KIBBIE GRANT: Aid For Vocational Students

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Bradlee Beadle isn't your typical college student. Before returning to school last year, he hadn't been in a classroom since 1989. He came back to DMACC for the sake of his two children.

"What can I do to make their life better? How can I set a better example for them,” said Beadle.

He is studying for his Associates degree in management information systems, and like most students, he is hoping to graduate debt-free.

Tuesday, he got amazing news.

"It wasn't something I saw coming," Beadle told Channel 13 News.

A grant he didn't even apply for is giving him $2,000 dollars a year towards tuition and mandatory fees for up to two years.

"The books next semester are absolutely going to be taken care of."

He's one of 4,400 students who received the Kibbie Grant.

Approved by lawmakers last year, it bears the name of retired Senate President Jack Kibbie and provides $5 million dollars for students statewide.

The grant was created to address the shortage of skilled workers in Iowa.

"About 50% of the jobs in the state available for skilled workers that have career technical program backgrounds, but only 33% of workers have those skills," said Heather Doe, from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission.

To be eligible, a student must be an Iowa resident, enrolled in at least three community college credit hours in an eligible program, demonstrate financial need, and fill out their FAFSA forms.

Iowa Workforce Development says they're working on securing more funding to help out more students.

"It's starting out at $5 million dollars. We'll have to keep seeing how much is available each season,” said Doe.

More information on eligible programs and the Kibbie Grant is available here.