E-News - May 14, 2024

Coe College E-News — Updates and information for alumni, parents and friends of Coe

Iowa Ready Initiative

Coe College announces Iowa Ready initiative

Amid a battery of starts and stops by the U.S. Department of Education’s rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), Coe College officials are announcing the Iowa Ready initiative to provide immediate help to Iowa students entering college for the first time in the fall of 2024. 

The Iowa Ready initiative is driven by additional scholarships and grants for first-time college students from Iowa to ensure a direct cost equal to or less than the 2023-24 average direct cost of Iowa’s three regent institutions — $21,060 — which includes tuition, fees, housing and meal plan. Many students will see an out-of-pocket cost less than the regent average of $21,060 as additional scholarships, grants, work-study and loans are applied.

With FAFSA filing rates down more than 30% in the state compared to last year at this time, it’s clear Iowa families are unable to pursue their college choice due to the lack of information associated with the delayed FAFSA rollout and the subsequent setbacks caused by the implementation of the FAFSA Simplification Act. In addition, changes in FAFSA calculations have had a challenging impact on aid eligibility for farmers and small business owners.

“In my 30 years in higher education, this is one of the most significant barriers I’ve seen for Iowa families to make a college decision. All first-time college students need to understand the financial aid they will receive in order to make a decision, and I’m pleased Iowa Ready will accomplish that,” said Director of Financial Aid Barb Hoffman. “Knowing your cost to attend Coe will be $21,060 or less is valuable information because now it’s clear you have college options.”

Half of Coe's student body hails from Iowa, and in recent years, an even higher percentage have stayed in Iowa post-graduation. The college has continually enrolled historically large incoming classes for the last decade, and Coe sees its role in workforce development as vital to the state’s economy.

“The delays in the FAFSA pipeline may produce fewer college-going students and, in turn, a smaller college-educated workforce four years from now,” said Vice President for Advancement Chantel Olufsen, who oversees Coe’s C3: Creativity, Careers, Community center. Coe is ranked #12 in the nation by The Princeton Review private college rankings for providing meaningful internships to its students before graduation. “This connects students early on to our local businesses. We want to ensure our local industry will be making those quality connections to their future employees.”

Coe is the only college or university in Iowa to earn national ranks for accessible professors, career services and internships. The ties Coe creates for students in and around the Cedar Rapids area increases their likelihood of remaining in Iowa following graduation to live and work. The Iowa Ready scholarships and grants will not only ensure eligible students’ direct costs will be equal to or less than the regents’ direct costs, but also enable access to these robust professional advantages.

This announcement was made during National FAFSA Week of Action (April 15-19). The weeklong campaign aims to increase FAFSA submissions nationally. “As a parent, an Iowan and a higher education professional, I feel deeply the frustration and uneasiness surrounding this situation. It is exceptionally stressful and challenging for students who have never gone through the college search and financial aid process. Everyone should still file the FAFSA, but Iowa Ready jumpstarts the decision-making process,” said Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & Institutional Effectiveness Julie Staker ’93

In order to be eligible for the Iowa Ready initiative, one must be a current Iowa resident attending college for the first time in the fall of 2024. Students should apply for admission to be considered. Full eligibility criteria can be found at www.coe.edu/iowa-ready and includes being admitted unconditionally, enrolling full-time, visiting campus and living on campus for the 2024-2025 academic year. Based on FAFSA results, students may be eligible for scholarships, grants, work-study or loans, in addition to the financial support provided by the Iowa Ready initiative.

"Iowa is our home, and we are proud to serve the students and families of our state. Like hard-working Iowans, we are dedicated to ensuring Kohawks have the best in education, resources and opportunities, regardless of FAFSA processing timelines. Those delays should not inhibit their ability to have options,” said President David Hayes ’93. “The values farmers and small business owners possess – like hard work and ingenuity – are the same values we instill at Coe. It’s an honor to recognize them with meaningful assistance and contribute to building a strong Iowa workforce.”

The Iowa Ready initiative will be available to eligible incoming students through June 1, 2024. The maximum cost eligible new students will pay to attend Coe is $21,060. Many students will see an out-of-pocket cost less than the regent 2023-24 average of $21,060 as additional scholarships, grants, work-study and loans are applied.

Visit www.coe.edu/iowa-ready for full details. Prospective students may also contact the Office of Admission at 319-399-8500 or admission@coe.edu.


Coe College announces Transfer+

A transfer option allowing students with an associate degree to bypass additional general education requirements and immediately engage with the state’s premier faculty, career services and internships in their field of interest

Following National Community College Month, Coe College is announcing Transfer+. This updated transfer admission policy is a game changer for community college students considering transferring to Coe College, a four-year college, to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Beginning this fall, students who have earned an associate degree can transfer to Coe and bypass additional general education requirements, exponentially increasing the potential to graduate with a bachelor's degree in two years. Students who are eligible will be able to immediately take upper level courses that will apply to their chosen major.

Students can expect to benefit from this straightforward credit transfer plus immediate access to nationally ranked services. Coe is recognized as having the #7 Most Accessible Professors, the #8 Career Services and being the #12 Best Private School for Internships by The Princeton Review. Transfer+ accelerates student engagement in internships, networking and research alongside accessible professors to quickly expand their professional possibilities.

Additional transfer benefits at Coe include the opportunity to take some overload credit without charge, a 4-4-1 academic calendar which includes a free May Term for transfers with the possibility of studying off campus and a dedicated transfer advisor and transfer orientation course to quickly become acclimated to the resources at Coe.

Transfer+ creates a clear path for transfer students who are career-minded and want to immediately benefit from our location in Cedar Rapids. Coe’s investment in our relationships locally is one of the key factors that allow our students to graduate with a robust resume,” said Coe College Senior Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing & Institutional Effectiveness Julie Staker ’93.

“Most of these students will enter Coe with junior status, so the timing is perfect to engage in the classes and experiences that guide them professionally as their career is fast approaching. The removal of additional general education requirements honors the work students have already completed and allows them to explore and connect immediately as they prepare to enter the Corridor's workforce,” Staker continued. 

Surrounded by businesses and non-profit organizations in the heart of Iowa’s second largest city, Coe is the only Iowa college or university nationally ranked in key professional development categories like career services and internships. Transfer+ will ensure incoming community college students access these resources quickly with clear integration points into the local business community as growing and retaining the future local workforce remains a priority for the college. For more than a decade, nearly 100% of reporting graduates have been employed or in grad school within nine months of graduation.

“Everyone deserves access to the individual and immersive education that Coe provides. This is a place where you can meet challenges head on and take your learning into the field — it’s a place where you maximize your talent and effort,” said Associate Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admission Josh Kite. “Transfer students will have the opportunity to start internships right away to build a network and strong resume with the help of C3: Creativity, Careers, Community.”

“I applaud the vision of the faculty to honor the work these students have completed and simultaneously develop pathways for associate degree holders to pursue a bachelor's degree at Coe. We are thrilled to provide this opportunity and continue contributing to the local workforce,” said Coe College Provost and Dean of the Faculty Angela Ziskowski.

Transfer+ is the latest in a series of steps the college has taken to ensure a Coe education remains accessible for all students who want to extend their education at a nationally ranked college. 

Coe already offers a full-tuition scholarship reserved for a transfer student, while the average financial aid offer for transfers is over $48,000 (after scholarships, grants, loans and work-study are applied). 

Last summer, Coe was a recipient of a grant awarded to the Iowa Private Transfer Collaborative, which funded increased communication and partnership to ensure a more seamless transfer of academic credits to produce higher retention rates among transfer students.

Degree completion timeline is contingent upon courses completed prior to transfer and requirements of the student's chosen major. Students interested in pursuing the benefits of Transfer+ should contact the Office of Admission at 319.399.8500 or admission@coe.edu

Once a Kohawk, always a Kohawk

Graduation from Coe College is truly a milestone. On May 5, Coe recognized the achievements of the Class of 2024, many of whom felt the significance of the day even more distinctly due to their high school graduation being scheduled during the 2020 pandemic. Degrees were conferred for Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Science in Nursing on the Stewart Memorial Library quad. Cecilia Kintopf ’24 served as the student commencement speaker, and the college welcomed Duane Smith to impart a message to graduating seniors. Watch the above video to experience the weekend for yourself, and check out the forthcoming summer Courier for more.

Generosity looks good on you!

On behalf of everyone at Coe, we sincerely thank our donors for their generosity during our 10th annual Day of Giving as we celebrated a decade of generosity.  We are reminded, and in awe, of what an amazing community we have! We are grateful for the support of faculty, staff, student supporters, students, alumni and friends who showed up in a big way. We are proud to share that with your help, we met our All In Ten challenge securing 601 gifts while raising $471,647.70! A special thanks to our Challenge Leaders whose generosity makes Day of Giving challenge matches possible. Generosity looks good on you!

Senior Class Gift committee recognized at Senior Celebration

Senior Class Gift committee raises funds to better Coe's campus

Being a member of the Senior Class Gift committee is another accolade for graduates to add to their resume — more importantly, it is a role that makes a difference. This year’s committee consisted of Kaitlyn Clark ’24, Kiah Kilburg ’24, Antonia Valdivia Araya ’24, Tara Crosby ’24, Maui Whaley ’24 and Meghan O’Connell ’24, led by co-chairs Max Gorden Mercer ’24 and Skyler Lewis ’24. Thanks to their efforts, the involvement of the senior class and the generosity of Student Alumni Association and the Coe Alumni Council in providing matching funds, the Class of 2024 raised $1,745.48 with 51 gifts.

“Being co-chair of the Senior Class Gift Committee was the perfect way to round out my four years at Coe! Through this committee, I was able to speak to my classmates about their Coe highlights and the kind of impact they want the Class of 2024 to leave,” said Gorden Mercer, who graduated with his degree in public accounting and business administration. “As a part of this, the Class decided to improve parts of Coe that had changed during our time here, deciding to install outdoor seating around the Center for Health and Society. Thank you to everyone who supported our goal!”

Starting back in 1888, the Senior Class Gift is an ongoing tradition at Coe College for the senior class to present a gift to the college on the occasion of their graduation. Coe has been fortunate throughout its history to have had alumni and friends contribute generously to advance the college and provide resources for current and future generations of students.

The Senior Class Gift provides an opportunity for the graduating class to continue that tradition and to acknowledge the philanthropy of those who preceded them.

Coe College makes its way to the West Coast

During the last week of April, some Kohawk spirit was brought to the coast as Coe College made its way out west to reconnect with alumni. Associate Vice President for Advancement Barb Ernst Tupper ’89 and Development Officer Katie Lillibridge Dostal ’99 visited Coe alumni and friends in the greater Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles areas.

“We spent seven days traveling to have the incredible opportunity to connect with over 50 alumni on the West Coast,” said Dostal. “Barb and I helping to bring alumni together and give them the opportunity to tell stories and share their Kohawk journey was priceless. It was thrilling to spend time with and get to know so many Kohawks.”

On the West Coast tour, alumni had the chance to reconnect with and meet other alumni in the area, being reminded that the Coe experience is one that stays with you — wherever you may be.

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New Kohawk bike jerseys available

It’s time to gear up! Show your Coe spirit, whether you’re training for RAGBRAI or coasting in the bike lane. The Kohawk Shop has new Coe bike jerseys available, in stock online and in store as well. Not only that, there are huge amounts of discounted merchandise available online. Check out the deals and order your jersey today!

Upcoming & Virtual Events

There are always ways for the Coe alumni community to be involved with Coe and events on campus. You can stream music events and athletic home games from wherever you are, and stay up-to-date on the Coe calendar to find other interesting and exciting events.

July 18: Coe Athletic Golf Outing — For over four decades, Coe Athletics has held its annual Golf Outing & Fundraiser that provides support for the college’s 26 men’s and women’s varsity sports in the American Rivers Conference. In its 42nd year, the Golf Outing will be held at Hunters Ridge Golf Course, and registration is open for both golfers and sponsors. The funding from this event is used throughout the athletics department to provide services for student-athletes, such as equipment, uniforms and travel. More than a fundraiser, the Golf Outing brings alumni, family, friends, students, faculty and staff together.