(Creston) -- University of Iowa representatives were in Creston Wednesday morning for a major announcement.
School officials introduced a new statewide scholarship initiative, which aims to help encourage and improve college readiness among Iowa high school students. Marissa Simplot is an admissions counselor for the University of Iowa and was a leader of the ceremony at Creston High School. Simplot says the new program is called "Iowa for All 99."
"It's micro-scholarships that students can start earning from 9th grade through 12th grade," Simplot said. "They are smaller scholarships that will start to build on top of each other for taking advanced classes, getting involved outside of the classroom with community service, and extra curricular activities. It's really just raising awareness about getting ready for college and being prepared."
Simplot adds a Creston High School student became one of the first students in the state to be accepted into the initiative.
"Sydney Suiter, a senior at Creston, actually did sign up (Wednesday) for this project and for this scholarship opportunity," Simplot said. "We got a chance to see her put in some of her personal information and then it populated scholarships right away. She got to see those add up, which was really exciting because she will be attending the University of Iowa this fall."
Simplot says the scholarship program is funded from several support destinations.
"Funding is through the Raise.me platform, which is a platform that was started by Bill and Melinda Gates, as well as Facebook."
Simplot says the initiative showcases a simple application process for students.
"Students can go to Raise.me. They sign up using their name, home address, and their high school. That's pretty much all it takes," Simplot said. "They then can follow colleges they are interested in. If they follow the University of Iowa, they will see all of the different micro-scholarships offered there."
Other KMAland school districts participating in the project include Red Oak, South Page, and Hamburg. A complete video package highlighting Wednesday's event at Creston High School can be viewed below.