Iowa ranked 6th highest for debt among college grads - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa ranked 6th highest for debt among college grads

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Iowa college graduates are some of the most in debt across the nation, according to state rankings issued by College Insight. According to the rankings, Iowa ranks sixth highest in average debt among college graduates with $28,753. But one eastern Iowa community college is looking to help shrink that number, and ease that burden off of their students. Liang Chee Wee is President of Northeast Iowa Community College. He says this year the college froze their tuition fee. A tuition freeze allows students to pay the same tuition and fee's as the previous 2012-2013 academic year.

"For us, student debt and affordable are two key things," Wee said. "we want our students to stay. We know that every time a student finishes with us it lifts the family."

N.I.C.C. also has in place a program which allows students to take credits at the community college which can be transferred to other larger schools in the area.

"We advise our students about what courses they will need, if they tell us what program they would like to pursue. That way, they already have a roadmap. Then when they transfer over to another college that transition is as smooth as possible." Wee said.

Liang Chee Wee also says the Community College works with high schools to provide duel credits to students.

"When they come to us, then they already have some of the credits already done," Wee said. "Even if they don't come to us, it gets them on the journey, and it saves money."

Northeast Iowa Community College staff also works to teach students about financial responsibility for the future, outside of school, as well.

"When we work with our students, it's not so much filling in the forms. But it's about understanding the family, what are their dynamics, what are their pressure points, what they can and cannot do. What we help them understand is only borrow what they need." said Liang Chee Wee.

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