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Iowa College Aid to expand college access and success programs


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

AmeriCorps Grants Will Fund Coaches in High Schools and Community Colleges

Iowa College Aid today announced two AmeriCorps grants that will allow for the expansion of the agency’s Course to College Corps. 

The first grant provides the opportunity to recruit new student leaders to serve as peer coaches in high schools, joining the existing College Access AmeriCorps. The second grant creates the new College Success AmeriCorps, which provides for placement of college success coaches in community colleges to support students who receive the new Future Ready Iowa Last-Dollar Scholarship.  

In high schools, college access coaches will focus on the components of Iowa College Aid’s Course to College initiative: early college awareness, applying for college and financial aid, choosing a college, and enrolling in college. College Access AmeriCorps sites to date include 28 high schools in Carroll County, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque, Des Moines, Denison, Estherville, Fort Dodge, Marion, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, Monticello, Perry, and Sioux City. The number and location of additional high schools will depend on which Course to College partner sites choose to engage student leaders.

At community colleges, College Success Americorps members will support Last-Dollar Scholarship recipients, both new high school graduates and adults, to make their transition to college successful. Community colleges that have agreed to host College Success AmeriCorps members this fall are Clinton Community College, Des Moines Area Community College, Hawkeye Community College, Northeast Iowa Community College, Northwest Iowa Community College, and Western Iowa Tech Community College. More colleges might opt in to the program for their spring or summer sessions.

“We’re excited about offering more coaches at more education levels,” said Karen Misjak, Executive Director of Iowa College Aid. “These support systems are aimed at getting students not just to college, but through college.”

Both grants were effective September 1, and positions are open for coaches and student leaders across the state. Those interested can learn more or apply at For more information about Iowa College Aid’s college access and success coaches, visit For more information about the Last-Dollar Scholarship, visit

AmeriCorps funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency for volunteering and service. This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served their country through the national service program. Organizations are currently recruiting for AmeriCorps members to begin service this fall. Those interested in serving can learn more at

Iowa College Aid has also received state-appropriated funds through Volunteer Iowa for a statewide texting campaign in support of Future Ready Iowa initiatives.