Iowa College Aid Insider - April
Iowa high schools to celebrate College Decision Day
April is Financial Literacy Month in Iowa
First GEAR UP Iowa conference is a success!
Learn more about the changes to the 2017-18 FAFSA
Request for public comment on the FAFSA in the Federal Register
Student Tips and Advice - Picking a College
Twenty-four Iowa high schools will celebrate with their graduating seniors in the 3rd annual Iowa College Decision Day. Held on or around May 1, College Decision Day gives high schools and communities the opportunity to recognize and applaud all high school seniors for their post-graduation plans, and is step three of Iowa College Aid’s 3 Step Process towards building a college-going culture.
College Decision Day events range from day-long celebrations to hallway visuals and school-wide announcements! Check out Iowa College Aid’s website to learn more about the activities that your school could organize for your own College Decision Day. Even the smallest recognition is sure to leave your students with a feeling of pride and excitement for their future.
Governor Terry Branstad proclaimed April as Financial Literacy Awareness Month in the state of Iowa. The proclamation aims to emphasize the impact that personal financial knowledge has on the success of Iowa citizens and the state’s economy. Financial Literacy Awareness Month provides an opportunity for state agencies, local governments, non-profit organizations, private enterprises and financial institutions to highlight financial literacy programs aimed at empowering Iowans to achieve financial success and security.
Additionally, Money Smart Week, a public awareness campaign to help consumers better manage their personal finances, will be celebrated April 23 – April 30. Hundreds of organizations nationwide have committed to hosting events for all demographics and income levels, covering all aspects of personal finance. Find more information on Money Smart Week, including a list of Money Smart Events in Iowa on Money Smart Week’s website.
Share. Plan. Mobilize. Together We Rise! That was theme of the first-of-its-kind GEAR UP Iowa Conference, hosted by Iowa College Aid on April 7-8. The conference allowed the twelve diverse GEAR UP Iowa school districts to connect and network for the first time since the start of the grant in the fall, 2014.
Educators and administrators joined community organization professionals and Iowa College Aid in breakout sessions designed to allow attendees time to share best practices and obtain professional development related to college and career readiness. They were also given the opportunity to develop activities for year 3 of the GEAR UP Grant Program, a crucial element of the conference as GEAR UP Iowa students are preparing to transition into high school this fall.
Attendees also enjoyed presentations from Ranjit Sidhu, President/CEO of National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP); David Ford, Postsecondary Success Lead, Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency; Adam Carroll, Author/Founder, National Financial Educators; Kenneth C. Williams, Founder/Chief Visionary, Unfold the Soul; and Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 National Teacher of the Year. Learn more about GEAR UP Iowa at www.GEARUPIowa.gov.
The 2017-18 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will bring with it two significant changes. First, the FAFSA will be available in October rather than January and second, it will use income information from two years prior to the academic year (commonly referred to as prior-prior year or PPY) instead of the previous year.
In an effort to help college admission officers and high school educators prepare for the transition, College Board, NACAC and AACRAO are co-hosting the following three-part PPY webinar series:
In this on-demand webinar, hosted by the College Board, panelists discuss the issues that will impact admission and enrollment officers as they plan for the shift to PPY.
This webinar will be hosted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) on June 9.
Practical Implications for Early FAFSA and PPY on Admission and Enrollment Management Offices
This webinar will be hosted by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) on Aug. 25.
The U.S. Department of Education has requested public comment on additional ways to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In particular, the Department is asking:
- how to minimize the burden of collecting federal financial aid information on students and families, including through the use of information technology;
- how to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected from respondents; and
- whether the estimate of burden developed by the Department is accurate for reporting purposes (the notice states that it will take 38.67 million respondents more than 20.04 million hours to complete the FY2017-2018 FAFSA, a decrease of 524,469 hours from last year).
Public comments are due by May 31, 2016. For more information and to submit a formal comment, go to the www.federalregister.com.
Choosing a college is an extremely personal and life-changing decision. Picking the right college means finding the perfect fit, allowing you to earn a degree in as short a timeframe as possible, at a cost that fits in your budget, while having some fun along the way. Read “Picking a College” for a few pointers to finding a school that’s right for you.
Education Empowers, the official blog of Iowa College Aid, provides practical, informative and engaging tips and insight related to financial aid and college planning.