So many people and families have been impacted by COVID-19 and post-secondary applications being sidelined. Of course, it’s horrible that we have seen over 500,000 deaths in the United States alone. But the impact has been more than just that. We’ve seen lockdowns, and distance learning and small businesses shuttering. It’s negatively impacted so many of us. Unfortunately, it’s very much impacted students, in so many ways. We’ve heard terms like learning loss, and low-income kids have seen some of the most devastations in this area. There’s a lot we just don’t know yet. What we do know is that kids are still trying really hard to study and succeed in school regardless. But part of this means that students who may have otherwise been applying to colleges may be struggling. And since many students apply for financial aid for college, those numbers being down may point to a trend.
That’s why Iowa, was awarded a grant aimed at helping students who are trying to make post-secondary plans.
And while we’re talking about this, here’s a grant for Nonprofits and Individuals to Improve Personal and Financial Well-Being.
Why Are Students Not Applying For Financial Aid?
So, one of the issues is that many students have actually put off applying for school. And there’s data to look at. One indicator is the amount of FAFSA forms that are filled out and completed. FAFSA or free application for student aid is how students who are seeking financial aid for college or university application. And the state of Iowa traditionally has a large initiative to encourage students to fill out and complete their FAFSA forms. Studies show that students who fill out this form are more likely to go to college. Actually, according to the National College Attainment Network, students who fill out the FAFSA are 84% more likely to immediately enroll in post-secondary education.
Now, why is this so important? Well, because the fact that less students are completing the forms may indicate a trend.
Robert Miller, the President of Iowa College Access Network agrees:
“It has been a difficult year with many students delaying decisions and putting off steps in the process that will help them succeed after high school,” said Miller “In a normal year, 78 percent of Iowa high school seniors go on to college and 60 percent of those seniors file a FAFSA form. Currently, only 45 percent of high school seniors have filed the FAFSA this year which is concerning.”
Here’s How Grant Funds WIll Be Used to Keep Applications From Being Sidelined
So, here’s how Iowa will use these funds. Iowa College Access Network or ICAN, will partner with state and community organizations, as well as 49 high schools across Iowa. This coalition will use targeted strategies and a combination of virtual and in-person events to reach the graduating 2021 class and convince them to fill out and complete their FAFSA forms if they have not. This is a much needed answer to post-secondary applications being sidelined.
Dr. Mark Wiederspan, Executive Director of Iowa College Aid, spoke on this initiative, saying: “Iowa College Aid is eager to support these efforts to increase FAFSA completion in Iowa,” said Wiederspan. “We know from our research that filing the FAFSA increases the likelihood that a student will go to college. We’re ready to provide resources for students and families, for schools, and for communities to make sure Iowans know how to take this important step.”
Hopefully Iowa’s initiative will help for more students to be able to attend post-secondary institutions and fill the financial aid gaps for the incoming year.
Grantwatch Knows How Important Education Is
It’s good to hear that the state of Iowa is working to keep post-secondary applications being sidelined. There have been so many hurdles for students this year. Hopefully, we see more initiatives aimed at helping them to overcome those hurdles. There’s so much work yet to be done, and that’s why grant funds are so important. This is also why we are so proud to have related grant categories at Grantwatch. We have an Education grant category that has over 2700 current grants. We also have an Elementary Education grant category as well.
If you have any questions about these grant categories or anything else, reach out to our team! Our customer support-staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have. You can reach them by calling 561-249-4129!