Financial aid support increases for UNI students, indebtedness down

Financial aid support increases for UNI students, indebtedness down

Students smiling on UNI campus

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - The University of Northern Iowa continues to put students first, as evidenced by the $91.2 million in aid awarded to students during the 2022-2023 academic year, according to the latest annual financial aid report. This is an increase of $2 million from the previous academic year. Nearly 95% of all students received aid, including more than 97% of first-year students. 

UNI student indebtedness, which is already lower than state and national peers, continues to decline, with the average debt upon graduation down more than 3% from the previous year at $23,461. When transfer students are included, the average debt is $21,901. More than one-third of undergraduates leave UNI without debt. 

“It is truly a collective effort across the university system that allows students the ability to graduate with as little debt as possible,” said Tim Bakula, director of the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships.

Low student debt at UNI can be attributed to the winning combination of robust financial literacy efforts, private loan counseling, 15-credit semesters and more students graduating in three years.

UNI’s emphasis on student success is evidenced by the Our Tomorrow fundraising campaign, which has raised $67 million for student scholarships. The campaign has a goal of raising $75 million for scholarships by UNI’s sesquicentennial in 2026. During the 2022-2023 academic year, UNI disbursed $29.7 million in scholarships to students.

Because UNI is in the top 1% nationally for the size of its teacher education program, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants are also crucial for students. The program is designed for students planning to teach in a high-need field in a low-income school and provides a grant of up to $4,000 per year for four years as an undergraduate student and two years as a graduate student. During fiscal year 23, more than 500 students received TEACH Grant funding, totaling nearly $1.7 million in aid. UNI has participated in this program since its inception in 2008.

The University of Northern Iowa’s financial aid advisors can provide information and resources regarding paying for college and planning for the future. The Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships is located on the UNI campus in 105 Gilchrist Hall. Learn about applying for financial aid and how to start your journey by visiting our website or calling 319-273-2700.