college grantIn efforts to help Iowa college students pay for college without the need for student loans, one university is offering grant money in exchange for teaching. Many students at the University of Iowa are reporting avoiding $10,000 of additional student loan debt by participating in the program.

Educate For Education

Qualifying students at the University of Iowa are  managing to support thousands of dollars of tuition costs by participating in The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education grant program. The federal program offers $4,000 per year (up to $16,000 in four years) to students that teach a high-need subject at a school in an impoverished neighborhood. UNI reports that more than 600 students have received $2.3 million through the program this school year, and are expecting hundreds more to participate.

Critics of the program are not fond of the grant’s stipulation that if  a student doesn’t end up teaching or graduating with their own degree within eight years, the grant becomes a retroactive loan with interest accrued.  Other criticisms surround the fact that the grant is geared at teaching, a degree field that isn’t of interest to everyone. However, UNI officials stand by the grant reporting that after five years in the program over 80% of the grants are in good standing.

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