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ICAN Awarded Grant for Statewide Financial Aid Event

November 20, 2013



ICAN Awarded Grant for Statewide Financial Aid Event

USA Funds Supports Iowa College Goal Sunday

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA (November 20, 2013) — The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is pleased to announce it has received a grant from USA Funds to support the Iowa College Goal Sunday program in 2014. Iowa College Goal Sunday brings together financial aid professionals and other volunteers who help students and parents complete the FAFSA, the application required to determine student eligibility for the key federal student aid programs, as well as for many state-sponsored and college-specific student aid programs.

“USA Funds is pleased to award these grant dollars to Iowa College Access Network as they administer the College Goal Sunday program in Iowa,” says Tiffany Reese, USA Funds senior program manager for College Goal Sunday. “These funds will help students in Iowa complete the FAFSA, a critical first step, to qualify for financial aid that will help them pay their college expenses.”

Part of a nationwide program, Iowa College Goal Sunday is in its sixth year and is one of the most successful College Goal Sunday programs in the nation.

“In our first year we held five events and completed 160 FAFSA forms. In 2014, more than 50 events will be held in 38 locations across Iowa and span a two-month period,” said Jennifer Coffman, state coordinator for Iowa College Goal Sunday. “We’ve had tremendous support from our host sites and the education community, both of which has led to greater awareness of the program and continued growth over the years.”

Applying for financial aid is an annual process that includes the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The application and its subsequent steps for reviewing and accepting aid offered can be a challenge for families. The Iowa College Goal Sunday program enables many students to receive assistance, removing a barrier to attaining their college degree.

“The University of Dubuque is proud to be a part of the CGS event each year. The families of our community are so appreciative to receive the free assistance. It is a great feeling bringing our area colleagues together to serve the families, ease their minds, and get them through what is often seen as a burdensome process,” said Amy Gaffney, associate director of student financial planning for the University of Dubuque. “I think it helps them understand the many resources available to help their students achieve their college goals.”

Iowa College Goal Sunday is one of several initiatives taken on by ICAN to empower Iowans to attain their education and career goals. According to Complete College America, more than 60 percent of Iowa jobs will require a college education by 2020.

“Iowa has the potential for tremendous growth in industry and career fields such as STEM and we need a workforce with the education and skillset to fill those jobs. Access to expert financial aid guidance is essential for some families to fully understand the process and to access the funds needed to attain their degree and reach their desired career field,” explained Rob Miller, ICAN executive director. “This grant enables ICAN to continue meeting the needs of Iowa students.”

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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 eight locations in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Orange City, Ottumwa, 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

About College Goal Sunday

The Iowa College Goal Sunday is part of the national College Goal SundaySM program, currently managed by USA Funds and held in 40 states and the District of Columbia. The program is funded by a grant through USA Funds with additional support from the Iowa Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (IASFAA).

About USA Funds

USA Funds® is a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance postsecondary education preparedness, access and success by providing and supporting financial and other valued services. Established in Indianapolis in 1960 to help families finance rising college costs, USA Funds has served more than 22 million students and parents, as well as thousands of educational institutions. During the past decade, USA Funds has provided more than $100 million in scholarships to low- to moderate-income students and in grants to nonprofit organizations to improve student access to and success in higher education. USA Funds also assists postsecondary institutions and their students with services, including financial literacy programs for college students, debt management and default prevention consultation and support, training for financial aid administrators, and student aid policy assistance. For more information, visit



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