Register Exclusive: Leath Says Iowa State University Will Target Rising Student Debt

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Iowa State University President Steven Leath envisions making ISU a national leader in reducing student loan debt, he told The Des Moines Register on Monday.

This fall, university officials will present a detailed vision that will center on raising millions of private dollars for tuition and research, Leath said during an interview about his first 100 days as ISU’s president.

Leath, who began his tenure as ISU’s president on Jan. 16, offered a preview of what his fundraising plan might include: a multiyear campaign that earmarks 30 to 40 percent for tuition scholarships. A $1 billion effort, for example, would mean up to $400 million in tuition assistance.

The proposed fundraising plan comes as students’ high debt load is gaining national attention. Student debt for college loans has surpassed $1 trillion and is now higher than credit card debt or auto loans, according to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau.

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