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Obama's event in Iowa on college affordability is highlighting state's high student debt loads
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) ' President Obama's visit to Iowa to talk about college costs is drawing attention to a surprising fact about a state known for frugality: its students graduate with more debt than those in most other states.
The Project on Student Debt says nearly three-fourths of graduates of Iowa's four-year public and non-profit universities left school with debt in 2010. Their borrowing averaged nearly $30,000 apiece, the third highest in the nation.
Iowa policymakers point to a variety of factors for the increasing student debt. They cite a shortage of state financial aid, household income that is below the national average and hasn't kept up with rising tuition, and excessive borrowing from private lenders.
Obama is scheduled to speak Wednesday at the University of Iowa.