Fall 2015 - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Fall 2015

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Fall 2015

Fall Spotlight

Goodbye, Federal Student Aid PIN. Hello, FSA ID!
The Federal Student Aid PIN has long been a staple of preparing for the college financial aid process. This year the PIN has been replaced by the FSA ID, or Federal Student Aid Identification.

The FSA ID is a username and password that heightens the security for a variety of websites, including the FAFSA.

The FSA ID benefits students in four ways:

  • It removes personal identifiable information, such as Social Security numbers from the log-in credentials.
  • It creates a more secure and efficient way to verify information when logging in to access federal student aid information online.
  • It gives the ability to easily update personal information, such as phone number, email address, or name.
  • It allows students to easily retrieve the username and password by requesting a secure code be sent to an email address or by answering challenge questions.

Learn more.

Upcoming Events

Iowa School Counselor Association Annual Conference
The Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA) will hold its annual conference on November 1-3, 2015, at Prairie Meadows Convention Center in Altoona, Iowa In 2015, ISCA will celebrate its 50th anniversary with the theme 'Be Bold'. The conference will focus on the wide and varied topics and challenges of today's counselor as they try to support the full range of issues facing today's student. To learn more about the conference, click here.

ICAN Program Spotlight

Career and College Planning
The goal of the Career and College Planning Program is to equip sophomores, juniors, and their parent/guardian with the knowledge to select an appropriate college and understand the admission and scholarship application process. Attendees will leave knowing how colleges review transcript information such as GPA, ACT/SAT scores and high school course selection, as well as a timeline for success from junior year through graduation.

The following topics are covered during the presentation:

  • Career Exploration and Assessment
  • Academic Preparation and Requirements
  • Admission Process and Requirements
  • College Selection and Campus Visits
  • Application Process
  • Understanding Costs -Cost of Attendance
  • Scholarships
  • Successful Transitions

ICAN has eleven Student Success Centers strategically located on college campuses through each region of that state. ICAN Student Success Advisors are available for follow-up, one-on-one advising sessions by calling (877) 272-4692. To learn more about our location visit www.ICANsucceed.org/locations.


Featured Articles:

This issue of College Access Connections features best practices and success stories from around the state. Read on to find out what other organizations are doing to help students and families and get ideas for your own programs.

  • President Obama: Prior-Prior Year Income Data Use for FAFSA Begins in 2017-18 School Yeart
    President Barack Obama took executive action on Sunday, September 13 to allow the use of prior-prior year (PPY) tax information on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - a move long called for by the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) and others in the higher education community.

    Using two-years prior tax information on the FAFSA (as opposed to one-year prior information) will increase the form's accuracy and give families an earlier and more accurate idea of their anticipated financial aid and college costs. Read more.

  • Excitement and Concern About Prior-Prior Year FAFSA Completion
    Plenty of questions remain unanswered after the White House announced in September a rejiggering of when and how students apply for federal financial aid.

    Starting in 2016 for the 2017-18 academic year, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid will be available earlier, in October rather than January, and applicants will be able to use income information from two-year-old completed tax returns rather than sometimes incomplete information from the previous year.   Read more.
  • Colleges Broaden Admission Policies
    A rite of passage for generations of college-bound students has been preparing for and taking the ACT or SAT college admission tests -- and sweating over whether their scores qualify them for their first-choice schools. But as research mounts that there are accurate measures of student potential other than standardized testing, an increasing number of colleges are turning test-optional and using more holistic tools to determine who is admitted. Read more.

  • Drake University Announces Test-Flexible Admission Policies
    Drake University is pleased to announce it has implemented a test-flexible admission policy that allows eligible prospective students to choose whether to submit standardized test scores as part of their application.

    Starting with applications for the fall 2016 semester, students with a high school GPA of 3.0 or higher and meet certain other criteria may substitute the ACT or SAT score requirement for an interview that addresses the student's experiences inside and outside of the classroom.   Read more.

  • Wartburg College Ramps up IINspire Programming
    One dozen first-year students got an early taste of life at Wartburg College during a three-day, pre-orientation program designed specifically for minorities majoring in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Read more.

  • ICAN Opens New Johnson County Student Success Center
    The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN), a nonprofit organization providing career, college, and financial literacy planning assistance to Iowa studetns from middle school through college, has partnered with Kirkwood Community College to open an office in the new Kirkwood Regional Center at the University of Iowa in Coralville. Read more.
  • Parents Can Register to Win a $1,500 Savings Plan for College
    Parents of Iowa high school students can get a boost to their children’s college savings plan with a new $30,000 program offered by Iowa Student Loan. The Save Now, Save Later: College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway offers parents a chance to win one of 20 College Savings Iowa account deposits, each worth $1,500, as well as an opportunity to learn more about financial planning for college.  Read more.

  • ICAN Outstanding Student Scholarship Honoring Steve Loven Honors Counselors Too
    Iowa high school seniors have the opportunity to recognize their high school counselor and receive a scholarship for college. To qualify, students must submit an essay outlining how the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) helped prepare them for their post-high school endeavors, as well as describe how their high school counselor promoted a culture of college and career readiness at their school. The school counselor must be mentioned by name, and examples of school counseling excellence and a positive perception of a college-going culture must be provided. Two students will receive a one-time $250 scholarship and their high school counselors will receive awards of $125 for professional development. All Iowa high school seniors attending a two- or four-year institution beginning in Fall 2016 are encouraged to apply. Read more.


  • Admissions Revolution
    Eighty leading colleges and universities on Monday announced a plan to reverse a decades-long process by which colleges have -- largely through the Common Application -- made their applications increasingly similar.

    Further, the colleges and universities are creating a platform for new online portfolios for high school students. The idea is to encourage ninth graders to begin thinking more deeply about what they are learning or accomplishing in high school, to create new ways for college admissions officers, community organizations and other to coach them, and to help them emerge in their senior years with a body of work that can be used to help identify appropriate colleges and apply to them. Organizers of the new effort hope it will minimize some of the disadvantages faced by high school students without access to well-staffed guidance offices or private counselors. Read more.


  • FACT SHEET: The President's Plan for Early Financial Aid: Improving College Choice and Helping More Americans Pay for College
    A higher education is one of the most important investments Americans can make in their future. To help students and families make that investment, the Obama Administration has taken steps to make it easier than ever before to apply for and access federal grants and loans. Read more.
Contact Us

We welcome your input! If you have questions, comments, or ideas for future issues, or would like to submit an article, please contact ghernandez@ICANsucceed.org.
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