"Having a branch of the Iowa College Access Network in Cedar Rapids has been a wonderful addition to our community. The staff has provided us with excellent financial aid presentations and college selection materials, and has individually assisted several of our families with the completion of their financial aid forms. I very much appreciate the Iowa College Access Network being in Cedar Rapids and I look forward to making use of their expertise again this year!
"Thanks for hosting our meeting yesterday and for all you do for our students!"
– Larry Simons
Washington High School
"ICAN has been a great asset to our students this past year. The resources provided regarding FAFSA completion and scholarships has been invaluable."
– Tom Kettman
Marion Independent Schools
"I have had the opportunity to meet with many families this year who have worked with ICAN before walking into my office at Kirkwood. They have all been complimentary of the effort and expertise at the CPC, but one quote from a parent stands out in my mind.
"This parent said, 'Having ICAN in Cedar Rapids was a Godsend because no one else seemed willing to help us or answer our questions. We were just about ready to give up on our son going to college when we went to their office.
"I think the Iowa College Access Network has made a positive impact with many families in this community in its first year and I, for one, am looking forward to working with their staff in the years to come."
– Mark Ash
Kirkwood Community College
"Our partnership with the Cedar Rapids office of the Iowa College Access Network complements our efforts to de-mystify the college selection and application process for our first-generation college-bound high school students. It is a real asset to the families that we serve."
– Sharon Carmody-Holmes
Northeast Iowa College Readiness Program
"ICAN is really what helped me get to school and helped me through the financial process and planning and when to send in certain things. I would certainly recommend to any student in high school to go and figure out what the FAFSA is and how to fill it out … what information you need to bring, so you're not just left in the dark because even on paper, learning about the FAFSA can be very daunting and very difficult. … And it's without charge, so why not utilize it."
– Casey Burrow, student
"I don't know what I would have done without the help of the Iowa College Access Network. I came to your West Des Moines office for help with the FAFSA and when I needed help explaining the award letter to my daughter. This process would have been so confusing and now my daughter wants to transfer and without your help today I would have been completely lost. Every time I call your number I get someone who is friendly and knowledgeable and that helps me get things done. Thanks so much for all of your help!"
– Cynthia Mosell, parent
"The first time I heard of your organization was through a presentation by Chris at West High School in Iowa City (a very informative meeting at that). Since then I have met with Chris at least twice in the Cedar Rapids office to discuss financial plans for our son Nick, who is a freshman at Iowa State University in Ames. [Chris's] guidance and recommendations have kept our student debt at a bare minimum.
"For me, as a parent getting through the college financial experience for the first time, I have found Chris's knowledge and effort, along with that of the staff in his office to be invaluable. I personally have recommended your office to several other parents who've stated, 'I wish I were aware of them a long time ago.
"I look forward to a continuing relationship with your office throughout Nick's college career and our upcoming high school sophomore Nathan's. Keep up the good work."
– Dennis R. Dunlap, parent
Financial Aid/College Planning
"At Grand View [University] our admissions counselors encourage families to visit ICAN for help with financial aid including filing the FAFSA, discussing scholarship options, and receiving unbiased answers from the professional ICAN staff. ICAN travels the state presenting college planning sessions at local high schools, and we strongly encourage our prospective students and families to attend these informational events. Every spring Grand View invites ICAN to present on our campus at our Sophomore/Junior visit day. The presentation is packed with information regarding college selection and always receives high marks from our audience."
– Diane Schaefer Johnson
Director of Admissions
Grand View University
"I think the most helpful thing from ICAN that I used would be the date reminders, registration reminders, deadlines. A lot of those e-mails helped me budget my time when I wanted to do things and prioritize as far as applications and scholarships go."
– Eric Hall, student
"I believe it is important at this time to let you know how much the parents of Russell Community School students and I appreciate the support we receive from the Iowa College Access Network staff. Each year the ICAN staff makes several presentations in our school for students and parents....
"As you can see, ICAN... and the help that they provide are appreciated and vital to our students' future success...."
– Sally Ann Johnson
High School Principal
Russell Community Schools
Presentations/Services to Counselors
"ICAN has made college a reality for many of our students. Several of our students have made relationships with the representatives that have helped guide them through the planning process.
"ICAN provides a wealth of information to students that is very valuable! We are so blessed in Iowa to have this awesome resource! I feel that the work that ICAN does gives credibility and reinforcement to the work I do on a daily basis with students and families. I use ICAN as a resource a lot and feel like they are my 'help line' as needed."
– Julie Oldenkamp
High School Guidance Counselor
Sioux Center High School
Services to Counselors
"The services provided by ICAN have really made my job much easier. Many of the things I present to students and parents are in publications, handouts and presentations provided by ICAN. The information is clear, understandable, and concise and presented in ways that are very easy to understand for students and parents. The resources I provide for our students and parents that are provided through ICAN have been a very good public relations tool for me to use to develop and advance my school counseling program.
"I receive many positive comments from our students after ICAN's presentations about how helpful and timely the information presented was. The presenters do such a good job of relating to our students by helping them understand money management, college planning, and financial aid. They are truly outstanding!
"The perception of ICAN in our school district is very positive amongst our parents and families. The feedback we receive is always very positive and upbeat about the services provided and the helpfulness of the presenters. ICAN has filled a void for us and also has enhanced our school counseling program and our parents and families are always very appreciative!"
– Jim Haag
High School Guidance Counselor
Garner-Hayfield High School
"Having the presentation in English/Spanish makes a huge difference for the parents of our students. The parents are much more comfortable in attending and asking questions.
"ICAN has helped numerous families fill out the FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid]. Many of our students are the first generation to attend college so this service is invaluable to their parents.
"ICAN instructs the counselors on the latest updates on FAFSA. This helps us help our students and parents."
– Jeaneite Lorenz
High School Counselor
North High School, Sioux City
"ICAN has been very helpful for our students. Lupe's talks with our students help them to see they CAN go to college! Typically, money is the first thing young people think about when you mention college, and they see it as a barrier. Hearing an ICAN representative talk about FAFSA, grants, and other funding opportunities helps them to see that it is possible for them to attend college. Also, being made aware of online access is important for young people; the information seems less intimidating that way."
– Jennifer Sweborg