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ICAN Awarded Grant for College Access Initiative in Benton County

August 1, 2017

Benton County Community Foundation Supports Career and College Readiness

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (August 1, 2017) — The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is pleased to announce it has received a grant from the Benton County Community Foundation to support college and career readiness programming including FAFSA completion assistance as part of its Benton County College Initiative.

The Benton County Community Foundation is a local, non-profit, charitable affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. Due to the generosity and vision of all our donors, the Community Foundation was established to build stronger, healthier communities in Benton County today, and in the future. The foundation supports its donors and the communities it serves with visionary leadership, effective grant making and personalized endowment building services.

In its first year, the Benton County FAFSA Challenge Initiative will bring focus toward the importance of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of the career and college planning process for high school students. The project will bring college planning and financial aid information and resources into the Tama County communities to inform high school students and parents of the steps required to achieve their educational goals, as well as specialized events to assist seniors with FAFSA form completion. With services provided through ICAN, the initiative hopes to serve more than 800 individuals including: students, parents, and educators through a partnership with Belle Plaine High School, Benton Community High School and Vinton-Shellsburg High School in Benton County.

“There is a lot of focus on expanding education and training beyond high school to meet the needs of today’s economy. A large part of gaining education and training after high school is having the ability to pay for that credential or degree. ICAN programs are unique in the respect that they are brought into individual communities and provide students with face-to-face assistance with the complex and often-times overwhelming financial aid process in the communities in which they reside,” explained Rob Miller, ICAN executive director. “This grant enables that interaction to happen without requiring families to travel for professional advice. For some families traveling for assistance isn’t possible and the community foundation grant allows ICAN to continue serving these families where they live.”

In an effort to empower students with the understanding that higher education is accessible to everyone, the Benton County Initiative is part of a wider effort by ICAN to reach every middle- and high school and every student in Iowa to better prepare students for college and the workforce. According to Complete College America, more than 60 percent of Iowa jobs will require a college education by 2020.

ICAN, a nonprofit organization providing career and college readiness planning to students and parents in Iowa, has been educating and empowering Iowa’s future workforce since 1998.

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About ICAN
The Iowa College Access Network is a nonprofit, educational organization. ICAN is the College Access Network for Iowa, and a member of the National College Access Network (NCAN). ICAN has 10 locations in Ankeny, Cedar Rapids/Hiawatha, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Orange City, Sioux City and Waterloo, which provide information and support to students and their families as they plan their postsecondary education and apply for financial aid. All ICAN programs and services are provided without charge. For more information about ICAN, call (877) 272-4692 or visit www.ICANsucceed.org


About the Benton County Community Foundation
The Benton County Community Foundation is a local, non-profit, charitable affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa. Due to the generosity and vision of all our donors, the Community Foundation was established to build stronger, healthier communities in Benton County today, and in the future. We support our donors and the communities we serve with visionary leadership, effective grant making and personalized endowment building services.

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