Iowa colleges and universities have some grant money available to help students whose families suffered setbacks from natural disasters or economic downturns this year. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission’s Tim Fitzgibbon explains the money will be not in loans, but grants which don’t need to be repaid.He says they’re testing “front-loaded” grants, to cut students’ reliance on loans they’ll have to pay back later. Approved in June 2000, the program gives one million dollars, to be matched equally by schools and given to students who prove need.It’s not just for farm families, but any Iowa resident who’s been hit by the slowing economy or weather-related disasters. Part of the program is a built-in tracking system that will see whether it helps the students ten or more years down the road.The commission will track them to see if their student-loan default rate is lower. Students or their families who want to apply for the disaster-aid tuition grants should contact the financial-aid office of their school.
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