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Teaching Grant Helps Drop UNI's Student Debt

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Students at the University of Northern Iowa have managed to significantly reduce average student debt by taking advantage of a federal program that requires them to teach a high-need subject in a high-poverty school for four years.

The Des Moines Register reports the average UNI graduate last year had about $23,000 in debt. That's down from about $26,000 three years ago.

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant offers $4,000 per year to students who follow the unique requirement. The grant, which offers up to 16,000 over four years, converts to a loan with retroactive interest if a student doesn't fulfill the requirement within eight years of graduation.

UNI officials say more than 600 students this year have received $2.3 million through the program.

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