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School-Based Presentations

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 school-based presentations on the following topics:


Learn how to schedule here.

Freshman Transitions: A Guide to Beginning High School

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

This program is designed for large auditorium presentations.

Life After High School: 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

This program is designed for large auditorium presentations.

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

This program is designed for both small classroom (20-35 students) and large auditorium presentations.

(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)

FAFSA Ready Iowa - FAFSA Completion Assistance Event

FAFSA Ready Iowa provides a network of FAFSA completion assistance events each year to Iowa students to help file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is required to qualify for federal financial aid, including school-based events. School-based FAFSA completion events work with partnering host schools to utilize FAFSA completion data from Iowa College Aid and the AEAs to help map a plan to reach 60% completion with each partnering high school.

Time of Year: Federal Student Aid has announced the FAFSA will be released in December 2023, rather than October 1. ICAN's FAFSA season will shift for the 2023-24 academic year to mid-January - March 2024.

Audience:  Seniors and their parents

FAFSA Ready Iowa Event Format

  • Community-Based Events
    ICAN will continue to work with community partners across the state to host walk-in and by-appointment events open to anyone needing assistance.
  • School-Based Events
    Schools wishing to partner with ICAN can host a FAFSA Ready Iowa event for their seniors. This program comes with a fee of $250. This fee can be covered by a grant or sponsor.
  • Statewide Virtual Events
    ICAN will host virtual FAFSA Step-by-Step events that will walk families through the FAFSA form and answer questions as they complete the form. These events will be open to individual families, as well as schools who broadcast the event within their building. Additional FAFSA experts will be available to answer questions and provide assistance during the event.
  • Individual Advising
    ICAN will continue to provide individual FAFSA assistance through our office locations and through virtual appointments.

Scheduling Requirements

ICAN leads the state initiative FAFSA Ready Iowa, which provides free FAFSA Completion Events in communities across the state. Individual events are only available to schools that have secured funding for the event through a grant or sponsor. The current sponsorship rate is $350. To discuss scheduling an ICAN FAFSA Completion Event, please contact the ICAN office at (877) 272-4692.

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