University of Northern Iowa student loan indebtedness decreases by 13% over the past six years, currently averaging $22,313 per undergraduate
Breaking away from national trends in student borrowing, the University of Northern Iowa has seen its average student loan indebtedness decrease by 13% over the past six years. The average undergraduate student now graduates having borrowed $22,313, down from $25,735 in 2010.
The overall decline in borrowing can be attributed to three primary factors:
1.) 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 $3.6 million today (a 77% decrease). The average private loan debt upon graduation is $13,614 compared to $17,892 in 2009-10 (24% decrease). The number of student borrowing private education loans has also decreased, 178 students graduated with private education loan debt compared to 597 in 2009-10 (70% decrease).
2.) 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 during the 2008-09 academic year. At the national level, UNI is currently the number four public university in administering the TEACH Grant. During 2014-15, 488 students took advantage of the program, totaling $1.7 million. The TEACH Grant provides up to $4,000 for a total of $16,000 to an undergraduate.
3.) 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. The free, non credit Live Like a Student courses were first offered in 2010-11 and emphasizes the importance of:
o Budgeting and having financial goals
o Living within your means
o Understanding how actions today will affect one’s financial future (Live like a student now, so you don’t have to later.) All students in the course are required to review their loan indebtedness and project where their past borrowing may lead them.