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ICAN Announces Independent Nonprofit

September 22, 2009

 ICAN Announces Independent Nonprofit Foundation Status 

Transition Will Expand Free College Planning Services Offered to Iowa Students 
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA (Sept. 22, 2009) — The Iowa College Access Network®
 (ICAN) 
officially announced today that it has established itself as an independent nonprofit 
foundation. The move will provide new opportunities for the organization to grow its free 
college planning services as well as expanded funding options, ICAN manager Juan Garcia 
said today at a press conference in Cedar Rapids. 
ICAN, which provides a compilation of free services for middle school, high school and 
college students and their families, was previously a division of Iowa Student Loan®
. In 
August, the Iowa Student Loan board of directors acted on the recommendation of its ICAN 
Task Force and authorized ICAN to become an independent nonprofit organization with its 
own governance board. 
 “ICAN makes a difference in the lives of our students and families by providing timely and 
helpful information on all levels of the education spectrum,” said newly appointed ICAN 
board member DeLores Hawkins, who is director of student financial aid at Des Moines Area 
Community College. “I am pleased to be a member of a team that truly cares about the 
education and futures of the people they serve.” 
ICAN will now be in position to continue providing vitally needed college planning services to 
Iowa students and families while maintaining its strong customer and public confidence, 
according to the Iowa Student Loan board. This transition also allows ICAN access to 
additional sources of funding as its programs continue to expand.ICAN will be able to compete for external funding through federal and state grants, national 
and local foundations, and businesses and industries. These funds, combined with 
contributions from Iowa Student Loan in the coming years, will help ICAN expand its 
services and further assist other Iowa educational organizations. In addition to a significant 
gift from Iowa Student Loan to launch the foundation, ICAN recently received $140,000 from 
the national KnowHow2GO campaign to redistribute to the Iowa organizations that can most 
effectively encourage students to pursue postsecondary education. 
Today, several Cedar Rapids-area school and community leaders celebrated the launch of 
ICAN as a nonprofit educational foundation at The Cedar Rapids Area Chamber of 
Commerce. Newly appointed ICAN board members Lew Montgomery of Cedar Rapids and 
Alfred Ramirez of the Quad Cities spoke about ICAN’s impact on eastern Iowa students and 
their families. 
“The national educational epidemic of a combined high dropout rate and low percentage of 
college graduates impacts all of us,” said Ramirez, principal consultant for Diverse 
Strategies in Rock Island, Ill. “ICAN is a unique and exceptional one-stop remedy and 
resource. Dedicated staff, board members, and local and national partners combine efforts 
to help students and families achieve their educational goals and dreams.” 
New ICAN board member Dick Schwab said he is committed to the organization because its 
services provide critical opportunities for postsecondary education. “Postsecondary 
education is the portal to a middle-class or better lifestyle,” said Schwab, who was elected 
this month to the Solon School Board. “Every student in this state, and in this country, must 
be given the opportunity to pursue a postsecondary education.” 
Cedar Rapids is home to one of two ICAN College Planning Centers, which has been a 
member of the community since 2006. The ICAN College Planning Center in West Des 
Moines celebrated its 10-year anniversary last year. 
“This was really the best move for ICAN at this time,” Garcia said. “ICAN will continue to 
offer a wide range of free services to help students plan for, apply to, pay for and succeed in 
college. We’ll also continue to work with Iowa’s school counselors and the professionals 
striving to keep at-risk students in school. If anything, our services will improve. “We’re very excited about the opportunity to grow, especially now that Iowans need what we 
offer more than ever,” he added. 
ICAN provides free information on how to succeed in education through a variety of means. 
Presentations with accompanying materials are offered in Iowa high schools to help 
students and families plan for college, apply for financial aid, succeed in high school and 
college, and manage financial decisions. In addition, monthly e-newsletters cover timely 
topics for high school and college students, and www.ICANsucceed.org provides easy 
access to more detailed topics. Many of ICAN’s services and materials are available in 
Spanish. 
High school counselors, outreach programs, college professionals and others who work with 
students also benefit through ICAN’s webinars, annual conference, e-newsletters and 
training resources. 

 

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