first countywide effort like this in Iowa.” The foundation will launch each student’s college savings with $15, then continue to contribute small amounts to reward activities such as a family attending a meeting.

“Our county has a very low savings rate, and we’re a pretty low-income county,” Adams says. “This will be an important opportunity for our students.”


Printed from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website on May 25, 2018 at 12:15am.