Students at UNI fight for cheaper education - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Students at UNI fight for cheaper education

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - Debt-free college is a goal for many students in Iowa, including those at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

A group of students along with Americans for Democratic Action petitioned Wednesday for cheaper, affordable education. Students say debt-free education should be a top priority for presidential candidates in 2016.

Logun Buckley is a junior at UNI studying public relations. He estimates his debt when he graduates will be about $28,000.

"It's really stressful to think about, I mean six months after I graduate they'll start coming for me," Buckley said.

Professors at UNI say they can notice the financial strain having effects in the classroom.

"It really interferes with their ability to focus on academics, it's a real problem. Some students are even working full time employment," Joe Gorton said, a professor in Criminology.

UNI Relations Director Scott Ketelsen said the problem is the cost in other areas continues to increase, like the cost of operations for the university. He said the main sources of income for UNI is tuition and state allocation, and said it's a delicate balance between offering good education and charging students.

Ketelsen said the university continues to work on financial aid packages and scholarships for students, and realizes affordable education is a huge topic.

Students will be petitioning Thursday for debt-free education on the ISU campus in Ames.

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