Each year, we dedicate a portion of our community reinvestment funds to sponsor and participate in key events and initiatives throughout the state. These partnerships with other like-minded entities allow us to pool resources to strengthen messages of responsible and educated borrowing and financial literacy for students and families across the state.
Iowa College Access Network
Iowa Student Loan continues to support the Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) through significant financial support for their free college planning services offered statewide. Since 1998, ICAN has helped empower Iowans to achieve their educational and career goals through statewide outreach, initiatives and partnerships with schools, groups and businesses. Additionally, we supported ICAN in some new and unique ways that benefit ICAN's audience directly and indirectly.
Mobile Learning Stations
In 2015, Iowa Student Loan worked with ICAN to create mobile learning stations in three of its 11 office locations across Iowa. Students and their families can use these stations to access Iowa Student Loan's suite of financial literacy tools — Student Loan Game Plan and ROCI Reality Check — in addition to other resources regarding college financing. Once students have their personalized college planning and financing information, ICAN's team of student success advisors are able to discuss the results with these students.
The tablet- and laptop-based stations have been set up at ICAN center locations in:
Golden Circle College Fair
To reach Iowa high school students with information about the consequences of overborrowing for college before they choose the school they will attend, Iowa Student Loan representatives demonstrated the Student Loan Game Plan and ROCI Reality Check tools during the Golden Circle College Fair held at the Iowa Events Center in September.
The two online tools, which are designed to help students understand the impact of borrowing for college and determine how the major they select affects their future earning potential, were made available to students and their families before and during the fair.
The Golden Circle College Fair — traditionally the largest college fair in Iowa — is organized annually by ICAN to bring representatives of more than 150 colleges and universities to central Iowa to visit with attendees.
Iowa Student Loan was one of six major sponsors of the first Iowa Financial Literacy Summit, held May 5, 2015, in Des Moines. The summit brought together policymakers, students, educators, the general public and interested organizations to discuss the importance of financial literacy to the state and ways to highlight that importance among stakeholders.
CEO and Summit Chairman Steve McCullough participated on a panel with other financial services professionals to convey lessons learned.
"We understand the importance for nonprofits like us to be a part of financial literacy education alongside Iowa schools."
- Steve McCullough, CEO and Chairman
In 2015, Iowa Student Loan partnered with the I Have a Dream Foundation's Dreamer Academy at Findley Elementary in Des Moines. Founded in 1990, the nonprofit "adopts" groups of low-income elementary children deemed at risk of dropping out. Through tutoring, mentoring and enrichment exercises, the foundation provides long-term support for each child through high school and into college.
Iowa Student Loan provided financial support to help the foundation meet their mission for the 2015–2016 academic year, including providing education about the costs of college and ways to help families make smart borrowing decisions through curriculum and programing. Iowa Student Loan's contribution also supports I Have A Dream's college savings account investment strategy used to incentivize students and families to participate in programs.
Iowa Student Loan also sponsored the following events. At each, representatives provided demonstrations of our innovative smart borrowing tools as well as takeaways promoting the tools and college funding programs.
- Iowa Business Educators Conference, Oct. 26, 2015. More than 100 attended the annual conference for business educators from high schools, colleges and universities from across the state.
- Iowa School Counselors Association Conference, Nov. 2, 2015. This annual conference for high school counselors attracted more than 800 participants from all parts of Iowa.
Iowa Student Loan continues to grow its online presence in an effort to extend our reach to students and parents planning for, attending and paying for college. Since launching a social media presence in the fall of 2013, Iowa Student Loan has continually evaluated efforts on current platforms and looked for new ways to reach audiences. We welcome individuals interested in college planning and finance to take advantage of the information available via Iowa Student Loan's social media platforms.
Our digital presence connects students and families to pertinent resources and tools that allow them to successfully plan for, finance, and effectively and efficiently navigate postsecondary education.
Student Loan Coach Blog
Iowa Student Loan launched the Student Loan Coach blog in the summer of 2015. Student Loan Coach is a resource containing articles focusing on the topics and information parents and students need through the whole college process. Original content, including images and infographics, are created in-house at Iowa Student Loan. Submitted content from strategic partners is also posted on a regular basis.
Iowa Student Loan's Facebook page, launched in late 2013, continued to grow steadily in 2015. With the addition of the Student Loan Coach blog, a majority of content posted to Facebook is original articles from Iowa Student Loan. However, additional content from strategic partners and other reliable sources is shared via the Facebook page.
With the addition of boosted (pay for reach) posts, including ads on Instagram, content on Facebook reaches a much broader Iowa demographic than just its built-in followers.
In 2015, Iowa Student Loan increased outreach efforts through video by producing multiple videos for use across our digital platform. Two videos highlight Iowa Student Loan's innovative tools Student Loan Game Plan and ROCI Reality Check. Two additional videos are part of an ongoing campaign, #StudentLoanProTip, which offers quick, easy advice to current and future college students about paying for school.
Iowa Student Loan also uses video within its tools and for promoting programs. The Student Loan Game Plan now features four video borrower stories and an animated tips video. These videos are posted on social media channels as educational resources, and to promote use of our tools. Last year's Senior Scholarship recipients were featured in a testimonial video, which included winners from across Iowa. This video is being used to promote the 2015–2016 Senior Scholarship program.
To view these videos, select the "Playlist" option from the video player below.