DES MOINES, Iowa -- This month, Iowa College Aid launched the Future Ready Iowa Texting program to provide support to college-bound students as well as new college students.
This program was inspired by the Future Ready Iowa Initiative and the Last Dollar Scholarship. Six-thousand students received that award last fall and this texting program’s mission is to make the transition from high school to college a little easier for those young Iowans.
It's a way to just give the kind of support that goes beyond a financial aid award,” Public Information Officer, Iowa College Aid, Elizabeth Sedrel said. “That helps them understand the decisions they're making and meet important deadlines to keep them going along the way.”
Sedral said this program was long overdue. Iowa College Aid had been wanting to more personal connections with students and when they saw that even social media wasn’t working.. it was time to try something different.
“We have robust social media platforms. But we're realizing more and more than on social media, we're talking to student’s parents, more than we're talking to the students themselves. So texting is going to be a really important part of our communication with them," Sedral said.
Those who sign up for these text alerts will get personalized advice on how to choose a college, tips on how to choose a major, and reminders of important deadlines. Sedral said most students' concerns about college are about tuition costs and student debt. So Iowa College Aid decided to make financial aid a huge component of this program to help these teens make the best decision for them.
“The big thing is we want to make sure that college is accessible to all Iowans. And it might not be the right path for everyone but we want to make sure that anyone who wants that path can find a way to it,” Sedral said.
Not only is this program for those high school students college-bound but also those who are in their first year of school. Sedral said Iowa College Aid’s goal is not only to get students to college but keep them there as well.
“We understand the transition doesn't stop the first day of classes. There are still questions, there are still things to navigate,” Sedral said. “We want to be a resource even as they move into their college career to make sure that we can help improve their chances of success.”
If you know a student interested in this program, they can opt into the program by going to Iowacollegeaid.gov /texting.