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Iowa College Aid

Grants awarded to 12 college access networks


Elizabeth Keest Sedrel
(o) 515-725-3417  (c) 515-710-1257

Nearly $600,000 will help continue community efforts to raise educational attainment

Twelve Local College Access Networks in Iowa have received a new round of funding to continue their work increasing college attainment, Iowa College Aid announced today. The $587,350 awarded for fiscal year 2021 brings the total awarded since the program’s inception in 2015 to $2,218,350.

Local College Access Networks, or LCANs, use a framework known as collective impact, bringing together leaders in education, business, government, philanthropy, and nonprofits to break down barriers to higher education. Iowa College Aid provides funding, training, and technical assistance.

“LCAN grants allow communities to identify the greatest needs of their students and employers,” Iowa College Aid Executive Director Mark Wiederspan said. “This is not a one-size-fits-all solution. This is a model that positions students for educational and career success and communities for economic success, as well as moving Iowa toward its Future Ready Iowa goal that 70 percent of the workforce will have education beyond high school by 2025.”

One-year grants were made in July to the following LCANs:

  • Aligned Impact Muscatine (AIM), $50,000
  • Black Hawk County CAN, $50,000
  • Carroll Area CAN, $50,000
  • Dubuque CAN, $49,234
  • Latinos CAN, $59,825
  • Mason City CAN, $44,361
  • Mission Possible Franklin County, $46,775
  • OPT-in CAN for System Involved Youth, $50,000
  • Ottumwa Cradle-College-Career (C3), $49,776
  • Quad Cities CAN, $37,500
  • Queer Supports Advisory Team (QSAT), $49,878.82
  • Story County CAN, $50,000

“Our Dubuque College Access Network has brought together workforce and education to assure that systems are in place for high school students to develop postsecondary plans,” said Donna Loewen, coordinator of Dubuque’s network. “DCAN has helped to strengthen connections within the community, build relationships, and provide tangible support to help young people reach their goals.”

All 12 networks that received funding have been in existence at least a year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Iowa College Aid suspended new applications this year.