Parents & Families Blog

​​​​Dear Parents,

This is a new education blog​ launched by your friends at DMACC. It will include articles, guidance from our advisors, insights on scholarships, announcements and other useful information to help you and your son or daughter plan for college.

We realize these are unsettling times and you may have a lot of questions about education. We hope this will be a good resource for you and encourage you to reach out with any questions or advice.

A Welcome from President Denson

Posted October 12, 2020


On behalf of our DMACC community, we are pleased to welcome your son or daughter to the College this fall. While we're continuing to adjust to changes caused by COVID-19,  we're doing our best to support your student's academic success. 

Here are some reasons why you and your student have made a good decision choosing DMACC. 

1. Academic programs

DMACC offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas and certificates, from Cybersecurity to Mortuary Science (view full list). 

Transfer partnerships and 2+2 programs with numerous four-year universities.

DMACC students have transferred to over 925 colleges and universities around the country. 

Our students do as well, if not better than, their peers who entered the universities directly after high school.  In fact, 90% of DMACC graduates who transferred to one of Iowa's state universities stayed enrolled there after one year. 

Full tuition scholarships are available for many in-demand career paths. 

2. Value

DMACC has the lowest tuition and fees in Iowa. 

A record number of scholarships are available. 

Recently, DMACC was named 10th Best Value in the U.S. by Value Colleges –

And voted Best Community College in Iowa by CITYVIEW readers. 

3. Support Resources for On-Time Graduation 

One-on-one Tutoring. 

One-on-one Academic Advising and Counseling. 

Career Exploration and Internship opportunities.

Quality of faculty and instruction.  

4. Equity and Inclusion

While DMACC prides itself on its welcoming culture, an all-college review of our commitment to diverse populations is currently underway. It includes assessment surveys, an examination of student satisfaction, and a review of our mission, vision and values to enhance everything from our hiring practices to serving diverse audiences.

5. Student Health and Engagement

Free gym membership to Trail Point and other rec opportunities on other Campuses   

Clubs (Academic, Social, Political, Religious, Athletics, and Cultural). If your student cannot find a club to join, they can start one!


  • Student run campus newspapers

  • STEM / Criminal Justice

  • Dr. Simon Estes, guest lecturer and the Simon Estes Music Scholarship

  • Fashion DECA


6. Career Placement

98% of DMACC graduates are employed, continuing their education or are serving in the military.

DMACC is proud to be part of your student's future. Thank you for putting your academic trust in us. 

Rob Denson, President

2020 So Far: The Silver Lining

Posted September 18, 2020


Here's a good example of how some students are choosing community colleges this fall after COVID-19 caused them to reconsider/change their original college plans.

Read the blog post here:

Helping Your Student Finish What They Start

Posted September 16, 2020


Now that your child is a student at DMACC, it is important for them to Finish What They Start!

There are many reasons why students don't complete their degree. Nationally, studies show these reoccurring issues:

  • Inadequate financial resources
  • Lack of preparedness
  • No or too costly child care
  • No family or peer support
  • Transportation problems
  • Demands of their current full-time job.

DMACC has a number of scholarships, grants and loans in place. Please go to

A good example is the Cares Act.

Qualified candidates may receive extra financial aid – up to

  • $2,000 enrolled full-time at DMACC
  • $500 enrolled less than half-time

Funding comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, a new federal grant funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

It provides cash grants – dollars that never need to be repaid--  for expenses related to disruptions to education due COVID-19. This includes things like:

  • Textbooks
  • Necessary course materials
  • Laptops
  • Internet fees
  • Utilities
  • Childcare , and
  • More

To be eligible for CARES Act funds, one must be eligible for Federal Student Aid and have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2020-21 academic year.

DMACC also has a number of different options for ways their students can attend class.  They can attend face to face, virtually or on line.  There is also a large number of late start classes that haven't even started yet.

DMACC has a number of services available also.  Advisors and counselors are available both in person and virtutally to answer any questions or concerns you student may have.  And their professors are also a valuable asset in their success.

Dart is offering FREE rides to DMACC students!

Encourage your student to Finish What they start.

A college education is more important today than ever before. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arnie Duncan said while visiting the DMACC Ankeny Campus several years ago, “We don't have a 'jobs' shortage in the country, we have a 'skills' shortage. There are two million high-wage jobs we can't fill." Many of the positions that required a high school diploma and fewer skills disappeared during the last “great" recession and won't return, replaced by more highly skilled and complex jobs requiring more education and greater training. As a result, it's crucial for students to complete their college degree. To grow economic development in Iowa, it's also essential for the state to have a highly skilled, well-educated workforce.

Community college graduates who pursue a Bachelor's degree are typically successful. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, nearly three-quarters of students who earn an Associate's degree and then move on to a four-year college graduated with a Bachelor's degree within four years of transferring. This shows that successful completion of a degree at a two-year college sets up transfer students for success later on. ​

Trail Point Aquatics and Wellness

Posted September 4, 2020


Trail Point Aquatics and Wellness is not only Ankeny’s premier fitness facility, it’s also where your DMACC college student can receive a FREE membership when they enroll and pay for 6 or more credits each semester, regardless of if they’re registered for classes at a campus, center, or online. 

With two pools, group fitness classes, free weights, machines, cardio equipment, a track, basketball courts, personal training ($), cycling, racquetball, and more, your students can find something to keep them strong and moving this semester.  Additionally, Trail Point has a number of employment opportunities for students including Membership Representatives, Kids Zone Attendants, Lifeguards, and  Fitness Floor Attendants. 

Trail Point is also the home of DMACC Campus Recreation, which offers DMACC students opportunities for intermural and club sports, outdoor recreation, and virtual leagues (like eSports) and special events.

Late-Start Classes at DMACC

Posted August 31, 2020


DMACC offers a large number of late start classes at a variety of times and locations to better fit busy schedules.

These classes start after the semester begins and last between 5 and 15 weeks. The classes are fully accredited, with the same quality instruction, just at a faster pace than traditional semester classes.

Go to​ to view the complete list of late start classes​

DMACC's Commitment during COVID-19

Posted August 6, 2020


COVID-19 has changed many aspects of our lives, perhaps this includes higher education plans. One thing that has not changed is DMACC’s commitment to providing quality education and services to our community. DMACC is providing a path for individuals to work towards their goals even during these unprecedented times. Understandably, there are many questions about how DMACC is operating this fall. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions:

What are online class options? DMACC has been conducting online learning for years- our outstanding faculty are trained and ready to welcome students virtually. To cater to needs of all students, DMACC is providing several different course delivery types. There is something for every student at DMACC. Even more, DMACC is guaranteeing student tuition should classes be cancelled for any reason. Students and families can rest assured that they will receive quality instruction at DMACC- both online and in-person.

Is assistance available for admissions, financial aid, and other student services? Yes! While many class options are online, our dedicated student services staff are still available to answer questions and assist students during the school year. Academic advisors are available virtually to assist students in registering for classes, transfer plans, or planning their educational goals. Additionally, DMACC’s mental health counselors are available as resources to students as we all navigate these difficult times. All student-serving offices are ready to assist and welcome students!
Student Services Resources

What about the college experience? While COVID-19 has definitely altered how we can get together as a community, the DMACC Student Activities Council and Campus Recreation are providing ways to bring the DMACC community together. Through virtual events such as Netflix parties, virtual intramurals, and more, students can take a break from studying to safely meet other DMACC students and have fun!

How does my student get enrolled? If you would like assistance in getting started this fall, please contact our Admissions Team

COVID-19 Has Stopped Lots of Things: Don’t Let Going to DMACC Be of Them!

Posted July 23, 2020

Fall2020classes.pngIf you or someone in your family is thinking about college this fall, Des Moines Area Community College has some good news.

Quailified candidates may receive extra financial aid – up to

  • $2,000 enrolled full-time at DMACC
  • $500 enrolled less than half-time

Funding comes from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, a new federal grant funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

It provides cash grants – dollars that never need to be repaid--  for expenses related to disruptions to education due COVID-19. This includes things like:

  • Textbooks
  • Necessary course materials
  • Laptops
  • Internet fees
  • Utilities
  • Childcare, and
  • More

To be eligible for CARES Act funds, one must be eligible for Federal Student Aid and have completed the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the 2020-21 academic year.

Fall is just around the corner. Classes begin Aug. 26.

» More information

DMACC Scholarships

Posted July 16, 2020

DMACC offers a great place to start. The College has the academic and student benefits of a university at a fraction of the cost. And one of the ways the college can help is to provide a number of scholarship opportunities to help subsidize tuition. The Foundation has made it easier with a new scholarship management fund.

The DMACC Foundation has moved to a new scholarship management system. The new scholarship award system is applicable to the 2020 Fall term and beyond.

The DMACC Foundation receives many generous gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations. These gifts combined with earnings from the Foundation's investments provide student scholarships to hundreds of students annually. Awards are based on financial need, academic achievement, community service, or a combination of donor directed qualifying criteria. The DMACC Foundation maintains an online scholarship application process in partnership with Blackbaud Award Management.

The DMACC Foundation Award Management System, allows a student to:

  • Fill out one simple and secure general scholarship application.
  • Be automatically matched to scholarship opportunities at the DMACC Foundation for which the student qualifies.
  • Receive recommended additional scholarship opportunities to apply to by submitting additional information or answering a few additional questions.

**The Spring/2021 application will open on September 8th.

Please send any questions you might have to:

Bringing Students Back Safely This Fall

Posted July 10, 2020
DMACC has a Come Back Strong Committee that has developed all the protocols to safely bring students back in a safe and controlled manner.  We are emphasizing social distancing of at least 6 feet and requiring cloth face coverings at all times when people are in buildings. The only exception for not wearing a mask would be if your child has a medical condition preventing them from wearing it. 

 DMACC is providing flexibility to your child in the form of FIVE different class types including:

  • Web-Blended
  • Online
  • Real-time Virtual
  • Web-Blended  - Online and Real-time Virtual
  • Face-to-Face for many classes

If classes are cancelled, DMACC is guaranteeing student tuition for in person and online instruction at all DMACC campuses and centers.  If we cancel classes for any reason, you get your money back, no questions or delay.  Counselors and advisors are in place for assistance.

We realize it’s been a difficult year for many of you.  Our goal is to make the fall semester as stress free, safe and rewarding as possible.

DMACC President Denson has included a message for you.