Invest in Your Education – Without the Debt

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College students should have the opportunity to invest in their education without being burdened by a mountain of debt after graduation.studentloandebt

Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) understands the financial obstacles of earning an education and offers an array of scholarships, grants, assistance and financial literacy services to help students achieve their goals.

From 2012-2013, 2,276 NICC non-high school, degree-seeking students qualified for a federal PELL grant to support their advanced training and education.  Other students enroll at NICC and transfer after graduation to earn a four-year degree; these students arrive at their four-year school having saved thousands of dollars on tuition, fees, room and board.

Cheyanne Brickman, a 2013 NICC Associate of Arts graduate from Westgate, Iowa, explains, “I looked at this as a financially responsible choice. I knew that I wanted to go to Upper Iowa University, and getting my associate’s degree through the NICC charter school at West Central High School saved me two years and $70,000.”

Scholarships and PELL grants also provide a value-added benefit for qualifying students because this funding does not need to be repaid. From 2012-2013, NICC students received more than $26.4 million in aid to support their college education, and the debt they incur after graduation is substantially lower than they would incur attending a four-year college or university in Iowa (See bar graph on this page).

Understanding loans, the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), how to pay for a college education and developing good strategies to repay loans after graduation is no easy task. To assist, financial aid professionals at the College launched a campaign this year to help students process paperwork and solve problems they may be having with financial aid.

The new financial literacy effort at NICC counsels students about important financial management, including extra student loan exit counseling with graduates, speaking with students at orientation and visit days about budgeting and financial management, and inviting parents into discussions on financial management for their students.

For more information on student financial aid, visit

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