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UNI students offered forgivable loans to work in areas experiencing teacher shortages

October 14, 2003

Heather Soesbe, loan coordinator, Office of Financial Aid, 319) 273-7613
Gwenne Culpepper, University Marketing and Public Relations, (319) 273-2761

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Students at the University of Northern Iowa have responded overwhelmingly to the Iowa Teacher Shortage Forgivable Loan Program. According to Heather Soesbe, loan coordinator for UNI's Office of Financial Aid, the program allows students to receive forgivable loans in return for agreeing to teach for five years in an area of Iowa in a designated shortage area/subject.

'For each year they work in the area, 20 percent of their loan is forgiven,' she explained. 'The maximum award is $3,000 per year.'

During the 2001-2002 academic year, 54 UNI students participated, receiving $136,412 in loan proceeds. For the 2002-2003 academic year, 98 UNI students participated, receiving $270,960 -- an increase of approximately 98 percent in one year.