Student Loan Indebtedness Decreases
University of Northern Iowa student loan indebtedness decreases by 7.6%, currently averaging $23,575 per undergraduate
Breaking away from national trends in student borrowing, the University of Northern Iowa has seen its average student loan indebtedness decrease by 7.6% within the past academic year. The average undergraduate student now graduates having borrowed $23,575, down from $25,523 just one year earlier.
The overall decline in borrowing can be attributed to several primary factors :
- The number of teaching majors taking advantage of the Federal TEACH Grant Program designed for students planning to teach in a high-need field. UNI has actively participated in the Federal TEACH Grant Program since its inception five years ago. At the national level, UNI is currently the number two public university in administering the TEACH Grant. In 2011-12, UNI had 643 TEACH Grant recipients, totaling $2.4 million awarded. The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 for a total of $16,000 to an undergraduate.
- Additional loan counseling for students who consider private lending options. In 2007-08, the Office of Student Financial Aid started one-on-one counseling for students seeking private loans. Private loan borrowing has decreased from a total of $15.3 million in 2007-08 to $3 million in 2010-11 (an 80% decrease).
- Financial literacy initiatives, including the Live Like a Student courses. Live Like a Student, along with other money management outreach, has sparked an interest among students related to their personal finances. All students in the course are required to review their loan indebtedness and project where their past borrowing may lead them. Live Like a Student also emphasizes the importance of:
- Budgeting and having financial goals
- Living within your means
- Understanding how actions today will affect one’s financial future