Winter 2017 - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Winter 2017

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Winter 2017

Upcoming Events

Visit the Hill - March 9, 2017
The Iowa Association of College Admission Counselors (ACAC) and the Iowa School Counselors Association (ISCA) are hosting the 2016 Visit the Hill in Des Moines to advocate for education and Iowa students. Learn more.

National School Counseling Week - February 6-10, 2017
National School Counseling Week 2017, "School Counseling: Helping Students Realize Their Potential," will be celebrated from Feb. 6-10, 2017, to focus public attention on the unique contribution of school counselors within U.S. school systems. National School Counseling Week, sponsored by ASCA, highlights the tremendous impact school counselors can have in helping students achieve school success and plan for a career. National School Counseling Week is always celebrated the first full week in February. Learn more.

Take Note

ISCA/ICAN Webinar Series
The Iowa School Counselor Association (ISCA) and the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) partner to provide a webinar series on important topics and issues facing school counselors today. Watch ISCORE, the ISCA website, the ICAN website, and social media for announcements of upcoming webinar topics. You can also view recordings of past webinars on the ISCA and ICAN sites. Learn more.

Upcoming webinars include:
Positive Psychology in Schools
February 16, 2017 - register today

February 21, 2017 - register today

Building Social Media Platforms
as a School Counselor

March 8, 2017 - register today

Stepping Outside the Counseling Box
and Making a Difference with Kris Meyer

March 28, 2017 - register today

Winter Spotlight


FAFSA Completion Assistance Programs

FAFSA Rady Iowa

FAFSA Ready Iowa - February & March 2017
42 locations throughout Iowa will offer free FAFSA assistance at more than 60 events throughout February and March 2017. Find a location near you.

ICAN FAFSA Assistance
The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) will offer FAFSA assitance at its 11 locations throughout February and March to Iowa families in need of FAFSA assistance. Assistance is by appointment only, please have students visit to schedule an appointment. They can also call (877) 272-4692 to secure a time.

Social Media

Featured Articles:

This issue of College Access Connections features best practices and success stories from around the state, as well as national updates we feel are beneficial to professionals working in career and college readiness fields.


  • ICAN Outstanding Student Scholarship Applications Due March 1

    ICAN Scholarship

    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. All Iowa high school seniors attending a two- or four-year institution beginning in Fall 2017 are encouraged to apply. Read more.
  • UNI Classic Upward Bound Students Making Strides
    We are gearing up for another busy season here at the University of Northern Iowa Classic Upward Bound Program! Our students are wrapping up their first semester testing and ready to dive into 2nd semester. They are also getting ready to set their course schedules for the following year of school. Read more.

  • GEAR UP Students Learn about High School Options
    In early December, Sioux City GEAR UP gave half of the freshman at all three high schools in Sioux City the opportunity to shadow a CTE (Career and Technical Education) class for a 90 minute block.  Students were given the chance to self-select which of the CTE pathways was most intriguing to them and spend time submerged in that class. Read more.

  • Easter Seals Share Ideas to Assist with Winter Cold
    Winter conditions pose issues for many: ice, snow, or frigid air can force us all indoors. And for individuals with disabilities, these issues can be intensified. There are many considerations that may be made for individuals with disabilities and the Easter Seals Iowa Assistive Technology Center may be of support. Read more.

  • Spring Iowa ACAC Call for Session Proposals
    Are you passionate about a certain topic or issue prevalent to College Admissions and/or High School Counseling? Want to share your experience about certain programs or processes in which you’ve seen success in your career? Do you enjoy sharing your wealth of knowledge about certain topics or subject areas relating to Admissions/College Planning? If you answered "YES!" to any of these questions, we want you! Present at the Iowa ACAC Spring Conference on May 21-23 at Prairie Meadows in Altoona. Read more.


  • 1.1 Million FAFSAs Completed Before January 1 (NCAN)
    More than 1.1 million high school seniors could know their estimated family contribution (EFC) and Pell Grant status before they apply to college this year. According to the FAFSA High School Completion Tool from the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office, over 1.1 million FAFSAs were completed and 1.2 million FAFSAs were submitted before Jan. 1 — the previous date FAFSA became available for applicants. By comparison, high school students usually file approximately 1.5 million FAFSAs by graduation day. Read more.

  • The New Financial-Aid Timeline: How Colleges Are Adjusting (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
    In 2015 the White House made an announcement that some enrollment experts predicted could transform the college-admissions process. Soon, students would be able to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid earlier and using older tax information.

    The move was widely seen as an improvement for students, most of whom must factor affordability into their college choice. Traditionally, bottom-line prices at specific colleges were not available until a few weeks before students had to make up their minds. But with an earlier financial-aid process, colleges could provide that information sooner. And that, experts agreed, would enable students to make more careful decisions, reducing the chances that they would borrow too much or drop out. Read more.

  • NACAC Study: School Counselors Have Positive Impact on College Access (NACAC)
    Students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid, according to a new study from the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

    The findings, culled from nationally representative data, are the first to demonstrate that school counselors have a positive impact on student outcomes that is both quantifiable and statistically significant. Read more.

  • What to Know Before Betsy DeVos Faces a Vote (NCAN)
    If my social media feeds are any indication, the sound bites from last week's hearing to consider the nomination of Betsy DeVos for education secretary have well made their rounds at this point. Touches on higher education were minimal, and confusion over IDEA (the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), debates about public school funding, and a mention of “potential” grizzly bears dominated the coverage. As the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee prepares for a postponed vote on DeVos’ nomination next Tuesday, Jan. 31, let’s review her exchanges with senators and what we know about the new Donald Trump administration and higher education. Read more.

  • Who is Really Benefiting from Early Access to Federal Student Aid? (NASFAA)
    "New data from the Department of Education suggests that Obama administration efforts to improve the process of applying for financial aid are beginning to take hold," Gregg Scoresby, founder and CEO of CampusLogic, writes in a blog post for RealClearEducation.

    "So as the data rolls in about the impact of early FAFSA, here are three critical questions for policymakers to consider as they evaluate the effectiveness of the new policy. Read more.

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