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ICAN Awarded Grant to Increase Financial Aid Awareness

June 28, 2016

ICAN Awarded Grant to Increase Financial Aid Awareness

Riverboat Development Authority Supports FAFSA Completion Program

DAVENPORT, IOWA (June 28, 2016) — The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) is pleased to announce it has received a community grant from the Riverboat Development Authority to support a pilot FAFSA completion project in Scott County. Completing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is seen as the first step in securing financial aid to cover college costs. The pilot program will explore ways to increase FAFSA completion among Scott County high school seniors in an effort to boost enrollment and college degree attainment.

The Riverboat Development Authority (RDA) is the sponsoring organization for the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport and provides grants to community organizations within Scott County.

The Scott County FAFSA Challenge will provide seminars about understanding the financial aid process, along with focused completion events that will provide professional guidance in completing and understanding the FAFSA form. With services provided through ICAN, the initiative will serve more than 8,400 individuals including: students, parents, and educators through a partnership with the high schools in Scott County including Assumption High School, Bettendorf High School, Central High School, North High School, North Scott Senior High School, Pleasant Valley High School, Rivermont Collegiate, and West High School.

“The FAFSA is the first step. For many students it can be the deciding factor on whether they continue their education or training beyond high school,” explained Rob Miller, ICAN executive director. “This grant enables ICAN and the high school counselors to collaborate and reach out to the most at-risk students, ensuring they understand the steps of the process and have help with completing the form.”

In an effort to empower students with the understanding that higher education is accessible to everyone, the Scott County FAFSA pilot is the beginning 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.

“Education and training beyond high school is necessity for long-term success in the ever-changing job market,” explained Miller. “This grant enables ICAN to continue meeting the needs of Iowa students.”

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 locations in Ankeny, Coralville, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Hiawatha, Orange City, Sioux City, and Waterloo. These centers 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 the Riverboat Development Authority
The Riverboat Development Authority (RDA) was founded in 1989 for the purpose of becoming the qualified sponsoring organization for a riverboat casino in Davenport, Iowa. Iowa law requires that the gambling license be held by a non-profit organization.

In 1991 RDA received a gambling license in partnership with the President Riverboat Casino, which operated in Davenport until October of 2000. At that time, the casino was sold and is currently operating as the Rhythm City Casino. RDA approved the use of their license and the Rhythm City and RDA received a license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission at that time.

RDA has 15 volunteers from all parts of Scott County and a full time Executive Officer, the President, Randall B Rathje. The RDA operates somewhat the same as a community foundation, with the exception that it has a single income source – the Rhythm City Casino. Grants are made from current income and the amount of money available for grants is tied to the casino gaming receipts.

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