February 2014

Get a Head Start on College by Taking AP Courses
Many students choose to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses during high school to better prepare for postsecondary success. These courses give students the chance to experience college-level work and show potential schools that they are up to the challenge. In order to receive placement or college credit for these AP courses, enrollees must take the AP exam offered at the end of the course. Check out these tips to help you get the most out of your AP courses!

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Spring College Fairs
Whether you are a senior looking at colleges for the fall,
or a high school student researching colleges to attend a couple years from now, college fairs are the perfect place to get all of the information you need in one place! Many college fairs are scheduled to be held this spring beginning in March. Check out a calendar containing dates and times of upcoming college fairs around the state!

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Financial Aid Awareness Month
Governor Terry E. Branstad, recognizing the importance of college financial aid to student success, will designate February as Financial Aid Awareness Month in the state of Iowa by signing a proclamation. The proclamation signing will take place on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in the Governor's Office.
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College Goal Sunday
College Goal Sunday is a program in which trained volunteers offer on-site assistance to students and families completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A total of 38 locations throughout Iowa will be hosting 50 events during February and March. View a list of dates and locations here!
2014 IFLiP Video CLiP Challenge Still Open
Don't forget that the 2014 IFLiP Video CLiP Challenge is open and accepting video entries! The best student-made video highlighting lessons learned in the Iowa Financial Literacy Program will win a $250 prize and a $1,000 technology grant for their school! The deadline for submissions is 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, 2014.
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Education Empowers
Education Empowers, the official blog of Iowa College Aid, provides practical, informative and engaging tips and insight related to financial aid and college planning. Blog post topics for the months of January and February include tips on preparing for AP exams, the importance of getting involved in your community and the Proteus program.

GEAR UP Iowa Scholarship
Recently, Iowa College Aid has received several questions from GEAR UP Iowa students and parents who were unsure of how to claim their scholarship. The process is slightly different depending on whether the student now resides in Iowa or out-of-state.
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Iowa College Aid Welcomes New Staff Member
Christina Sibouih joined staff at Iowa College Aid in December as an Executive Officer and will be serving as a grant writer for the agency. Christina has a Bachelor's Degree in Applied International Studies from Grand View University and a Master's in International Studies and Diplomacy from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco.
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GEAR UP Iowa Staff attends National Capacity Building Workshop
Educators from Davenport Central High School, Storm Lake High School and Ottumwa High School joined the GEAR UP Iowa team at the NCCEP/GEAR UP Capacity Building Workshop in Orlando, Florida from February 2-5, 2014. The team was able to learn from other GEAR UP professionals across the country and had the opportunity to share ideas to better serve students and communities in the advancement of college access.
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