From The Executive Director
The Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) works to remove barriers so that any Iowan can achieve an education beyond high school. We provide tools and information to help Iowans plan, pay and complete postsecondary education because we believe that all Iowans will benefit from a better-educated population.
Iowa College Aid administers 14 state-funded scholarship, grant and loan forgiveness programs. These need-based programs provided nearly $70 million to 21,758 students in Fiscal Year 2016.
Counting both state and federally funded programs, Iowa College Aid administers about $90 million a year and serves approximately 36,000 students. Among our federal programs are GEAR UP Iowa, targeting students in low-income school districts starting in seventh grade, and Local College Access Networks, working with community partners to increase college attainment.
This annual report spells out how we serve Iowans and the importance of an agency like Iowa College Aid. To me, however, one very simple number tells the story: Of the 175,500 Iowans who filed a FAFSA for the 2014-15 academic year, more than 60,000 were found to have an Expected Family Contribution of zero. That means one in three families could not provide any financial support for a student in college.
The state of Iowa has set an ambitious goal of 70 percent postsecondary attainment among its residents by 2025, and Iowa College Aid programs will be instrumental in achieving that goal. We have always worked to increase college attainment, and our current efforts with low-income, minority and other underrepresented students will lift Iowa closer to the 2025 benchmark.
To increase education levels, our programs, services and community partnerships continue to increase the accessibility of higher education in Iowa. That’s why Iowa College Aid is here: to serve students, families and communities.
Karen Misjak, Executive Director