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Meet Erick Danielson

Headshot of Erick DanielsonErick Danielson
Vice President of Programs
ICAN (Iowa College Access Network)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
I really enjoyed my experience as a student at William Penn College (now University). An admission job opened there right when I was graduating. Getting a chance to be a part of the college and traveling around to recruit students really appealed to me. After a few years as an admission counselor at William Penn (IA), ICAN was being created. Being able to still help students/families as well as getting a chance to start an organization from the ground-level was something I couldn’t pass up.  

What is your favorite part of the job?
There are many, but my favorite is helping families fill out the FAFSA form. When a family comes in, they often have stress all over their faces, thinking that filling the FAFSA form out is going to be worse than a root canal. Then we sit down and complete it in 30 minutes or less. Their changing facial expression from stress to relief to joy is amazing to see. It is a great feeling to be able to be a part of that.  

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
Professional development. NACAC has helped me stay connected to the admission side of the college planning process. Our state of Iowa ACAC does a great job with this too, but NACAC keeps me updated on admission trends all over the country.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today? Many high school students have not been in a classroom regularly for almost 1½ years. Making sure these students are career/college-ready is going to be a major challenge.  

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do? I serve as a deacon at my church and I love playing basketball with my teenage son and listening to ‘80s music with my teenage daughter. I also enjoy getting outdoors by running, golfing, and kayaking.  

If you could be any fictional character, who would it be and why? Luke Skywalker. Star Wars is my favorite movie. I wanted to be a Jedi and use The Force as a kid. I still do. 😊

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