On October 17, a group of Iowa financial aid administrators gathered at the State Capitol in Des Moines to witness Governor Terry E. Branstad sign a proclamation proclaiming the month of November to be Financial Aid Awareness Month (FAAM) in Iowa. The change of having the FAFSA available beginning October 1 has also changed the timing of promoting financial aid and FAFSA filing.
In the past, February had been proclaimed as Financial Aid Awareness Month in Iowa. In recognition of FAAM, IASFAA promotes a challenge among Iowa’s colleges and universities to use unique and creative ideas to promote FAFSA filing on their campuses. The winning campus receives a traveling trophy, Freida the Flamingo, to proudly display and a gift card for the office to use for a fun lunch. The last winner of the trophy and gift card was Coe College in Dubuque!
With the signing of the proclamation now occurring in the fall rather than during the dead of winter, one financial aid administrator commented that it was nice to travel to the capitol and not have to worry about icy roads or snow! Plus, no coats were required with the balmy fall that Iowa has been experiencing. And now that November has arrived, the campuses are once again promoting FAFSA filing with the hopes of being the next winner of Freida!
Because the state legislators are not in session during the month of October, the timing of the signing allowed for the group to be able to do a self-guided tour of the capitol building. A visit to see the House and Senate chambers allowed them to stand on those respective floors rather than viewing from above in the gallery. A decision to visit the state library in the capitol to take in the views of downtown Des Moines resulted in an impromptu presentation given by the state librarian showing some historical law books, including one from 1787 that has John Hancock and Samuel Adams’ names listed.
Promoting FAFSA filing is the first step in the financial aid process and IASFAA is thankful to Governor Branstad and the State of Iowa for recognizing how important this step is!
Assistant Director-Continuing Student Programs
Office of Student Financial Planning