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Average student debt declines slightly at University of Iowa, Iowa State, UNI


This news story was published on April 21, 2012.
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Diane Heldt, CR Gazette –

Average student debt upon graduation decreased slightly last year at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa, according to a report released Thursday.

But in looking at only Iowa resident students, average debt at graduation rose at ISU and the UI from 2009-10 to 2010-11, according to the report.

The most recent student debt numbers in the annual financial aid report were released Thursday as part of the agenda for next week’s state Board of Regents meeting. The board meets Wednesday and Thursday in Cedar Falls.

Average student debt load at graduation in 2011 was $25,446 at the UI, down from $25,515 in 2010. At ISU, it was $29,324 in 2011, down from $29,475 in 2010. At UNI, it was $25,523 in 2011, compared to $25,735 in 2010. Those numbers are for all students graduating with debt.

But in looking just at Iowa resident students, the average debt was $24,652 in 2011, up from $24,453 in 2010. At ISU, it was $29,035 in 2011, up from $28,804 in 2010. Debt for Iowa resident students declined slightly at UNI in 2011, to $25,435 compared to $25,916 in 2010.

The number of students graduating without debt was 39 percent at the UI in 2010-11, compared to 40 percent the prior year. Iowa residents graduating without debt was 33 percent at the UI in 2011.

At ISU, 30.4 percent of all students graduated without debt in 2011, compared to 29.6 percent the year prior. Of the Iowa residents, 25.2 percent graduated without debt in 2011.

At UNI, 22.3 percent of all students graduated without debt in 2011, nearly the same as the 22.6 percent in 2010. Of the Iowa resident students, 22.9 percent graduated without debt in 2011.

The national average indebtedness for those graduating with debt from public four-year universities was $22,000 in 2009-10. The national average need-based indebtedness for those graduating with debt from public institutions was $11,653 in 2007-08.

In looking at need-based indebtedness at Iowa’s three regent universities, it was much lower than overall student debt averages. Need-based indebtedness in 2010-11 was $11,823 at the UI, $13,615 at ISU and $12,983 at UNI.

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