Teaching in impoverished schools, UNI students have less debt - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Teaching in impoverished schools, UNI students have less debt

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CEDAR FALLS (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 (http://dmreg.co/1hQsJzM ) 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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