The University of Northern Iowa has been recognized as a national leader in decreasing student debt. UNI is also announcing new scholarships to help prospective students afford the cost of higher education.
UNI is included in the top 10 percent of lowest student-debt figures in the country, according to LendEDU’s fourth annual “Student Loan Debt by School by State” report. LendEDU is an online marketplace that helps consumers learn about and compare a wide range of financial products including student loans. Their analysis included nearly 1,000 four-year public and private higher education institutions across the United States.
"We are committed to providing our students with the resources to educate themselves about student-loan debt, and to help them make the best financial choices about their education,” said UNI President Mark A. Nook. “Helping them develop this literacy early gives them a strong foundation to make wise financial decisions for the rest of their lives.”
In 2018, UNI students graduated with the second-lowest debt in the state, marking more than a decade of decreasing student debt that highlight the institution’s continual efforts to provide an accessible, high-quality education.
To further lower the cost of attending UNI, the university is also announcing the establishment of new scholarships for incoming resident and non-resident students beginning in the 2020-21 academic year. All Iowa residents applying to UNI will be eligible for the new Panther Impact Award, which will award between $1,000 and $3,500 annually based on standardized test scores and GPA. Students from traditionally underrepresented populations also will qualify for the “Unifying Through Excellence and Diversity” (UNI-TED) Scholarship, which provides between $1,000 and $2,000 per year based on academic performance.
“Our graduates - those from Iowa as well as other states - head into the Iowa workforce at very high rates, so it is extremely important that we make attending UNI as financially feasible as possible,” Nook said. “It is our responsibility to prepare students to meet Iowa’s workforce demand. Making the institution financially accessible, rewarding more students for academic performance and continuing to educate them on keeping their debt low are all ways we can make UNI one of the best options in the region.”