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Success comes from making informed decisions about the future and helping Iowans make informed decisions is what ICAN is all about. ICAN has developed a series of programs that address different phases of the planning process. From understanding the basics of budgets, accessing potential career pathways, or comparing and analyzing post-high school education and training options, ICAN has developed programs to meet the needs of today's students.

ICAN provides community and school-based presentations and events on the following topics:

Additional topics listed below are covered in ICAN's virtual series. Click a topic to learn more. 

Upcoming Events:

 


Welcome to High School: Freshman Transitions

Transitioning from middle school to high school is a big step for families, and the first step for students in creating future opportunities. Freshman year begins the journey of post-high school success. The courses, activities, and decisions made in this first year matter regardless of your plans for after high school.

Freshman Transitions is designed as an orientation or welcome to high school and covers important topics including:

  • Career Assessment and Exploration
  • Course Selection based on Career & College Outlook
  • Options: Apprenticeship, Military, Training, and Types of College Degrees
  • Financing Education: Cost of Education & Training Projections and Savings Options
  • Money Management Basics
  • A Parent's Role

Intended Audience: 8th graders, high school freshmen, parents (return to top)


Explore Your Future: Career & College Planning

There are many post-high school options available to students through education and training programs. This program engages students and parents in a discussion of recent employment trends and industry growth outlook to provide insights into the developing a post-high school plan for both college and career.

This program covers:

  • Career Exploration & Assessment
  • Economic Trends & Goal Setting
  • Academic Preparation & Requirements
  • Admission Process & Requirements
  • College/Training Program Selection
  • Campus Visits
  • Application Process
  • Understanding Costs - Cost of Attendance
  • Scholarships/Job Training Programs
  • Successful Transitions

Intended Audience: High school sophomores, juniors, parents (return to top)


How to Pay for College: Understanding the Financial Aid Process

The financial aid process can be daunting. From completing the application to understanding award letters, developing a plan to pay for college is one of the most important steps in the college process. This program covers:

  • Financial Aid Process
  • FAFSA Application Review
  • Understanding the Results of the Application
  • Understanding Costs - College Comparisons
  • Aid Options
  • Scholarship Process
  • Where to Go For Help

Intended Audience: High school juniors, parents
(The FAFSA is available October 1 each year. 12th grade students and parents should attend a financial aid seminar as juniors, or early in their senior year) (return to top)


Academic Planning: Making Your Four-Year Plan Work for You

Make the most of your four years in high school with academic planning. Understanding how the classes you take can help shape your future is an important part of academic planning. Go beyond basic high school graduation requirements and make your four-year plan work for you by mapping out a class schedule that helps you get where you to go and opens up opportunities for your future.

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-11 and parents (return to top)


Covering College Costs: Understanding and Comparing College Financial Aid Packages

Completing the FAFSA is an important step for students in the college-going process, but what happens after you hit submit? What are the next steps? In this webinar we will explain the pieces of a financial aid package, how packages are put together, and how to compare one package to another. We will also discuss financial aid comparison tools and the importance of creating a college budget.

Intended Audience: Seniors and parents (return to top)


Earn While You Learn: Exploring Careers in Building Trades

Education and training beyond high school is essential for many students. A four year degree is not. There are many career opportunities after high school that do not require a four-year degree. In today's webinar we will explore the different career opportunities that exist through registered apprenticeship programs and talk about how today's students can begin their journey towards a professional career without seeking a degree or taking on student loans.

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-12 and parents (return to top)


Employability: Building Skills for Any Career

What are the skills every person needs know no matter the career they pursue? What makes a person employable? In this session we'll discuss the essential skills employers look for and the ways in which high school students can gain these skills long before they step foot in their first professional interview.

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-12 and parents (return to top)


Exploring Careers: Finding the Right Fit for Your Future

Career planning is the first step towards finding your future. In this webinar we will discuss how students, beginning as early as middle school, can work to identify their interests and passions and utilize high school experiences to explore potential career opportunities. We'll also discuss the role career planning should play in selecting post-high school education or training opportunities, including college selection and affordability.

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-12 and parents (return to top)


Exploring Colleges: Navigating Campus Visits, College Fairs, and Virtual Tours

There are many factors that should go into picking a college. In this session we’ll cover the things to consider and the many ways to explore and find the college that is right for you.

Intended Audience: Students grades 10-11 and parents (return to top)


Decision Day is Coming

May 1 is a big day for seniors! Decision day is the traditional deadline for determining which college you will attend in the fall. But making that decision is more complicated than just saying “I’m going here.” In this session we’ll go over the final steps you should take to determine which school is best for you, and what steps you need to take to make it official.

Intended Audience: Seniors and parents (return to top)


FAFSA Step by Step

Join ICAN for this interactive session. ICAN advisors will walk through how to complete the FAFSA form step-by-step, and answer questions along the way. From student dependency status to which parent is reported on the FAFSA, we'll cover all the tricky questions about income and assets, explain how to use the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, and cover next steps once the FAFSA form is submitted.

Intended Audience: Seniors and parents (return to top)


Financial Literacy 101:  Money and Credit Management for Students

Financial success is found through a solid foundation in money management and an understanding of the credit system. In this session we’ll provide an overview of budgeting, savings, and credit scores – explained in a way that makes sense to students.

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-12 and parents (return to top)


Get Ready to Go Back to School

Summer days are dwindling, and the time is near to begin another year. In this session we’ll cover steps you can take before the first day to ensure you get started on the right foot.

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-11 and parents (return to top)


How to Apply to College - A Review of the Application Process

The college application process can seem overwhelming. In this webinar we will break down the process and go over the details of each step, covering different application types, recommendations and tips, and your timeline for success.

Intended Audience: Students grades 11-12 and parents (return to top)


Make the Most of Summer Break

In this webinar we are going to be discussing a wide-variety of helpful tips and ideas students can use to keep them on track for their future! Summer is the perfect time to start working towards future goals for both career and college. We will discuss how to build an activities resume and preparing for the scholarship process, taking part in volunteer opportunities, internships, along with several other helpful tips to ensure the summer months are far from boring!

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-12 and parents (return to top)


Make the Most of Winter Break

In this webinar we are going to discuss a wide-variety of helpful tips and ideas students can use to maximize winter break while still enjoying the down time we all crave this time of year. We will discuss a variety of topics and ideas for students of all ages and stages of the planning process – and we’ll throw a few tips in for parents too.

Intended Audience: Students grades 8-12 and parents (return to top)


The Scholarship Process 

Scholarships are an important part of the financial aid process and can make a big difference for students when it comes to picking the school they attend. Join us for a discussion of the scholarship process – everything from where to look for scholarships, standard application expectations, how to write essays, and how to improve your applications. We’ll share examples and resources, and walk you through the scholarship timeline from start to finish.

Intended Audience: Seniors and parents (return to top)


Understanding the FSA ID

The Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) is made up of a username and password and used to log in to Federal Student Aid websites, including the FAFSA at www.fafsa.ed.gov. This webinar will take you through a step-by-step process of how to create an verify your FSA ID.

Intended Audience: High school juniors, seniors, parents  (return to top)


Understanding Student Loans

Student loans can be a necessary step in attaining a college degree, however there is a right and wrong way to borrow for college. Understanding how student loans work, and which options are right for you can help in not overborrowing, and in repayment after graduation. In this session, we’ll cover different loan options, how repayment works, and how to know how much might be too much each year, and as a total sum of your college education.

Intended Audience: High school seniors, parents and college students (return to top)

 

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