Future Ready Iowa, Goal 2025 and Iowa College Aid
The importance of education or training beyond high school is evident in today’s economy as employers from across the state find it difficult to fill job openings due to a shortage of candidates with the right skills. From agribusiness to health services, the skills gap exists. A report released by the Branstad-Reynolds Administration in collaboration with the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce projects that Iowa will add 612,000 jobs to its economy by 2025, with 68 percent of all jobs expected to require some type of training beyond high school.
Building on that foundation, Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are calling for 70 percent of Iowans in the workforce to have education or training beyond high school by 2025, known as Goal 2025, so that more Iowans have great career opportunities and employers have the skilled workforce they need. The Governor’s Future Ready Iowa Summit, held in April, brought together state, national and global experts to discuss how to better align education and the workforce to meet this goal and the next steps our state should take.
Iowa College Aid supports Governor Branstad’s Goal 2025 through everything that we do. Iowa College Aid believes that a college education is possible for every Iowan and aims to increase Iowa’s educational attainment through:
GEAR UP Iowa
GEAR UP Iowa is a seven year project that supports a cohort of Iowa students from the 7th grade through their first year in college. The students and their parents will receive a variety of services aimed at preparing them academically, financially and inspirationally to enroll and succeed in college. Upon enrollment in a college, GEAR UP Iowa students will receive a modest scholarship for up to four years.
College Changes Everything: A Collective Impact Initiative
College Changes Everything supports the development of sustainable Local College Access Networks (LCANs), aligning available college access resources to meet the needs of local students and institutions. Iowa College Aid supports the LCANs through training, technical assistance and the administration of planning grants.
3-Step Process for Creating a College-Going Culture in Iowa High Schools
Made up of the College Application Campaign, FAFSA Completion Initiative and College Decision Day, the 3-Step Process provides high schools and districts opportunities to build a college-going culture while promoting education beyond high school. Each of the three steps focuses on an important step that graduating seniors must complete on their path to college. Through the 3-Step Process, educators will stay connected with the students as they navigate the college-going process.
State Grant and Scholarship Administration
Higher education is the single most important investment that Iowans can make in their futures. Unfortunately, the cost of attaining this education continues to outpace increases in family income. On behalf of the State of Iowa and the General Assembly, Iowa College Aid helps to make college more affordable and accessible through investments in scholarships, grants, loan forgiveness programs.
Research and Evaluation
Iowa College Aid collects and provides vital postsecondary education data for both internal and external reports. As a statewide subject matter expert, Iowa College Aid has made the ongoing collection, analysis and interpretation of data a priority. A number of legislative, evaluative and general reports are published in the Higher Education Data Center.