Recent News


Des Moines, Iowa
July 18, 2022

Ty Patton
(o) 515-725-3417 (c) 205-310-1271

The program has now awarded more than $3.2 million to 20 communities in Iowa

Iowa College Aid has awarded $468,724 in grants to 11 communities across Iowa to fund Local College Access Networks (LCAN) in fiscal year 2023. Local College Access Networks support the Future Ready Iowa goal that 70 percent of Iowa have some level of education beyond high school by 2025.

The LCAN grant series is a four-year model with annual awards averaging near $50,000. For fiscal year 2023, Iowa College Aid offered supplemental support to three LCAN communities that recently finished the series. Ten of the 11 funded LCAN communities are returning grantees.

Math Pathways to Success is the newest initiative to be awarded LCAN funding. Math Pathways to Success is a statewide initiative that focuses on eliminating barriers to college attainment that arise in the transition from high school to postsecondary math courses.

Following is a list of the FY2023 LCAN grant recipients by year (asterisks indicate a statewide initiative):

Year I:
● Math Pathways to Success

Year II:
● Brother to Brother (Des Moines)
● Perry LCAN

Year IV:
● Black Hawk County CAN
● Carroll Area CAN
● Latinos CAN*
● OPT-in CAN for System Involved Youth*
● Story County CAN

Supplemental Support:
● Aligned Impact Muscatine County (AIM)
● Dubuque CAN
● La Luz - Mission Possible Franklin County

“The Carroll Regional College Access Network is providing direct FAFSA completion assistance to high school students and families in 10 area high schools. We are also increasing awareness of the Governor’s Last-Dollar Scholarship initiative through social media, advertisements, direct mailings, and presentations,” said Jen Wolleson, Carroll Regional CAN Coordinator. “Events, programs, and opportunities have been extremely successful and were made possible by the Carroll area receiving a Local College Access Network Grant from Iowa College Aid.”

An LCAN’s goal is to increase college attainment, using a framework known as “Collective Impact.” Iowa College Aid provides grants to fund an LCAN Coordinator, travel, training, and other costs associated with convening the network and carrying out LCAN initiatives.

Iowa College Aid staff provides comprehensive technical assistance, consultation and professional development opportunities. Each LCAN assesses the needs of its community and works to fill the gaps in partnership with local colleges, school districts, area education agencies, business groups, elected officials, employers and community and religious organizations. LCANs identify multiple community goals that focus on increasing college attainment and building increased FAFSA completion into their identified goals.

“LCANs are a critical component of Iowa College Aid’s mission to increase success through postsecondary educational opportunities for all Iowans,” said Iowa College Aid executive director Dr. Mark Wiederspan. “Last year, our LCANs reached more than 31,000 students and families and helped foster a college-going culture in the communities they served. We’re excited to partner with many existing communities to build upon the foundation created while welcoming a new LCAN that will benefit Iowans statewide.”

Since 2015, Iowa College Aid has awarded $3,275,697 to LCANs in 20 communities to help reach these goals.

More information about Iowa’s LCANs is available at



Iowans enrolled in an eligible field of study may be awarded the scholarship

Iowans are encouraged to apply for the Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship by August 1 and pursue a career in a high-demand field to meet the needs of Iowa’s growing economy.

The Last-Dollar Scholarship eliminates any remaining financial gap between federal and state grants/scholarships and tuition and fees for those enrolled in a qualified program of study at an eligible institution for recent high school graduates and adult learners.

Eligible institutions are Iowa community colleges or accredited private colleges in Iowa that offer qualified programs of study and that agree to provide student services.

Students who earned an Iowa high school diploma, or high school equivalency diploma, enroll at least part-time in an eligible program of study, apply for all other available state and federal grants and scholarships, and meet ongoing requirements are eligible for the Last-Dollar Scholarship.

Scholarship recipients can choose from various high-demand programs in growing career fields such as manufacturing, healthcare, information technology and more. All applications must be submitted by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by August 1. Information is available at



Did you file your 2020 tax return before to March 11, 2021 AND file a FAFSA for the 2022-23 academic year AND receive unemployment benefits in 2020?

If you filed your 2020 tax return prior to March 11, 2021 and have a dependent in college (or are enrolled yourself) for the 2022-23 academic year, receipt of unemployment benefits may impact your application for federal, state, or institutional financial aid. However, there are possible adjustments that may offset this. Please contact the financial aid office at your college to learn more about increasing your financial aid eligibility.