Iowa students seeking to meet career and college aspirations through the University of Iowa's REACH (Realizing Educational and Career Hopes) program will receive needed support thanks to a contribution from Iowa Student Loan.
The $10,000 contribution, made to the University of Iowa UI REACH program campaign, will provide scholarships for two Iowa students who are admitted to the program but have unmet financial need. UI REACH is a certificate program in the UI College of Education for students with multiple intellectual, cognitive and learning disabilities. Iowa Student Loan has funded such scholarships since 2017.
"We are very thankful for the continued support of Iowa Student Loan," says Cally Murray, director of development for the UI Center for Advancement. "For some students, a scholarship can be the deciding factor of whether or not they can attend this truly unique program. The students and their families are truly grateful."
Each student enrolled in UI REACH is integrated into the university culture and has access to services such as academic, career development and internship opportunities. Students are provided with lessons in day-to-day living and are encouraged to collaborate with counselors and advisers focusing on career aspirations and developing key social and life skills such as money management and financial planning.
"The UI Reach program fulfills a need for students who may otherwise be overlooked on their quest for higher education," says Christine Hensley, Iowa Student Loan board chair. "As a reflection of our mission to help Iowa students and families find the resources needed to succeed in postsecondary education, our contribution to the campaign for the UI REACH program will ensure Iowa students who may not have been able to access the program, due to unmet financial needs, will be able to attend."
Annual costs of attendance for an in-state UI REACH student are comparable to those of in-state undergraduates at the University of Iowa. However, because UI REACH is not a degree-offering program, students and families do not receive federal or state financial aid, and those with unmet need must find scholarships to help pay. Through the foundation, UI REACH is able to offer scholarships to a majority of applicants.
Created in 2008, UI REACH is the first of such programs on a Big Ten campus. More than 80 percent of UI REACH graduates find employment within two years of graduation, well above the national average for people with disabilities.